The 2015 Pinoy Fiesta celebration was as hot and vibrant as this record-setting summer season. The pride of the Filipino community, Pinoy Fiesta: Unang Hirit sa Tag-init drew thousands of revelers at the Memorial South Park in Vancouver on August 9. About 70 booths from different organizations and businesses opened at the park to welcome members of the community and their guests.
The daylong event featured entertainment delivered by popular local artists, bands, singers, dancers and cultural group performers. Headlining the celebration was the popular GMA Kapuso artist and multitalented Solenn Heussaff.
With the hard work and commitment of the Hirit organizers led by Jojo Quimpo, Pinoy Fiesta is now one of the biggest and the most anticipated Filipino cultural events in British Columbia.
Quimpo, who is the founding chairman of the festivities, is proud of the monumental success of Pinoy Fiesta. His vision to unite the Filipino community to showcase the beautiful Philippine culture and heritage to all Canadians, and to show the unified strength of the community has now become a reality.
The celebration was attended by various community organizations, leaders, business owners, dignitaries, politicians and elected officials from all levels of government.
Among the elected provincial and federal officials at the event were Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, and B.C. Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton.
Kenny, a Conservative MP, was joined by his fellow Conservative MPs Ed Fast, Alice Wong, and Wai Young.
The celebration was attended by Tobias Enverga Jr. & wife Rosemer, the first Filipino Canadian Senator.
In addition to Senator Enverga, Senator Yonah Martin was also at the event.
Festival organizer Quimpo is running in this year’s federal election under the Conservative Party. Other Conservative candidates who attended the celebration were Grace Seear and Kenny Chui.
From the NDP were MLAs Bruce Ralston and Mable Elmore. NDP MP Don Davies also attended.
Representing the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver were diplomats led by Vice Consul Ma. Chairmaine Guevara.
The Filipino community is the third largest and the fastest growing minority in Canada, but Filipinos are still very much underrepresented culturally and politically. The annual celebration of Pinoy Fiesta which has grown each year in size and numbers of participants helps focus a positive spotlight on the community.
The organizers promise that the Pinoy Fiesta celebration will be bigger, making the Filipino community proud. Free to the public, this year’s festival featured two colorful events. One is the the Paradang Pinoy on the grounds of Memorial South Park, which showcased world-renowned Filipino festivals such as Ati-atihan, Sinulog, Masskara, Dinagyang etc. Various organizations displayed colorful costumes while dancing to the beat of drums and Filipino music.
The fiesta extravaganza showcased various aspects of Filipino culture. There were trade exhibits, crafts and food vendors offering Filipino themed cuisine and wares to the public.