Photos by Violi Calvert
On Saturday, 24 March 2012 the sun shone brightly through clear blue skies. After a few weekends of rain, the people of the Central Coast area’s prayers for good weather were answered as the day sparkled for their 15th year fiesta. The event which was organised by the the Central Coast Ugnay Kabayan was held at the grounds at the back of the Mingara Recreation Club in Tumbi Umbi. There was no fee to enter, just the normal sign-on procedures which clubs are required by law to follow.
The festivities started with a mass which was celebrated by Fr Thaddeus Okolo, Parish Priest of St Patrick’s in Gosford and the talk by the Consul General Hon Anne Jalando-on Louis.
There would have been more than 600 people enjoying the day. Most of them were enjoying the program on centre stage while several where in queues at the stalls selling food, merchandise and services. Among the stalls was the Philippine Consulate General’s information and registration booth for overseas absentee voting. ‘ConGen’ happily conversed with people who approached her and also obliged to have photos taken with them.
Later in the afternoon, the crowd was also addressed by the Member for Robertson, Hon Deborah O’Neill who also bought a copy of ~One~ Charity CD as a gesture of her support to the project aimed at helping the survivors of the Washi/Sendong typhoon.
Bryson Gonzales who did a great job as Emcee ensured that the program of entertainment moved smoothly. The crowd was entertained by talented singers of various ages; one of the impressive performances was the group a-capella rendition of “When I Fall in Love” and “Man in the Mirror”. There was also the traditional folk dance tinikling [bamboo dance] with the usual audience participation. The students of the Filipino language class also had a part in the program, where they shared what they learned in greetings and simple conversation. The highlights for the children were the palo sebo [bamboo pole climb] where prize money at the top of the pole was won by climbing the slippery pole and the pabitin [lattice of bamboo lattice] which had attached lollies being lowered and raised quickly allowing children to grab the lollies or candies.
We had the chance to catch up too with a couple of “non-local” attendees – Rey Manoto and Elsa Collado of the Rizal Park Movement. They shared the news that they are in initial talks with the Central Coast Ugnay Kabayan officers, regarding the staging in the Central Coast area the play “Her Son, Jose Rizal”.
The atmosphere was certainly typical of a happy fiesta where people happily spent the day together. They appreciated the palabas [program of entertainment] while they were enjoying various Filipino dishes and desserts. Those in the food queue took the opportunity to catch up and shared news from their local areas and the Philippines.
What an enjoyable day! Already, everyone has expressed their desire to participating in next year’s celebration.