A celebration of Filipino culture in Dubai

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A celebration of Filipino culture in Dubai
Cultural dancers share a light moment with the jeepney, a symbol of Filipino pop culture, at the Bayanihan Festival on Friday.

Dubai - A free concert was also held by Filipino celebrity Jaya and there were talent competitions such as on-the-spot-painting and creating the best Christmas lanterns.

by

Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 15 Dec 2017, 7:37 PM

Last updated: Sun 17 Dec 2017, 8:45 AM

Thousands of Filipinos and other nationalities joined in the annual community celebration called Bayanihan Festival to have fun, celebrate camaraderie and boost the spirit of unity among the expat community on Friday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
"The festival captures the essence of Filipino hospitality and creativity. It also highlights the Filipino people's predisposition to celebrate life and culture not only amongst themselves but also with others," Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes told Khaleej Times. 
"Bayanihan envisions not only to showcase Philippine culture to overseas Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, it also wishes to share with other nationalities in Dubai the unique Filipino way of celebrating themselves and be a further eye-opener for the rest of the UAE community as to what the Filipino spirit and soul is all about," he emphasised.
According to the organisers, close to 20,000 people came to watch the performers at the Bayanihan Festival who came in colourful national costumes to perform traditional Filipino song and dance and participate at the Parade of Fiestas. 
A free concert was also held by Filipino celebrity Jaya and there were talent competitions such as on-the-spot-painting and creating the best Christmas lanterns. Foodies also enjoyed sumptuous Filipino cuisines while bargains got the best deals at the pop-up shopping bazaars.
For their exemplary service to the Filipino community, five Filipino expats were handed the Bayani (Hero) Award. 
Dr Rex Bacarra, digital faculty consultant of McGraw-Hill Education and head of professional development at American College of Dubai, is one of the awardees. After accepting the award, he told Khaleej Times: "To be an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) is to tell a story, but it is a story that does not just recount the difficulties and hardships of living overseas but of meaningful triumphs and purposeful victories. The expat is a medium of hope, and challenges are hopeful encouragement to be the best. The award is not for an individual, but for all overseas Filipinos sharing the same vision not just of survival, but of excellence." 
Gracing the occasion as guest of honour was Ernesto Abella, former spokesperson of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. He said: "I highly appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of all the overseas Filipinos in the UAE. They are truly a force for nation-building." 
French-Lebanese expat Houssam Abdul Malak, who hires mostly Filipino as his staff at his restaurant, also praised the Filipinos for their dedication and cheerfulness at work. Agnes Pagduan, area manager - Dubai at Philippine Airlines likewise gave her salute and full support to the Filipinos who continue to serve as inspirations "by working hard and supporting their respective families."
angel@khaleejtimes.com
 

Filipino performers sharing last minute reminders before their performance.
Filipino performers sharing last minute reminders before their performance.
Filipino “parol” or lanterns on display at the festival.
Filipino “parol” or lanterns on display at the festival.
A girl waiting for her turn to perform.
A girl waiting for her turn to perform.
A festival queen.
A festival queen.


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