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The Philippine Fiesta Victoria 2013

Tulungan- The essence of the 31st Philippine Fiesta Celebration


By Manuel Asuncion

The Philippine Fiesta of Victoria management committee (PFVI) has joyfully announced that the annual Philippine Fiesta will be held on 23-24 November at Melbourne Exhibition Show Grounds.

As Ross Manuel, the PFVI Chairperson, victoriously declared to the Filipino-Australian community: ' Tuloy po ang ating Fiesta!!!'

This year's Fiesta theme is: Tulungan- Sa Isip, sa Puso at sa Gawa (Helping One Another: In your mind, in your heart and your action). The theme enunciates the spirit of helping one another not in only in the mind nor in the heart but most of all in action, underscoring the unconditional assistance in time of danger or crisis that people or the community need.

The spirit of Tulungan is evident during the yearly Philippine Fiesta celebration. A number of individuals and community organizations assist in the preparation of this event, be it the putting up colourful buntings around the venue, hanging beautiful lanterns on the stage, arranging the photos on the panels for the cultural exhibits or giving refreshments to the tired workers. A truly Filipino traditions which we Filipinos brought to this country.

The 2-day celebration of the Philippine Fiesta itself demonstrates the true spirit of Tulungan wherein the Filipino-Australian community members and associations extend their assistance by their presence and joining the Fiesta program and its cultural activities.

The multi-faceted talents of Filipino-Australian performers, the Palarong Filipino, the Santacruzan, the arrays of sumptuous Filipino food, the joyous parade of Filipino community organizations and the attendance of thousands of people attest the heartfelt Tulungan in action making the two dayfestivity a success.

Philippine Fiesta of Victoria avidly extends it Tulungan in time of calamities. The PFVI gives its generous support to our Kababayans in the Philippines who are poor victims of natural disasters as well as in Australia, our second homeland during its share of floods and bushfires.

The Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc. Management Committee is busy preparing these days for the big event this coming 23-24 November. Everyone is invited to give a helping hand and be involved to keep the spirit of Tulungan for this biggest and colourful cultural Filipino-Australian community celebration in Victoria.


The Philippine Fiesta Victoria 2012

Bukas-Bisig – Open arms or welcome! 


By Manuel Asuncion

The 30th anniversary theme of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria highlights the value of Filipino hospitality – Bukas –Bisig (Open arms or welcome!).   

We Filipinos are well known for our big smile and heartfelt embrace in welcoming  people to our home and community .

Our family and communal festivities attest to this positive custom and tradition.

 With open arms, we Filipinos welcome everyone (friends, acquaintances and even strangers)  to  our family celebrations and yearly fiestas sharing  with them our sumptuous  food,  enervating drinks and hearty  laughter.

We love to hold parties. Be it a birthday celebration, wedding anniversary, baptismal  or  house  warming, for we view them as an opportunity for family reunion and sharing of our joy with relatives and friends - any excuse just to celebrate and be together.

That’s why  our Filipino verb system has an array of participational affixes such as  Maki, Makipag and Makipang which means to ‘share’; ‘Join;’ ‘ be with’; ‘to go along with’  -  like the words  Makisama (Cooperate);  ‘Makikain’” (eat with); ‘Makisalo’ (Share with); Makipag-usap (Converse with);  Makisakay (Ride with)  and others.

Everybody is welcome to our  celebration. We don’t mind if you bring along a friend or two,  because  for Filipinos, it’s  imperative to prepare extra food for unexpected visitors. “Baka may dumating pang iba! “  (Others might  come!) is the common household  expression. 

Observing this felicitous  tradition, the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria welcomes everyone to its annual celebration.  All are invited to share with us the joy and the spirit of friendship and Filipino hospitality.

Bukas-Bisig po namin kayong tinatanggap sa ika tatlumpung anibersaryo ng Philippine Fiesta ng Victoria!


The Philippine Fiesta Victoria 2011

AMBAGAN – mutual and communal contribution 


By Manuel Asuncion

This year’s  Philippine Fiesta’s theme pays tribute to the Filipino value of AMBAGAN, which means mutual and communal contribution.

Filipinos are well known for their generosity to their fellow “kababayan” whether in kind or  financial  assistance.

This is evident in most family events or social situations.  People readily dig deep into their pockets whenever there are people in need of monetary support -  like for example,  in building a small chapel; construction of a community school; money to be spent for the cultural activities such as fiestas or Santacruzan or aid given to the poor victims of natural calamities.

