Filipinos get ready to mark Bayanihan fest in Dubai
Performers in a jeepney, a symbol of Filipino pop culture, during the Bayanihan Festival last year. - File photo
Dubai - 'Bayanihan' is a distinct Filipino custom that refers to the spirit of doing communal work and cooperation to achieve a goal.
The Filipino community in Dubai is bracing for an entire day of competitions, cultural performances and Christmas festivities - all rolled into one festival to be held on Friday at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
'Bayanihan' is a distinct Filipino custom that refers to the spirit of doing communal work and cooperation to achieve a goal. The word is derived from the Filipino word 'bayani', which means hero. Bayanihan also refers to a geographical location or 'bayan', which can mean a town, community or nation.
"The 'Bayanihan Festival' is an annual event of the Filipino community and the Philippine Consulate-General (PCG), held every December in celebration of the UAE's National Day, the Filipino Christmas and yuletide holidays," Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes told Khaleej Times.
"It is one of the two main events of the PCG to gather the Filipino community, along with their friends and families. The other event is the Philippine Independence Day held every June. Bayanihan is a festive activity that is meant to be shared among the Filipinos in Dubai and with people of other nationalities as well."
"It showcases the Philippine culture, dance, arts, creativity, innovation and our heritage. It also highlights the depth of talent of the Filipino community," Cortes said.
He said tens of thousands of Filipinos are expected to attend on Friday. In June this year, around 40,000 Filipino expats took part in the Philippine Independence Day celebration at the DWTC.
Various activities and entertainment have been lined up for the Bayanihan event, including a drum-and-lyre parade, Ukit Pinoy (a fruit and vegetable carving competition), on-the-spot painting and photography competitions, Pinoy Cosplay, Sining at Ystillo (art and Philippine products exhibition), dance contests, 'Clash of the Pinoy DJs', Kislap ng Pasko (Philippine Christmas lantern competition) and a Christmas choir presentation.
There will also be a search for Mr. and Ms. Teen Bayanihan and performances by Filipino celebrities from Manila such as Ronnie Alonte and Sue Ramirez.
Entrance to the event is free and updates are available on 'Bayanihan 2018' social media accounts.
WHAT, WHEN, WHERE
>What: Bayanihan Festival 2018, a Filipino celebration
>When: Friday, December 21 (7am - 8pm)
>Where: Hall 3, Dubai World Trade Centre