VANCOUVER, BC — Homesick Filipinos came in droves to experience Pinoy-style Christmas at the festival “Maligayang Pasko, Vancouver,” hosted and organized by the Philippine consulate.
And it did not disappoint.
Guests were reminded of home with native delicacies and other goodies, from parol-making sessions, storytelling and Christmas caroling.
“Yung goal talaga namin is to create a philippine experience para yung mga kababayan natin na namimiss ang pilipinas ma-engganyo na umuwi; yung mga bata na hindi pa nakakapagpasko sa pilipinas, maintindihan nila yung ating kultura at mga tradisyon sa pasko,” said Consul General Maria Andrelita Austria. “Ito po ay part ng aming economic diplomacy and cultural diplomacy efforts saka para po makapagbigay ng saya para po sa mga kababayan natin.”
“Our goal is to create a Philippine experience for our fellow Filipinos who miss the Philippines. We want to encourage them to also visit the Philippines, for the kids that have not spent Christmas there to understand our Christmas culture and tradition. These are part of our economic and cultural diplomacy efforts, as well as to give joy to our fellow Filipinos.”
The event was vigorously promoted through social media, TV ads and flyers given to applicants at the consulate office — and it paid off.
Hordes of people flocked to the Ukrainian centre in Vancouver to sample treats made by Filipino-Canadian entrepreneurs as well as Manila-based companies like Potato Corner and Goldilocks.
All expenses were shouldered by the consulate.
Austria said the overwhelming response from the Filipino community more than makes up for their difficulties.
“Our hearts are filled to see that many people came and enjoyed and remembered the way we celebrate Christmas back home.”
She hopes this will become an annual treat for Pinoys here at Christmas time.