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Beauty pageant contestants help in Fiesta ribbon cutting

Sydney Fiesta Kultura 2013 had no PH Stars; Reigns On Its Own

Barrie O'Farrel visits Fiesta Kultura
Barrie O’Farrel visits Fiesta Kultura
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Ambassador Belen Anota and ConGen Anne Jalando-on Louis at Arts & Crafts
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Singing the Philippine colour

Sydney’s Philippine Fiesta Kultura  went on to be a successful event last 7 October at the Fairfield Showground even without the traditional celebrity stars imported from the Philippines, banking on its established institutional power as the Philippine community’s biggest and long running community event.

In a symbolic shift in marketing strategy, Fiesta’s convenor the Philippine Australia Sports an Culture (PASC), Inc. relied on the presence of “sporting stars”, its beauty pageant, the food festival  and sheer Filipino commonality instead of the traditional imported movie and TV stars from the Philippines to draw crowd to the event.

For the first time, the current sitting Premier of New South Wales Barrie O’Farrell attended to address the Fiesta Kultura, together with Federal Senator Cencetta Fierravante-Wells representing newly elected Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Philippine Ambassador to Australia Belen Anota and  Philippine Consul  General to Sydney Mrs Anne Jalando-on Louis.

In his address, Premier O’Farrell underscored the contributions of the Fiesta Kultura in  promoting not only multiculturalism in Australia but also in highlighting NSW’s business and investment engagement goals with countries where many Australian migrant population  came  from.

Through MoneyGram money transfer sponsorship,  a sports marketing  group brought  sports stars from the NBL basketball team Sydney Kings and the A-League football team Western Wanderers to network with  Fiesta visitors.  The Sydney Kings and the Western Wanderers had introduced through the Fiesta event a continuing engagement by basketball team Sydney Kings and the football team Western Wanderers.

Sydney Kings and Western Wanderers are scheduled to engage the Filipino community during  in what is referred to as special Filipino nights during each of the sports team’s scheduled matches, the Sydney King on October 27 and the Western Wanderers on November 7th.

PASC President Mr Manny Castillo OAM placed the number of visitors who came to the  Fiesta at 20,000. It as the third consecutive time in three years that the Fiesta was held at the Fairfield Showground in Fairfield, NSW.

Mr Castillo said traditional sponsors which brought Philippine movie-TV and entertainment celebrities  in previous years including TV network ABS-CBN, phone card company GlobeTel, and money remittance Western Union did not propose similar project this year.

An army of 2,000 volunteers, contractors  of stall businesses, community entertainers, civic leaders not to mention PASC directors and officers, publicists had been relied upon working together in one daylong meeting.

Out of a total of 15 beautiful candidates, Miss Melanie Balagtas eventually  won the dual title of Miss Philippines Australia 2013 and Charity Queen 2013 during the obligatory Fiesta beauty pageant that closed the festivity in the evening of the Labor Day public holiday.

The Fiesta continued to attract participation in putting up small business, civic, arts and crafts and  Australian agency campaign stalls during the Fiesta.

A separate Arts and Crafts pavilion housed Filipiniana crafts, books display, Philippine textile products and exhibition by the Filipino press group of Sydney representing  Filipino newspaper publishers and community radio broadcasters.