Lorin RoweEvery year Pistang Pilipino is getting bigger and better. Congratulations to the Committee and Organisers of Pistang Pilipino Sa Wellington 2016 led by Boni Laranang. Our first night was very exciting and inspiring listening to our top politicians and leaders at The Beehive Parliament Building during Meet & Greet Night which Ulinda and I have attended. It was an honor and privileged to meet Bill English, NZ’s Deputy Prime Minister and H.E Jesus S. Domingo, Ambassador of the Philippines to NZ. An inspirational and encouraging message from Bill English “there should be a Filipino in a Parliament”, this will help expand our relationship with New Zealand as a whole. Seeing and catching up with old friends and acquaintances from other parts of NZ is special and humbling. This is the time of the year that we reminisce and reflect ourselves to the phenomenal task that the host city is facing at that moment.

This year’s event was far more exciting and challenging. The Philippine Festival is the theme of the Cultural Show. Extravagant, vibrant coloured costumes, loud and rhythmic sound of drums and happy faces are the words to describe that Philippine Festival has come to Wellington. Five different Festival Group participated in this event. There were Masskara of CAPO Auckland, Dinagyang of PCA Palmerston North, Pintados of Christchurch, Ati Atihan of Wellington and our very own TFSI Pasalamat. TFSI Tribal Dance Group (Pasalamat) joined the parade in the morning and performed in the evening. We did not get the prize but to us, we’re all a winner. We were very proud to be there and our goal was to participate. This made a huge contribution to the cultural aspect of the Society and the objectives of the Federation alike. Thank you to all our amazing performers and their families for their dedication and great support throughout the whole time of the rehearsals and Labour Weekend. Special thank you to Gemma & Sarah Evans for choreograph and making of props, Rose Smith for sewing our costumes and Ryan Inocencio for making TFSI banner & printed t-shirt. Also thank you to Creative NZ and TSB Community Trust for the approval of the grants application which I have applied towards our costumes. Also thank you to all members who have helped raise some money towards Pistang Pilipino event.

Federation AGM was an interesting to hear and discuss important matters and updated issues. New members was announced and welcomed. Christchurch, the 2017 host city gave their insight of the next Pistang Pilipino. Ecumenical Prayer followed by Catholic Mass was also organised for Sunday. The selection of Filipino foods at the food market was superb and appetizing. TV One Programme “Kiwi Living” filmed and showed some of the footage on tv and can be repeatedly viewed on TVNZ On Demand.

Congratulations to Karena and Grace Rosal for winning silver in Badminton Under 19 Doubles & Grace Rosal for bronze medal in Badminton Under 19 Singles. Also thank you to Shayenne Galiste for her participation and Basketball Under 19 Team for their love of basketball.

Pageant Night was very entertaining. Eight lovely candidates joined the competition and Rovelyn Milford of Palmerston North was crowned Miss Philippines-New Zealand 2016. We were very sorry to inform our members that our candidate Jenny Gutang have decided to withdraw her entry from the competition at the last minute, due to unexpected and unavoidable health issues. I have informed and apologised to the Pageant Organisers, Pistang Pilipino Committee and Federation for the decision made by Jenny. Overall, Pistang Pilipino once again made us Filipinos and other nationalities united socially, culturally and spiritually. Promoting and preserving our culture in NZ is our way of informing, educating and enriching our younger ones and the generations to come. Again, thank you and congratulations to the Federation and it’s members, Pistang Pilipino Sa Wellington 2016 Committee & Organisers, supporters and to all the people involved in this annual event. Maraming Salamat sa lahat!

On the other matters……..
TFSI Tribal Dance Group and members will join the New Plymouth Christmas Parade on 26 November 2016, along Devon Street (CBD), weather permitting, parade will start at 6 PM from Clock Tower

Multi Ethnic Extravaganza 2017 will be held in March, exact date and venue to be announced

The Taranaki Filipino Community Groups have decided to hold a “Unified Filipino Christmas Party” on 17 December 2016 at Hawera Presbyterian Hall, Hawera, 5:30 P M Start, Potluck Dinner. Gold coin donation is greatly appreciated. Everyone is invited to celebrate and join our first time ever Taranaki Filipino Christmas Party.

Have a Merry and Safe Christmas to all!

Lorin Rowe