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09/08/2009: Filipino Festival in Richmond Virginia Cited as “Opportunity for Cultural Exchange”

09 AUGUST 2009 RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - The Richmond Times Dispatch here has described the Filipino Festival at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Henrico County here as an “opportunity for cultural exchange” that was “evident among the young  people.”

The Festival, now on its fourth year, topped last year’s attendance of 4,300.

Featuring Filipino cuisine, folk dances, and music, the Filipino Festival has attracted thousands of attendees from Richmond and surrounding cities and counties who want to experience the best of the Philippines without leaving Virginia.

Children too were introduced to traditional Filipino games such as sungka and stilts.

Filipino-American children “get the opportunity to take pride in their parents’ culture, their heritage,” reported the Richmond Times Dispatch.  With 40 children of non-Filipino descent participating in the dances, the event also taught “respect for cultural diversity in our young parishioners, said Festival Chair Rosario Igharas.

One of the highlight presentations was an authentic Canao by descendants of Filipinos from Bontoc, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Abra and Kalinga-Apayao (BIMAAK).  Performers are from Maryland, Northern VA, and the Hampton Roads area.

According to Igharas, the Filipino Festival is a “unique celebration of community, volunteerism and fun for people of all ages.”

“To the over one hundred Filipino youth in the area who perform dances and songs, the Filipino festival is a culmination of nine months of cultural immersion in bi-weekly classes that teach them their parents’ language, culture, stories, history, dances and songs.  It provides a safe environment for them to fellowship, learn and take pride in their rich cultural heritage,” she added.

In extending the greetings and well wishes of Ambassador Willy C. Gaa, Third Secretary and Vice Consul Gaa likewise commended the organization for its efforts in “promoting, preserving and highlighting Filipino culture.”

“This is a demonstration of the strong bayanihan spirit here in Richmond Virginia,” said Borje.

Igharas and Borje both agreed agreed on the importance of collaboration for projects  promoting Filipino culture, with Igharas committing to support the Philippines’ participation in the Asian Festival in Reston Virginia next year. END.

Richmond Locals Join Festival Celebrating Filipino Culture and Heritage

09 AUGUST 2009 RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - Richmond locals join a performance of the traditional Canao by Filipinos of Bontoc, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Abra and Kalinga-Apayao (BIMAAK) descent.   Performers came from Maryland, Northern VA, and the Hampton Roads area and the BIMAAK Association in DC and Baguio FilAm of Tidewater.  The canao was a highlight in the Filipino Festival at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Henrico County here.  The festival was described as an “opportunity for cultural exchange” by the Richmond Times Dispatch.   Filipino-American children “get the opportunity to take pride in their parents’ culture, their heritage,” reported the Richmond Times Dispatch.  With 40 children of non-Filipino descent participating in the dances, the event also taught “respect for cultural diversity in our young parishioners, said Festival Chair Rosario Igharas. Photo courtesy of Filipino Festival Committee. END.

Filipino Music Fills the Air in Richmond Festival


09 AUGUST 2009 RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - A trio of musicians in traditional Filipiniana attire entertain visitors to the Filipino Festival here.   Dominic Martinez, Veronica Kennedy and Paul Jany are parishioners of the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, venue of the Filipino Festival.  The trio played popular folk melodies and kundimans.  The festival, now on its 4th year, was described as an “opportunity for cultural exchange” by the Richmond Times Dispatch.   Filipino-American children “get the opportunity to take pride in their parents’ culture, their heritage,” reported the Richmond Times Dispatch.  With 40 children of non-Filipino descent participating in the dances, the event also taught “respect for cultural diversity in our young parishioners, said Festival Chair Rosario Igharas. The Festival is undertaken by the Filipino parishioners of the Our Lady of Lourdes and supported by the Church.  Photo courtesy of Filipino Festival Committee.

Filipino-American Youth Take Pride in their Heritage, Culture at Virginia Filipino Festival

09 AUGUST 2009 RICHMOND, VIRGINIA A pair of Filipino-American parishioners from the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church here wait for their turn to perform at the Filipino Fetsival here.   The festival, now on its 4th year, was described as an “opportunity for cultural exchange” by the Richmond Times Dispatch.   Filipino-American children “get the opportunity to take pride in their parents’ culture, their heritage,” reported the Richmond Times Dispatch.  With 40 children of non-Filipino descent participating in the dances, the event also taught “respect for cultural diversity in our young parishioners, said Festival Chair Rosario Igharas. The Festival is undertaken by the Filipino parishioners of the Our Lady of Lourdes and supported by the Church. END.