When somebody dies in the community, Filipinos are expected to give ’abuloy’ or contribution to the  bereaved in helping for the traditional  ‘lamay’ or wake and burial expenses. In can be in a form of money carefully sealed in an envelope accompanied by a sympathy card or  a bunch of flowers. 

 In a small barrio, whenever there’s a wedding, barrio folks give whatever they can  afford to the newlyweds -  perhaps a cartful of fresh fruits and vegetables;  a basketful of poultry or a bilao of fish as a kindly gesture of their modest contributions or ‘ambag’ to  the wedding’s ‘handaan’ or preparations.

Pagpasensiyahan niyo na ang konti naming nakayanan,’   they’ll humbly whisper as they give their generous contributions to the hosts.   

It’s not only money that Filipinos open their hearts  and souls in helping their kababayans  but in deeds as well. ‘Bayanihan’ tangibly demonstrates the spirit of Ambagan. 

Filipinos extend their helping hands to their relatives, neighbours and friends voluntarily in moving houses, in construction of fences, mending  of bancas and fishnets, threshing of palays during harvest season and more.  

Every year, the spirit of Ambagan is being reconstructed during the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria. A number of members and volunteers from different Philippine community organizations; business enterprises and entertainment groups  lend their time and efforts gratis et amore  in making this annual celebration a success. 

That’s why this year’s Philippine Fiesta of Victoria  2011 focuses its theme on Ambagan in recognition of this  sterling tradition of the Filipino people - and most of all, the unselfish contributions of people working behind this colourful and lively festival.   Yes, the spirit of Ambagan is alive and well in the Filipino Community in Victoria.    


The Philippine Fiesta Victoria 2010

MAKIBAHAGI -  Together we can do it better


By Manuel Asuncion

The word “Makibahagi” .in Filipino language means share . It is made up of two magic words . The Filipino participational verb affix “Maki “ which means to share, participate, join or go with, someone,  like the words:   Makisama, “cooperate”, Makialam “participate”,  and Makisakay  “to ride on” ; and the word Bahagi  which means ‘part’ . Combined the words together it literally means join or to be a part of  or to be a part of something. In taking part,  you share your enthusiasm, expertise , skills and knowledge. In free translation Makibahagi  means SHARE.

Filipinos are well known for generosity. This is demonstrated with our Bayanihan tradition of helping one another; of our endless fiesta of sharing our food and laughter with our relatives; we welcome strangers to our fold;  and we put high value on Pakikisama  (SIR) or smooth-personal -relationship, so we make an extra effort to be part of a group by sharing our emotions and our resources. .    

As members of  an ethnic community, we have to share with the activities and endeavours of our community. In this way, we help our community in recognizing its position and sense of belonging   in the Australian multi-cultural society .

We have the responsibility to share our , energy and talents in building our community to see it develop and progress,  thus helping it becomes an asset to the mainstream society. We have to take pride to the achievements of our community, its leaders and members who worked hard for the recognition of our culture and tradition, thus adding to the colourful tapestry of  the multicultural diversity in Australia.

In everyday life, we do not only share our time and money to our relatives and friends,  but also our wits, knowledge, emotion, expertise and wisdom to maintain the balance of harmony, understanding, love, assistance  and camaraderie.

This year’s fiesta, PFVI underscores the significance of Pakikibahagi or  “Sharing”. For we firmly believe that it  will endeavour to encourage all  members, individuals  and the whole of the Filipino community organizations in Victoria to observe this sterling quality of sharing in order to achieve our  goal of planning and running the Fiesta smoothly, and most importantly, in showcasing the Filipino cultural heritage to the Australian multi-cultural society.    



Election Results

The Philippine Fiesta of Victoria AGM and Election of Committee members was held on 13 June 2010.  Here are the complete vote tallies:

Candidate Name Total
17 Ross Manuel 126 1
3 Ernie Pagar 122 2
1 Alex Ordona 119 3
7 Liz Honey 118 4
11 Mario Dumrigue 116 5
10 Manny Asuncion 114 6
4 Fely Roxas 107 7
12 Mario Magbiray 103 8
15 Remy Raquel 101 9
16 Rene Tamoro 99 10
18 Roy Carbungco 95 11
8 Lydia John 92 12
13 Orly Victuelles 85 13
5 Judy Wright 83 14
14 Resy Lim 78 15
19 Sonia Santos-Brewer 75 16
20 Tess Verfuth 64 17
2 Cheryl De Leon 48 18
6 Lita Camacho 40 19

Malou Collie (Candidate Nbr 9) withdrew before the vote for personal reasons.

