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27 July 2019 – Vienna, Austria – It is said a fiesta is happening somewhere in the country practically every day of the year. This tradition found renewed expression at the annual Barrio Fiesta on July 27, 2019 held at the grounds of Pellmanngasse 2, 1230 Vienna, where the Filipino community came out in full force to celebrate Filipino hospitality.
Organized by the Council of Filipino Association in Austria (CFAA) which is also marking its 23rd anniversary this year, and with support by the Philippine Embassy in Vienna, the Barrio Fiesta saw the participation of a wide array of regional and professional groups coming from all over Austria and neighboring countries and serving to highlight and elevate the profile of a growing Filipino ethnic community in Austria.
Now in its 23rd year, the format of the Barrio Fiesta in Vienna has remained unchanged. Food vendors tempt attendees with such traditional fare as adobo (marinated chicken or pork), lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls), pansit (noodles), barbecue (thinly sliced pork pieces skewered on bamboo sticks)) and halo-halo (a sweet, creamy dessert made with preserved beans, candied fruit, coconut, ice cream, shaved ice, and miscellaneous other ingredients). There’s music, demonstrations of traditional dances, various games; exhibits; arts and crafts — all honoring and celebrating the cultural heritage of Filipinos. Various groups and talents provided song and dance entertainment.
The Philippine Embassy in Austria led by Consul General Deena Joy Amatong and Consul Bao, also lent its support, with members of the staff and their families joining in the festivities and the thousands who came to celebrate. Aside from the promotion of tourist destinations in the Philippines, the Embassy likewise provided consular guidance and advice to the general public at the Embassy tent
“On behalf of our Ambassador, Maria Cleofe Natividad, I would like to congratulate the CFAA and the organizing committee for organizing the Barrio Fiesta. Today we celebrate life, family and friends, we celebrate our Filipinoness. When we sing Filipino songs, when we dance igorot or malong-malong dance, when we eat sisig, pansit or adobo, we are highlighting Philippine culture and we are bringing the Philippines here in Austria. As we celebrate Barrio Fiesta, we are actually showing the world what is to be Filipino, what the Filipino is all about. – it is all about sharing, friendship and caring,“ Consul General Amatong said.
The Chairman of Council of Filipino Associations in Austria, Ms. Hilaria Garcia also expressed her gratitude to the leaders of the member organizations of CFAA for their utmost dedication and support to the programs and projects of the Council.
“We are celebrating today the 23rdnd Barrio Fiesta in Austria. Each year our celebration gets bigger and bigger. We are very proud to have reached this milestone. I believe we’ve been able to sustain it because we have the most generous sponsors and “kababayans” in Austria who have been supporting us for years,” the CFAA Chairman said.
“It is indeed an honor for us here in the District of Liesing to welcome you all. It is a wonderful experience to see the colorful and amazing display of your culture through dances and songs. Thank you for bringing your culture to Austria. We can surely learn from each other,”The Bezirksvorsteher of Liesing, Mr. Gerald Bischoff said.
Aside from the performances on stage, the other top crowd-drawer was of course the Filipino food bazaar, made up of a row of booths from where hunger-inducing, mouth-watering aromas wafted all throughout the one day affair, giving the Pinoys a welcome taste of home and other guests a savory treat of native Filipino dishes with their distinctive Asian flavor and European influences. Another line of stalls offered groceries, souvenir items, real estate investment opportunities in the Philippines, tours and travel packages, cargo-forwarding and money remittance services, and the Philippine Embassy.
The Barrio Fiesta in Vienna drew about 2,000 people. The festival had become one of the ethnic highlights of Vienna`s summer.
Hector Pascua, philippine-press.com
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