[Information about the history sourced from Pistang Pilipino 2012 sa Auckland Infopack]
The Filipino community from almost all over New Zealand gathers during Labour Weekend each year to celebrate our culture. Each passing year, the host city brings together Filipinos from different places and cities to showcase their talents in a weekend of sports events, cultural performances and even a beauty pageant. This annual celebration gives old and new Filipinos in New Zealand a chance to interact with one another as well as take pride and enjoy our culture even for at least three days. From its simple beginnings, the Labour Weekend Reunion has grown incredibly big and its identity institutionalised within the Filipino migrant community.
HOW WE STARTED
The beginning of the Labour Weekend reunion in Auckland was a lot more modest than what it is now. One of the so- called “pioneers”, Carina King or “Manang Caring” as fondly known, recalls that in 1976, she, her husband Chris King and a few others including Doctor Tony Noblejas QSM, began a small gathering of Filipinos in Auckland. Like the other Filipinos around during that time, Manang Caring was searching for something that reminded her of home. “I was very homesick,” she remembers as she explains the difficulties of being in a new country where the culture is very different and there is a language barrier to overcome. “I would walk to every brown person and ask “Filipino?’” she adds. With the small group of Filipinos they knew, they started to have barbeques and played mah-jong and cards to at least feel home together in an unfamiliar place…Doctor Tony Noblejas reminisced that during the mid-70’s, other Filipinos across the country were already having gatherings of their own. And as groups gather in pockets during labour weekend, words spread around and they started inviting each other. By the late 80’s, discussions about annual reunion began to evolve.
And the rest is history.
- 1976 – First Filipino Social Club initiated in Auckland
- 1977 – First joint gathering of Filipinos during Labour weekend in Hamilton. It was a barbecue gathering attended by groups from Wellington, Rotorua, Auckland and Hamilton.
- 1988 – Tauranga hosted the first organised Filipino community Labour weekend celebration. The event featured cultural presentation and the first pageant contest
- 1991 – Labour Weekend reunion hosted by Wellington. Memorandum of Agreement to form the Federation of Filipino Clubs and Societies in NZ presented to and signed by 9 organisation leaders
- 1993 – Auckland hosted the Paligsahan sa Auckland ‘93. First Steering Committee created to establish the Federation
- 1994 – Federation of Filipino Clubs and Societies Inc. launched and first election of officers held. Christchurch Hosted the Labour weekend celebration
- 1995 – Fiesta Filipinas in Tauranga
- 1996 – Halina sa Wellington ‘96
- 1997 – Pagkakaisa ’97 in Palmerston North
- 1998 – Alay sa Kalayaan held in Auckland in lieu of the Labour weekend reunion. The federation officially registered as FFASCNZI
- 1999 – Hamilton hosted Pistang Pinoy ’99 Labour weekend celebration
- 2000 – Katipunan 2000 in Christchurch
- 2001 – Balikatan at Kasayahan sa Rotorua
- 2002 – Baliksaya sa Wellington 2002
- 2003 – Pistahan sa Auckland 2003
- 2004 – Fiesta sa Tauranga 2004
- 2005 – Christchurch
- 2006 – Palmerston North
- 2007 – Rotorua
- 2008 – Hamilton
- 2009 – Wellington
- 2010 – Pistang Pilipino sa North Shore (Auckland)
- 2011 – Pistang Pilipino 2011 sa Hamilton
- 2012 – Pistang Pilipino 2012 sa Auckland
- 2013 – Pistang Pilipino 2013 sa Rotorua
- 2014 – Pistang Pilipino 2014 sa New Plymouth
While in New Plymouth, try to visit some of New Plymouth attractions.