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Music, food, dance and art brought tradition and modern culture together at the 2nd Philippine Folkloric Festival with the theme „Pamana“ (Heritage) held at the Austria Trend Park Hotel Schönbrunn. The event was sponsored by the Bikol Soceity in Austria and the European Network of Filipino Diaspora-Austria (Enfid).
The dance presentations of the Philippine Folkloric Group has been acclaimed not just for its outstanding performances, but also for its authentic and vibrant costume design, props and accessories and live music that brought the audience straight the mountains of Benguet, or the shores of Zamboanga.
“We are here to show people what we’re about and what our culture means to us,” a participant of the event said.
A Filipino community leader is glad to know that Filipinos in Vienna are able to preserve the culture and heritage, and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.
Marizel Rojas, President of Bikol Society in Austria and chairwoman of ENFID- Austria said that the Philippine Folkloric Festival speaks of the passion and commitment of her fellow organizers, performers and supporters of Bikol Society in Austria (BSA) and the European Network of Filipino Diaspora and the people behind these organizations.
„Passion to help those who are in need such as our beneficiary Hablondawani Shelter for Girls and Women in Naga City, Philippines. Passion to support indigenous tribes in South Cotabato by helping to build their tribal centre. Passion to pass forward to the 2nd/3rd generations Filipinos in our second home, Austria, what is intrinsically precious in uns Filipinos – our traditional songs and dances as „ang Pamana“, our heritage,“ Rojas added.
„I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated dancers. They possess an important cultural function in the Filipino community here. What they do serve as way to honor Filipino identity,” Rojas said.
In her written message, Ambassador to Austria, Maria Cleofe Natividad Extended her warmest congratulations and appreciations to the Bikol Society in Austria and ENFID-Austria for organizing the Philippine folkloric Festival.
„This is not just a celebration of the Filipino identity; it is also an opportunity to demonstrate a very laudable Filipino trait: our generosity of spirit and sense of community wherever we may be in the world. “Pamana” is a very apt title for this event. The word „Pamana has many layers and meanings. A simple translation is inheritance or the passing of a property from one person to another. Going deeper can also be translated as heritage or legacy, which connotes something of great value handed down from generation to generation,“ the ambassador said.
The ambassador likewise commended the Bikol Society Austria and ENFID Austria for their efforts to preserve and promote Philippine indigenous cultural treasures and at the same time for their commitment to care for vulnerable communities and Groups back home.
„For our part, the Philippine Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna is also one with you in championing the interests of our people in this corner of the globe. We have continually strived to advance our national agenda by developing a stronger and more meaningful ties with our host countries for the benefit of our fellow Filipinos. I can assure you that we will always be in the forefront of preserving and enhancing our heritage and our patrimony. Like you, we are committed to safekeeping our Pamana for the benefit of future generations of Filipinos,“ Ambassador Natividad said.
Marizel Rojas expressed her overwhelming gratitude to the Overall Artistic Director, Dance and Costume Director of Folklorico Filipino, Ana Maria “Minnie” Langer and Dorcas “Dorcy” Navarrete Aigner, Dance Director of the Philippine Nurses Association in Austria (PNA‐A) Dancers, and to the officers and members of BSA and ENFID-Austria, PNA-Austria dancers, Folkloric Group, special performers, sponsors, donors and Patrons of Arts, Culture and Tradition (PACT).
Aside from the beautiful folkdances there were also special performances presented by known Pinoy Artists in Austria: Abdul Candao, child wonder Robin Gabriel Roda and the singing priest, Fr. Mars Sahulga.
It should be noted that the Board of Directors and members of ENFID Europe – from Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom – were likewise present during the event. Rojas is very much thankful for showing their support and solidarity with ENFiD-Austria.
„We are very glad to be here because we want to support the ENFID-Austria. It is indeed a pleasure and honor to be invited to this wonderful event. We share the same mission and vision of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora in the whole of Europe,“ Leonor Vintervoll, ENFID EU Chair from Norway.
Annabelle Mayo, ENFID Board of Director from Milan, Italy said that Pamana is a very nice project and show espercially to all European children, since many have little knowledge about the Filipino culture and traditions.
„We hope that these cultural show will be staged in different European countries, too, and that we will able to share this rich cultural heritage of the Filipinos. Congratulations to the Pamana organizers,“ Annabelle Mayo said.
„Pamana, Philippine folkloric Festival is a nice cultural event that pictures the rich cultural heritage of he Filipinos. I hope that we will be able to stage such amazing show in Switzerland, too,“ Eppie Balasagay, ENFID Switzerland said.
Maricar Morales, also from ENFID Switzerland applauded the remarkable folkloric festival.
Guests from the international community acclaimed the cultural presentation.
„We have a very nice evening. We are enjoying a lot. It is very nice and wonderful to see the richness of the Filipino culture demonstrated by these dances and the colorful costumes. The openness of the Filipinos towards other people is a very rare gift and this should be celebrated,” Director Albert Schwartz, President of the Harvard Club of Austria commented. Dr. Schwartz was accompanied by his lovely wife, Andrea.
Bikol Society Austria (BSA) is a religious, non-profit, non-political Parish based organization established in 1993 for Filipinos from the Bicol Region, with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. It was established for the purpose of preserving and promong Philippine culture and tradions as well as propagang devoon to the Patroness of Bicolandia, Our lady of Peñafrancia.
The EUROPEAN NETWORK OF FILIPINO DIASPORAAUSTRIA (ENFID-AUSTRIA) was formally established on 15 October 2017 as one of the country aﬃliates of ENFiD Europe, the international platform that seeks to connect and engage overseas Filipinos. With its 17 member countries, it is the voice of the Filipino in matters aﬀecting them in their host countries and in the Philippines.