Philippine Fiesta has come a long way. It started in the summer of November 1982
when a group of enthusiastic Filipinos with a fervent desire to relive a colourful
festivity away from home, met at the Caribbean Gardens, Knox City.
group was composed of officers and members of the Filipino Trade Association of
Victoria (FILTAV), Filipino Community Welfare Services (FCWS), Filipino Association
of Victoria (FAV), University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA), Silayan
Dance Troupe (SDT) and Filipino Friendship Society (FAFS); spearheaded by the
Federations of Filipino Associations in Victoria (FAV).
to the success of the initial event, the FFAV organized another Fiesta in 1983
at Footscray Park; thus the Fiesta became an annual event because of the participation
of other community organisations and the attendance of the growing Filipino-Australian
populace in Victoria. For five successive years (1983-1987), the Philippine Fiesta
organized by FFAV and FCWS were held at Footscray Park.
the years, the Fiesta has grown into a bigger proportion with people looking forward
to an array of delicious Filipino food, exciting rides and live entertainment
provided by the local Filipino-Australian taints.
1987, the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc. (PFVI) was formally established and
incorporated through the efforts of Mr. Francis Dizon, Mr. Des Villanueva and
Bing Jaraba. A new management committee was formed that thought of an innovative
scheme to generate income for the Fiesta as well as "incentives and exposure"
to the organizing groups. Community organization big or small, were invited to
take turns in sponsoring the Fiesta receiving certain percentage from the total
earnings of the event.
first organization to benefit from this scheme was through the Pampangueno Club
(chaired by Mr. Nonong Torres) which in 1988 shifted the Fiesta to Queens Park
in Essendon. The event (which coincided with Australia's Bicentennial Celebration),
though marred by inclement weather, was a success. That year also marked the launching
of the Philippine Community Centre Project, with the aim of acquiring a "Home"
for the Filipino community thus becoming the financial focus for succeeding fiestas.
1989-1990, the Philippine Fiesta was held at Albert Park Lake Reserve organized
by the Philippine Sports Club of Melbourne Inc. (PSCMI) headed by Ms Maina Walkley
and Ms Gigi Kalong respectively. The PFVI chairpersons then were Mr. Larry Quiazon
(1989) and Mr. Noel Tolentino (1990). The Mutya ng Fiesta Quest was introduced
and the first Philippine Fiesta Souvenir Program was born.
flocked in droves to the Fiesta at Albert Park due to its central location and
transport accessibility. It established the Fiesta as the much-awaited event of
1991, the Philippine Fiesta Management Committee itself (chaired by Mr. Larry
Quiazon), organized the Philippine Fiesta at Albert Park under scoring that the
net proceeds will go towards the Philippine Community Centre project."
that time on, the "incentive scheme" was removed to "maximize the
Philippine fiesta revenues for the realization of the Philippine Community Centre."
10th Anniversary of the Philippine Fiesta was held at the same venue the following
year (1992) with Ligaya Chin as the chairperson. Included in the souvenir program
was the Philippine Community Centre
feasibility study prepared by Billy Velasco as well as the proposed
of the Centre
Victorian Racing Club Flemington Racecourse became the next venue for the Philippine
Fiesta "(1993) chaired by Ms. Ligaya Chin with her message of
must continue to join together to promote cohesiveness and strength to achieve
the goal we had been working for to preserve our Filipino heritage."
Philippine Fiesta was held at Laverton when PFVJ purchased the Primary School
in 1994 (Chaired by Bert de la Pena). At last, the past Fiesta Commit tees goal
had been realized - to hold the Fiesta at the Philippine Community Centre, the
"Home" of Philippine Fiesta and the Filipino community in Victoria.
Atacador, who headed the fiesta from 1994 to 1998 aptly articulated this sentiment
in his speech at the Lions club of Wantirna and Rowville: 'What we are building
is not just physical amenities....we are putting up a home, a Tahanang PiliPino...
a place to mark our coming together as migrants to a great and gracious island."
Ragel (1998-2001) succeeded Mr. Atacador as the chairperson the following year.
The year 2000, promised the biggest Fiesta ever to welcome the new millennium.
Under the leadership of Mr. Ragel, it was highlighted by different incentive initiated
by Philip Salanguit to boost the much needed funds to pay the Philippine Community
Centre. These were the Millennium Book that profiled the migrants in Victoria;
the Millennium Beauty Quest; The Grand Raffles and the Vehnee Saturno Talent search.
Fely Roxas, who has served the Philippine Fiesta for many years, was elected as
the chairperson the year 2002.
May 2003, the Philippine Community Centre' mortgage was paid in full having been
paid thru the concerted efforts of people who worked hard towards the achievement
of a life long dream-owning the Philippine Community Centre.
year's Fiesta 2003 (chaired by Mr. Ross Manuel) is celebrating its 22nd anniversary
with the theme "Abot Kamay", reaching out - an effort to consolidate
and unite Filipino Community organisation for a common goal and purpose. It is
envisioned to be a celebration of joy and pride of what the Philippine Fiesta
has accomplished in its 22 years of existence.
history of the Philippine Fiesta is a narrative of many individuals, associations
and communities persevered and worked hard towards realisations of a vision -
a vision which is now a reality. The Philippine Fiesta is a shinning legacy to
the future generations of Filipino-Australians and to the multicultural society