The Barrio Fiesta has something for everyone to look forward to. The name literally means, “a neighbourhood party” and this event is something that occurs in every town in the Philippines.
Outside of the Philippines, it is an annual occurrence for Filipinos, located far and wide, to reunite and to celebrate and enjoy our Filipino culture.
It was a remarkable and enjoyable day of celebration of the 11th year of the Filipino British Services of Newcastle Upon Tyne Festival, the ” Independence Day at Pistahan sa Newcastle “, held last 1st of June 2019, at The Blaydon Rugby Club. Everyone enthusiastically looked forward to the biggest annual British Filipino event organised in the North East of England.
The event opened with a colourful parade called the Santa Cruzan. The occasion was participated in by the different communities in the Northeast of England, wearing their traditional costumes of the Philippines, Filipinianas and Barong Tagalogs and the beautiful ‘Reyna Elenas paraded their stunning and most elegant gowns.
This year’s 11th anniversary of the Independence Day and Pistahan in Newcastle was honoured by the presence of David Cook, the Lord Mayor of Newcastle with his beautiful wife Rebecca Shatwell, also the Councillor of Newcastle and the Deputy Mayor of Gateshead – Councillor Dot Burnett, who congratulated the organisers and the volunteers in organising and holding this type of event and acknowledging the tremendous effort undertaken in arranging the event which strengthens the camaraderie of the Filipino community as well as integration in British society.
The programme was hosted by the top-notch local Pinoy Talent, Gaga Lord, from the X Factor UK 2017 and Clarisse Serrano from London, who joined our very own program coordinator Eva Bartolome in presenting the programme which was blessed by Pastor Virgilo Panansacala. The Philippine National Anthem was sung by Coro de Filipinas Choir and the British National Anthem by Freya Cossey.
An impressive array of talents, locally from Newcastle and from all over the UK, presented non- stop singing and dancing, with lots of fun and laughter throughout the day. The performers who entertained the crowd were – the millennial group KPC7, Alia Emmanuel Zamora, Abby & James Stanfort, Natalia Atkinson, Cheeky Girls, Sean and Arnold Fortuna, Firebird, Catherine Dale, Leanna Honeyman, NEFO Group, Jeffri Ramli and Christopher Blakey – the young Elvis Presley from Durham who delighted the audience with his moves emulating the King of Rock & Roll.
The special guests were Neneth Lyons – the X Factor Finalist 2015, Stephen Lu from Rizal Underground, with his hit song Sabado Nights and of course the very talented comedian of ABS-CBN – Wacky Kiray, who is one of the Sing-Vestigators of the hit game show – I Can See Your Voice, a mainstay at Banana Sundae and the I Can Do That celebrity talent competition winner.‘ Aside from his funny lines and gags, Wacky entertained the crowd with songs of Rivermaya, Eraserheads and the very popular millennial song “BUWAN” of Juan Karlos.
The resounding success of the event is due to the continuous support of the Major and Minor Sponsors and Media Partners to Filbrit Community of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
For 11 years, Fil-Brit Services of Newcastle Upon Tyne, headed by Sally Sellars and her team of volunteers, has proven that working together as a team is the road to success, and of course with the help and backing of all the sponsors, to make this, The Biggest and the Best Filipino Festival in the Northeast of England.
We very much look forwards to even more enthusiastic and eventful years to come with continuing success in serving the Filipino people in Newcastle.