Largest Filipino gathering in Dubai this Friday

Bayanihan Festival 2017 promises a day full of fun and games, culture and art for thousands of Filipinos

Gulf News ArchivesFilipinos in Dubai perform the La Jota Moncadena during the Bayanihan Festival at the Al Mamzar beach Park


Dubai: Thousands of Filipinos will be treated to a community celebration this Friday during the Bayanihan Festival 2017 that promises a day full of fun and competitions, cultural performances, giveaways, entertainment and an award ceremony for exceptional Filipinos.

The Bayanihan Festival is an annual celebration hosted by the FilClub, a Filipino community organisation under the auspices of the Philippine Consulate-General. Bayanihan refers to a Filipino tradition where a community gathers to help a family relocate.

Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said the Bayanihan Festival allows Filipinos in Dubai to reconnect with their roots and also showcases what it means to be Filipino.

“Bayanihan allows Filipinos to reconnect with their culture and tradition and art, at the same time provide other ethnicities a glimpse of how we as Filipinos embrace the cultures of the UAE and that of the other expatriate communities. The festival will exemplify the essence of Filipino hospitality and creativity,” Cortes told Gulf News.

“It also will highlight the penchant of the Filipino to celebrate life, culture, and camaraderie not only among themselves but also with others. It is an eye-opener as to what the Filipino spirit and soul is all about,” he added.

Organisers of the festival said there is something for everyone in this free admission event. Filipino children who grew up in the UAE will see many of their traditions come alive right before their eyes.

“We brought the Philippine Festival Grand Parade here that showcases the various cultural street parades that we hold throughout the year in our provinces back home,” Engr Maria Fe Tata Dayot, FilClub chair, told Gulf News.

Dayot said there will also be various competitions on food carving, arts, drum and lyre, cheerleading, hip-hop dance, and Parol Making in celebration of the Christmas season. Parol is a star-shaped ornamental Christmas lantern that is a common feature in Filipino homes during Christmas.

Dayot said the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Bayani Award is back for the second year and will be given to six deserving Filipinos.

“This prestigious award is given in recognition of the awardees’ contribution to their family, community, government, and company. It seeks to honour Filipinos who are not only professionals who excel in their fields but even those who work in the household,” Dayot said.

As with the previous years, the celebration will not be complete without music and entertainment. There will be a Battle of DJs and Battle of Bands. Soul singer Jaya is this year’s celebrity guest. Ivy Paredes, former X Factor contestant, will also be present.

Door prices and community service will also be available. A CV or resume drop box will be provided for job hunters.

Fact file

What: Bayanihan Festival 2017

Where: Dubai World Trade Centre

When: Friday, December 15, 7.30am to 8pm

Admission: Free

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