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Fiesta Arts & Crafts with PH Ambassador Belen Anota

Filipino Arts and Crafts Get A Boost in Recent Fiesta Kultura

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Filipino Press Group of Sydney displays include collectible past year’s newspaper editions
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EcoFriend products are wallet and purses crafted out of recycled tetra paks and other grocery packagings
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1900s facsimiles of Rizal’s historic “Noli and “Fili” books
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A dozen ways to weave the Filipino Pinya fiber, barong apparel notwithstanding

THREE YEARS running now, the Arts and Crafts pavilion in the annual Sydney Philippine Fiesta Kultura has

been boosted by recent interests showed by visitors including  a brief  presence by  Philippine Ambassador to Australia Her Excellency Belen Anota accompanied by Philippine Consul General to Sydney Anne Jalando-on Louis.

The Arts and Crafts section of the Fiesta was initiated in 2011 by a group of  Sydney artists and  “social business” entrepreneurs led by Menchie Maneze, partner of multi-awarded Filipino Australian artist and cartoonist Mr Edd Aragon of Sydney.

This year’s pavilion  comprised of  small businesses including previous years exhibitors such as the Filipino “pinya” textile producer FINYA led by Mr Miguel Ortigas,  Ecofriend Gift Shop by Sydney CBD socio-environment entreprenenur Jaynzee Tolaram, NSW-based Filipino handicraft reseller Mrs Myra Robinson of Blacktown as well as Manila Print the publisher of Philippine history titles under local Sydney resident Mr Renato Perdon.

The latter displayed again his collection of Philippine history books incuding the rare copy of 1920’s facsimiles of Rizal’s books Noli me Tangere and “El Filibustersimo”, easily a hit to visiting “selfie” photographers.

New exhibitors this year include prolific Western Sydney art painter Jess Velasco, a Filipino parol (latern) DIY craftsman, and the sizable group exhibit by the Filipino Press Group which counts local Philppine community newspaper publishers, community radio broadcasters, web news publishers and artists as members.

Filpress Group stall exhibitors particularly community radio broadcasters conducted impromptu interviews inside the pavilion of local Sydney notable artists, entrepreneurs and Philippine community identities who happened to visit the Sydney Fiesta Kultura.

Arts and Crafts convenor Menchie Maneze and artist Edd Aragon who had an artist booth in previous years and marvelled visitors with his impromptu cartoon drawing on site skipped this years pavilion display this time because of an earlier decision to have a year long sabbatical in Manila this year.  The 2013 coordinator is Mrs Josie Musa of Adhika Filipino program at WOW radio 99.8 FM in St Marys NSW who also coordinated the exhibit of the group Filipino Press Group of Sydney.

The idea for an Arts and Crafts pavilion came about partly because of the presence of a convenient structure in the Fairfield Showground venue for an area for the purpose and to encourage arts and crafts small businesses to display their wares at the Fiesta.

This year PASC offered even more generous terms for exhibitors in the pavilion including free access to the Fiesta by exhibitors’ staff, available stall display tables, and redirection of pedestrian traffic thorough the pavilion hall.  Overseas small businesses desiring to display Philippine handicrafts in next year’s fiesta, may contact PASC  and make reservation through its web site