Since the Filipino Fellowship kicked off, Friday nights have never been the same for Filipinos here in Singapore. This time, the Economic Development Board (EDB) Learning Center in Bukit Merah was packed with a group of energetic and fun-loving Filipinos for a joyful evening of entertainment, games and Filipino cuisine on the night of 27 March 2009.
The main hall and the children’s room were decorated with colored flags commonly known as banderitas and it brought back fond memories of the fiestas held in their respective towns in Philippines. 158 attendees, half of which were new friends, took turns playing carnival games such as Dart Ball, Shoot That Ring and Shoot That Ball. Filipinos are renowned for their talent in singing and as such, having a karaoke session was also an absolute necessity for such an occasion.
All Males Singing Group – “Back to Life”
Newly-formed band “Back to Life” and all-female dance group “Single Ladies” performed a medley of local and international pop favorites as the crowd got on their feet and grooved to the beat. When it was time for the Bingo Bonanza, loud cheers erupted and three winners went home with fantastic cash prizes.
All Female Dance Group – “Single Ladies”
Rommel Aviles, the emcee of the event, found the crowd engaged throughout the entire evening. Visitors were happy to be invited to the fiesta and commented that they found a new family in Singapore. Elle Taan, a youth in her 20s, wished that it had been a whole day event so they could have more bonding moments.
The first thing that comes to mind when Filipinos think of fiestas is an overflow of food and drinks that lasts for days. In true Filipino style, generous portions of sumptuous pork adobo, menudo and maja blanca were served to satisfy their craving for homecooked Filipino dishes.
|PHOTOS: ANTHONETTE VALDEMORO|
Hansen Sy, one of the leaders of the Filipino Fellowship, gives a spiritual background on fiestas and shared the rationale for such merriment. In biblical times, God ordained feasts for the Israelites to faithfully observe and they are for the purpose of rest, refreshment and remembrance of the Lord’s goodness. This remains relevant in these present times regardless of religion or cultural differences.
With a team of committed individuals, the Filipino Fellowship continues to plan and spearhead gatherings to connect Filipinos in Singapore. The group seeks to provide mutual support and help them cope with living and working in Singapore. Initiatives include putting together a comprehensive starter’s guide booklet, starting networking sites online such as Facebook, fitness programs and sports activities, and weekly house-to-house cell group meetings.