The Philippine Fiesta Victoria 2008

The Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc. ( PFVI)  is celebrating its 26th anniversary on 29-30 November 2008. The Philippine Fiesta  is indeed the time of the year that the Filipinos all over Victoria and our ‘kababayan‘ from different  states of Australia convene and celebrate one of the biggest and joyful Filipino-Australian  events.

 Headed by Ross Manuel (the present Fiesta’s chairperson), this year’s Fiesta theme veers from the  usual Filipino cultural motif,  but instead focuses on global orientation  - the staunch support for the worldwide protection of nature and  environment .

 Currently, the Philippine Fiesta executive committee is busy planning and working for the coming  of the two-day celebration. This active and dedicated group sees to it that the Fiesta this year will be bigger, busier and merrier with invited young actors gracing the occasion with the complement of  ABS-CBN.  

 Within its 26 years of existence, the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria has come a long way. It started in the summer of November 1982 when a group of  enthusiastic Filipinos, with a fervent desire to relive the colorful festivity from home, celebrated the first Philippine Fiesta ever   at the Caribbean Garden, at Knox City,  Victoria,  Australia. 

 The first Fiesta was spearheaded by the Federations of Filipino Associations of Victoria (FFAV) and  the group was composed of officers and members of the Filipino Tradesmen Association (FILTAV), Filipino Community Welfare Service (FCWS), Filipino Association of Victoria (FAV), University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA), Silayan Dance Troupe (SDT) and the Filipino Friendship Society (FAF).

 Due to the success of the initial celebration, the FFAV organized another Fiesta in 1983 at Foostcray Park, a western suburb of Melbourne.  Thus, the fiesta became an annual event  because of the active participations of other Filipino-Australian organizations and the attendance of the growing Filipino-Australian populace in Victoria. For five successive year (1983-1988), the Philippine Fiesta organized by FFAV and FCW were held at Foostcray Park..

 In 1987, the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria  Inc (FPVI) was formally established and was duly incorporated through the efforts of the of the committed leaders  and members of different  community organizations in Victoria. During this period,  the  Philippine Fiesta Constitution was made and an  executive committee was formally elected.

 For years Philippine Fiesta had been celebrated in the different suburbs of Melbourne, but in 1994. the Fiesta executive committee purchased a sprawling property of 1.92 hectares in Laverton which becomes the permanent site of the annual festivity. The place was the former Laverton Primary School and is close to public transport which makes the Fiesta more accessible to a number of people. The  site becomes  a Philippine community centre wherein a number of  Filipino-Australian activities are held.

 True to its primary objective in promoting the Filipino arts, culture and traditions, the Philippine Fiesta,   during its two-day celebration,  features exhibits, paintings, songs, sports and dances that showcased the richness of our cultural heritage. 

 Through the years, the annual Philippine Fiesta has grown into a bigger proportion with people  looking forward to meet friends, taste an array of delicious Filipino cuisines and enjoy live entertainment provided by local Filipino-Australian talents and famous luminaries  from the Philippines. Every year, the number of people attending the fiesta has increased. Last year’s attendance has escalated to more than 8,000.00 individuals  The coronation of Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Quest, which greatly assists to maintain the Fiesta,  add to the gaiety and glamour  of  this yearly festivity.

 Thanks to the committed members of the Philippine Fiesta Victoria Inc. especially to the Filipino leaders, community organizations, volunteers and individuals to the success of this festive occasion and in keeping the  spirit of the Philippine Fiesta forever burning in Australia. Indeed, the Philippine Fiesta has been the truly icon of the Filipino community in Victoria.   

                  Philippine Fiesta Committee Officers for 2007

From left: Ross Manuel, Lita Camacho, Orly Victuelles, Liz Honey, Rene Tamoro, Ellen C. Oftial, Mario Dumrigue, Resy Lim, Manny Asuncion, Tess Ragel, Mac Pagdanganan, Cheryl de Leon, Roy Carbungco, Mario Magbiray

Isang Mabunying Pasasalamat

Sa ika-dalawampu’t limang anibersaryo ng Philippine Fiesta of Victoria, malugod po naming pinasasalamatan ang mga tao, samahan at negosyanteng tumulong at sumuporta sa ating natatanging pagdiriwang taon-taon.

