Saturday, August 16, 2014
The colours, tastes and sounds of the Philippines were brought to a Norfolk village as the culture of the county’s Filipino community was celebrated.
Today’s Barrio Fiesta, translated as village fair, was arranged by Pinas (Pinoy in Norwich Aksiong Samahang), an organisation established in 2005 to enhance social cohesion and promote healthy living.
The event, held at East Tuddenham Village Hall, was opened with a proud rendition of the Philippines’ national anthem, before the entertainment continued with traditional folk dancing, a singing competition and a disco into the evening.
One of the main attractions was the array of food stalls, selling every imaginable Filipino delicacy – with spicy curries, meat stews, aromatic noodles, and exotic fish dishes reflecting both the Chinese culinary influence and Spanish colonial history of the country - while Filipino heart-throb Gabby Concepcion proved a hit with the crowds.
Norwich North MP Chloe Smith joined in the festivities and helped to officially install the officers of Pinas for the forthcoming year.
The event is now in its fourth year, and it was the third time it had been held in East Tuddenham.
Tess Ward, president of Pinas, said: “It’s an exhibition of the Filipino culture and it brings together people and families from all over Norfolk, and even East Anglia. We also have stallholders who have come across from Wales. I look at the people and they are really supporting us.”
There are estimated to be about 5,000 Filipinos living in Norfolk, with many of the more recent arrivals working at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as the result of an NHS recruitment drive.
Over the past nine months, Pinas has been fundraising to support those affected by the Philippines typhoon back in November.
Ms Smith, who attended the Barrio Fiesta last year, said: “It’s very impressive to have such a strong organisation that supports the community and does a lot of charity fundraising. The Barrio Fiesta is great fun. It’s really vibrant, there is a lot of passion and joy and it’s particularly nice to see people mixing.”
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