The cold and windy weather on Sun., May 11 did not stop the participants in a fun-filled fiesta celebration in Kildonan Park by the families and friends of Filipinos with roots from Barangay (Barrio) San Jose, from the city of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines.
In Winnipeg, this fiesta has evolved to be mainly a reunion of friends and relatives, not primarily a religious event.
Atty Leo Aniceto welcomed the participants while an opening prayer was offered before the start of the lunch and Tyndall Park MLA Ted Marcelino offered a short message for the occasion.
The potluck lunch with the best of Filipino food was served featuring Filipino style roast pig, grilled pork chops, pork adobo, noodles (pancit), fried chicken, goat meat (kalderita), vegetables (pinakbet), egg rolls plus desserts such as leche plan, homemade rice cakes and cookies with cooled drinks.
The prizes for the poster-making contest for kids were awarded before the start of the parloir games for kids and adults.
The place was decorated with multi-coloured papers and live karaoke added to the festive atmosphere to the occasion.
"Holding a fiesta gives us the opportunity to demonstrate that we have this wonderful event that has become part of our heritage. It is important to share our tradition to our children," said one former San Jose resident. "Hopefully, our children will learn to appreciate it and will understand the culture we came to know."
There were other visitors of Ilocos heritage present, speaking the Ilocano dialect, the local dialect of Ilocos Sur province in the Philippines.
Other guests present were the officers and members of the Filipino Canadian Technical Professionals Association of Manitoba (FCTPAM), led by incoming president Cris Santos, along with outgoing president Norman Padilla, director Opel Miguel and adviser Mar Mance.
Vigan, where Barangay San Jose is located, is one of the Philippines’s most beautiful cities, as it showcases the Spanish heritage of the country with Spanish monumental buildings built in the 18th century.
It was fitting that the San Jose’s fiesta theme this year was, "Family and Friends Gathering Together."
The group is looking forward to more activities at next year’s celebration.
Reyn Cruz is a community correspondent for Tyndall Park.