THE Filipino-Australian Community Association in Eastern Sydney (FACAES), Australia convened people of various cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds to enjoy the 5th Randwick Fiesta celebration, which highlights different cultural traditions and shared experiences.
In 2007, during a birthday celebration with mostly Filipino nurses from the United Kingdom, Precy Santos, who later was unanimously voted as President, suggested starting an organization to help Filipino Migrants cope up with their new life in Sydney.
The Filipino-Australian Community Association Eastern Sydney (FACAES) isn’t held on a specific day, although it usually falls within the month of September as was discussed by the leaders of the organization.
As the main supporter of FACAES, the Randwick Council has sponsored the community event to further promote the gathering within Eastern Sydney.
Crowds ranging from 600 to 700 participants flocked to the cultural gathering, some coming from all over Sydney just to experience the heartwarming inclusivity promoted by the organization as well as the free entertainment, music, and food.
The celebration opened with the Australian National Anthem (Advance Australia Fair), followed by the Philippine National Anthem (Lupang Hinirang).
Next was an intermission series of voluntary entertainers such as singers that started with Nathaniel Gale, followed by bands – one of which was the South Sydney High School Band.
A cultural dance competition came after which consisted of participants dancing Indonesian Traditional dance Bandung, from West Java, as well as Aboriginal and Filipino traditional dances.
The organization promised rewards for the winners of the cultural dance competition with $500 for the First place, $300 for the 2nd place, $200 for 3rd place and $100 for 4th place.
Rodrick Aguilar, acting Vice President of FACAES shared that although the organization is focused on promoting the Filipino Community in Eastern Sydney and is a Filipino-led organization, it also welcomes migrants from all ethnicities and cultures.
“It’s a community event. We bring the communities together from different cultures. It’s a multicultural event. It’s more in the eastern suburb area we’re trying to get all of the Filipinos, and Indonesians, and all the Indian community together into one event,’’ Rodrick Aguilar, Acting Vice President of FACAES stated.
“The advocacy of this festival is to spread the Filipino culture and bring our compatriots together again here in Sydney to celebrate the Filipino culture,’’ according to Rado Gatchalian, Event Host.
Finally, FACAES held beauty pageants such as Miss Sydney, Mrs. Sydney, and Little Miss Australia to raise funds.
Proceeds for the event were donated to various charities such as the House of Refuge Foundation in Quezon City, Holy Rosary Foundation School in Caloocan, and Sydney Breast Cancer in Australia.
The candidate who raised the most funds earned the title of Charity Queen. Winners also earned $500 as an incentive for their contribution.
Thousands of people all over Sydney continue to bond together to embrace multicultural inclusivity here in the Filipino-Australian Fiesta 2023.