Filipinos from across the Yukon will descend on Whitehorse’s Rotary Park this weekend for the second annual Filipino Fiesta, a two-day event celebrating the Philippines’ music, food and culture.
Festivities will kick off at 9 a.m. on July 15 and attendees can expect a full docket of events, including Zumba, karaoke, parlour games and a cultural dance presentation.
On July 16, the Filipino Fiesta will start with the annual Unity Bike Ride at 7:30 a.m. before transitioning to a volleyball tournament, live music and face painting.
Local foodies might be interested in attending the free lunch on July 15, which will feature an array of culinary delicacies from the Southeast Asian nation, including Philippine-style chicken adobo, roasted pig, noodle dishes and rice.
“We will be providing a famous roasted pig, they call it lechon back home. So, there’ll be free lechon over there to be provided,” Aurora Viernes, president of the Canadian Filipino Association in the Yukon (CFAY), told the News.
Food trucks will sell snacks on-site on the Filipino Fiesta’s second day.
According to Viernes, cultural cosmonauts interested in learning more about the Philippines’ culture should check out the traditional parlour games on Saturday and the live music on Sunday.
“I would encourage them to come to do the traditional parlour games […] This would be a good time to see it because it’s part of the festivities, a part of the celebration,” Viernes said.
“[Last year], I overheard an eight-year-old boy who said, ‘If I’m going home to the Philippines, Mom, I would like to play these games once again.’ He was so excited.”
In a small nod to the diversity of the Philippines, an archipelagic country composed of more than 7,600 islands, Filipinos attending the celebration are encouraged to wear a specific colour to represent the geographical division of the Philippines they hail from.
People from Mindanao are asked to wear blue, while people from Visayas, home to the popular vacation destinations of Cebu and Bohol, are encouraged to wear red. Folks from the Luzon island group, home to the nation’s capital, Manila, should wear white.
The Yukon is home to a sizable Filipino community. According to the most recent Canadian census, there were 1,945 Filipino people in the Yukon in 2021, making them the most common visible minority group in the territory at 38.4 per cent. Of the 5,380 immigrants in the Yukon the same year, 1,405 were born in the Philippines, making the nation the most common birthplace among immigrants.
Filipino Fiesta is organized by the CFAY and is sponsored by the Yukon government.
Contact Matthew Bossons at email@example.com