Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Philippine Fiesta Victoria 2008

My friend Keiran rang me up and asked if I was interested in going to the Philippine Fiesta. I had never even heard of it, but I'm always up for any festivals. So he came by and gave me a lift to Laverton, where there is apparently a large Philipino community there and where the festival has been held for the last few years.

This festival is on on the 29-30th Novemeber each year, as far as a quick Google search shows. So you can see how far behind my blog posting has been. Too many things to do, not enough time etc etc etc.

Anyway, the festival was housed in this fenced off ground. There were just so many people there, crammed into a relatively small space. Unlike past festivals I've been to, they're usually a bit more spread out. The only one that was more packed was at Box Hill for Chinese New Year. You literally could not move there.

This festival still was extremely packed. Even the queue to get into the gates was so long. Luckily, we bought tickets off a guy who was walking around selling them. We might have been scalped, but luckily, the tickets were real and we basically walked right in, bypassing a queue of at least one hundred people going both directions.

The grounds were all dead grass with rubbish everywhere. There was smoke all over the place from the BBQs. This whole scenario just kept making me think of Mad Max, where there is chaos and a sense of futility. Don't ask me why, but that's what I was thinking at the time.

Not to be fazed, Keiran and I were hungry so headed to get food. The queues for the food stalls were a bit hap-hazard and it took Keiran a good 30 minutes at least to get some chicken skewers, in which he ended up dropping one anyway.

I went to other stalls first and got myself green mangoes, this fruit ice drink, churros, flan and then back to get some chicken skewers when the queue only took about 2 minutes for me. The food was all very good. I liked the drink which had a mixture of flan, fruit, jelly, taro and syrup with ice. The flan was also good, as were the very crisp churros straight from the oil. The churros were huge and I just managed to finish 5 pieces. The chicken skewers were good but a tad overpriced at $5 each I think.

There were cultural displays in the rooms which was part of the school I think. A very nice lady explained all about Philipino clothing to me. They use natural fibres obviously as that is much cooler. Here were some traditional wedding dresses made from something really weird, but I can't remember now. There was also information about all the islands and the buildings there. The churches there are beautiful and look like those in Macau, with the Portugese influence.

There was lots of singing and dancing on the stage, most of which I couldn't understand. Occasionally they would break out into Philiglish, a mixture of Philipino and English. I got the drift of what was happening and some songs were in English. It was a fun day overall, a tad chaotic but I'm glad to now know more about Philipino culture and customs.

On the way home, we drove past the Victorian Go Karts track. They had a meet on so we stopped and had a quick look. These people were really serious about the go kart racing, with team mechanics and proper uniforms and everything. It just goes to show what a huge sub culture there is for any activity. I guess food blogging is one of those sub cultures? Anyway, seeing those guys zoom around the track at very fast speeds was rather exciting, makes me want to go go karting again. This track did have a better than usual backdrop.

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