Lakip po ang aming taos-puso pasasalamat, bilang punong- abala ng pasinayang ito sa mga kandidata, pamilya, at mga samahang umakbay sa Miss and Mrs Philippine Fiesta sa mga nagdaang panahon. Isa pong malaking tulong ang kanilang ginawa sa pananatili ng ating pagdiriwang lalong –lalo na po sa pagtataguyod ng ating Philippine Community Centre.

Gayun din po sa mga taong boluntaryong naghandog ng kanilang taunang tulong sa pagsasaayos ng ating taunang selebrasyon. Ang mga taong nagpinta, nagpukpok, nagluto naglinis, nag-asikaso sa mga bisita, at sa iba pang di-mabilang na gawain upang ang pasinayang ito ay maging maayos at matagumpay. Saludo po ang Management Community sa ginawa ninyong pagtulong.

Siyempre pa, sa ating mga lokal at galing pa sa ibang estadong panauhing nagpamalas ng kani-kanilang kakayahan sa pagasayaw, pag-awit at sa pagtugtog. Sa ABS CBN na nagpapadala ng mga piling artista mula sa Pilipinas na nagdulot nang di matatawarng ningning sa pasinaya at di-matingkalang aliw sa mga taong nagsipagdalo.. .

At higit sa lahat, sa mga tao, pamilya , mga kaibigang walang sawang nakibahagi at tumangkilik sa ating maligayayang pagdiriwang.

Ang Philippine Fiesta of Victoria po ay isang pasinayang nagtatanghal ng kulturang Pilipino. Tangkilikin po natin ito sapagkat ating-atin po ito.

Mabuhay ang Philippine Fiesta of Victoria. Mabuhay po tayong lahat.

Ang Philippine Fiesta Management Committee..

AKBAYAN – The Spirit of the 25th anniversary of the Philippine Fiesta
By Manny G. Asuncion

It’s hard to believe that the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria is celebrating its 25 years! It was just like yesterday that a small group of determined Filipinos convened together at the Caribbean Garden to relive a colourful festivity away from home – the Filipino fiesta!
From then on, the Philippine Fiesta becomes a much a waited event for the Filipino-Australian Community in Victoria. The Philippine Fiesta becomes one of the icons of our community.

As the years go by, the Fiesta goes from strength-to-strength with the sheer determination and effort of its officers, members, individuals, families, organizations and business entrepreneurs to keep its celebration flame burning.

The succeeding years witnessed the Philippine Fiesta turned into a big celebration and finally has its own place to call its home in Laverton – the Philippine Community Centre. This centre does not only become an annual venue for celebration of the Philippine Fiesta but also becomes a hubbub for Filipino-Australian gatherings; like meetings, forums, workshops, rehearsals, parties and other religious activities.

Looking back, it’s heartwarming to reminisce the joy, the pain, the triumph and the drama that people experienced working with the Philippine Fiesta. These are the unsung heroes of the community who worked the whole year round without any remuneration in order to make this annual celebration a success; and most importantly, to make the fiesta not just fun, but a celebration of Filipino culture with its substantial themes, entertainment, exhibitions and a cornucopia of local cuisine.

This year’s theme definitely fits the aura of the Philippine Fiesta – AKBAYAN - a Filipino euphemistic word for support and partnership. The theme focuses on the recognition of the unselfish assistance accorded by countless individuals, associations and business establishments for the past years. It is in this true spirit AKBAYAN that keeps the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria going. .

Looking Back

The Philippine Fiesta Management Committees
1982 – 2003

Several months away before the Fiesta, a group of people always convenes at the Philippine Community House in Laverton to plan the activities for a much-awaited annual event – The Philippine Fiesta of Victoria.

These are the people who meet every week to organize the festive scenario, create committee, ask for council’s permit, do the souvenir program, monitors the progress of festival and do multifarious tasks relevant to the Fiesta.

These people are the executive officers and directors or the Management Committee of the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Incorporated (PFVI) who are the perennial KAAKBAY or hard-working partners of PFVI since its establishment in 1982.

Elected every two years, the Management Committee is the backbone of the PFVI that plans, organizes, monitors executes and evaluates the over-all blue prints of the events. Along with other volunteers and member organizations, the Fiesta Management Committee made the fiesta visible and viable to the Filipino-Australian community and to other Australian multi-cultural groups.

Within its 25 years of existence, the members of the Philippine Fiesta Committee has undergone several changes but the spirit of ‘dedication’, ‘fortitude’. ‘industry’ and ‘sincerity’ among the succeeding leaders remain constant to the goals and objectives of the Fiesta – a truly KAAKBAY of this auspicious event.


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