The Filipino Community in Canberra successfully held the 10th Pasko sa Canberra, the annual Philippine Christmas Festival in Canberra on Sunday, 01 December 2013.
Ms. Cecilia Flores, President of the Filipino Community Council of the ACT (FCCACT), officially opened the event. In her welcome remarks, she thanked the Filipino Community for always supporting the event and the Philippine Embassy for regularly providing the venue for the festivities.
Ambassador Belen F. Anota, in her inspirational message, expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to those who generously extended support and assistance to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and encouraged everyone to continuously extend help for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the affected areas. In the true spirit of Christmas, she called for unity among all kababayans to strengthen our hope for a better tomorrow as the country recovers from the super typhoon.
The Ambassador’s message, was followed by the official opening and ribbon cutting of the newly constructed stage, funded by the Bahay Filipino Fundraising Organization Committee, a project of former Ambassador Cristina D. Ortega and other major sponsors, including various organizations and individuals.
Visitors were able to enjoy Filipino cuisine while witnessing the cultural performances. The Rondanihan group serenaded everyone with Christmas carols, which was followed by a surprise Flash Mob combining the musical talents of Australians and the voices of Filipinos. Philippine Embassy personnel participated in this performance which was organized by Ms. Gemma McKeown, a Filipino-Australian, teaching Music here in Canberra.
Several other cultural extravaganza was witnessed throughout the day and was concluded by with raffle draws, with all the winners going home in smiles.
Approximately 5,000 people attended the celebration, which coincide with the centenary celebration of Canberra.
The Pasko sa Canberra is held every first Sunday of December at the Philipine Embassy grounds.