The Philippine Experience in Gloucester
BY VIVA ANDRADA O’FLYNN
THE Filipino Association of Gloucestershire also known as GlosPinoys celebrated its first ever Filipino Heritage Day: Experience the Philippines through food, music, and culture at King’s Square, Gloucester, on Sunday, 24th July .
What an experience it was; bringing the Filipino experience to Gloucester! I remember coming into the United Kingdom and settling in Gloucestershire six years ago. Newly married and homesick, I knew no Filipinos living in our area. Then eventually I found them. I bonded with the Filipino groups in Gloucestershire: Filgroup of Cheltenham n Friends and GlosPinoys.
As the secretary of GlosPinoys, I helped in organising the event and its fruition. It started with the vision of our Chairman and President who is a councillor member for Matson, Robinswood and White City, and the Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, Cllr. Raymond Padilla. He had this idea to make known the Filipino talent, creativity, food, music, and culture with the British community.
It was a smashing success! Listening to Original Pinoy Music played by the DJ and performed by Filipino talents from across the UK at the centre of town made me feel at home and accepted. These performances were from Ruhiya, Nikki Dunham on the harp, Erika Binosa, CJ and Company, Pinoy Zumba with the BMD Group, Filipino cooking lesson with Randy of Saladmaster, Filipino Folk Medley by Rockabilly Babes, Avygayle, Walter Begaso, Rex Portillano, and The Soulma8s. The event emcee was Karlo Babiera. Gloucester tasted Filipino food and bought Filipino made products.
To further make Filipinos feel welcomed and embraced, there were moving speeches from our invited dignitaries: Cabinet Member for Culture Andrew Lewis, Gloucester Cllr. Declan Wilson, The Right Worshipful Mayor of Gloucester: Cllr. Howard Hyman, Gloucester MP: Richard Graham, and our sponsors.
“Experience the Philippines through food, music, and culture” event was made possible by our generous supporters: Gloucester City Council, Department of Tourism Philippines, Megaworld, L J’s Catering, Fortis Financial, Fresenius Medical Care, Ocho Ocho Asian Foods and Goods, Pyesta Filipino Restaurant, Lexi’s Cake Corner, S E A T Consultancy and Training Services Ltd., i-fern, Dias Solicitors, Saladmaster We Change Lives, Sance by Hannah Mae, Herb-ALL Amazing pure organic Barley powdered drink, Love Viva Cakes and Crafts, and Yes Philippines NewsMagazine UK.
Looking forward to more events like this that showcases the best that Filipinos have to offer in the UK!
Photo Credits: Lee Vistal Edwards