LONDON - How do Filipinos celebrate a modern day barrio fiesta away from home? Food, revelry, various acts highlighting Filipino culture, local and foreign celebrities are part of a time-tested formula to gather Pinoys from diverse backgrounds in one venue.
The 28th Barrio Fiesta event organized by the Philippine Centre, a registered charity in the UK, in partnership with The Filipino Channel, proved to be a success with more 60,000 people descending on Lampton Park, Hounslow, Greater London to partake in the two-day event on June 30 and July 1.
A fiesta celebration is not complete without the fine-looking muses and their consorts. After a parade in the park grounds on Sunday, the Little Miss Barrio Fiesta 2012 and Ms/Mrs. Barrio Fiesta 2012 were crowned.
The 2-day program also showcased UK-based talents, with acts ranging from traditional to modern songs and dances.
For many Pinoys who attended the event, the program of activities and performances was a real treat.
“Alam mo naman lagi kaming nagta-trabaho, kaya kailangan namin ng happenings, kasiyahan. Kaya nandito kaming lahat,” said London resident Evelyn Binalon
ABS-CBN Kapamilya stars Jericho Rosales, Gerald Anderson, Cristine Reyes and Angelica Panganiban thrilled the crowds with their acts.
They were grateful for the warm welcome they received from the audience.
“Hindi ko ini-expect na ganito kadami ang Pinoy na nandito sa London at sa ibang bansa na dumayo talaga dito. Lahat sila gusto kaming i-tour. Lahat sila gusto kaming i-invite, (but we have) so little time,” said Reyes.
“Alam ko na malaking event talaga siya so nakaka-excite mag-perform. Maraming salamat sa pag-imbita sa akin at sana hindi ito and last na pagpunta ko sa barrio fiesta,” said Panganiban, who performed in her first barrio fiesta in London.
“You can see how Filipinos are ‘sabik’ to see their fellow Filipinos. It makes me proud to be a Filipino artist,” said Rosales.
Sultry comedienne Giselle Sanchez titillated Pinoys with her comedic routines and multi-awarded singer/performer Jed Madela made an impression with Filipinos and Brits alike with his signature power ballads.
The British pop-classical quartet Blake composed of Humphrey Berney, Ollie Baines, Jules Knight and Stephen Bowman serenaded their Pinoy fans with songs from their album ‘Together’.
‘Budoy’ meets fan
Gerald Anderson, who starred in the first ABS-CBN advocacy serye, ‘Budoy’, where he played the role of a boy suffering from a delay in mental development, gained a bigger following amongst parents and children.
In London he met the one of his ardent fans, Adrian Costa, a mentally challenged boy with moderate learning disability.
“I can relate to what has been happening to Budoy and it gives us hope kasi sa teleserye nakita mo ang improvement na nangyari kay Budoy. I’m wishing that Adrian will be like that in the future. That’s why we are here, we want to see him (Anderson),” said Donna Costa.
“I like him in Budoy, he is the best,” said teenage boy Adrian.
Adrian and his mother Donna waited patiently for Anderson to perform. Luckily, they were given the chance to meet ‘Budoy’ face-to-face.
“We want to thank him for doing the teleserye because it gave us hope na di dapat mawalan ng pag-asa ang pamilya na may ganitong anak,” said Costa.
Anderson, for his part, believes that he was able to open the minds of many people as regards children with special needs through his primetime soap "Budoy".
In meeting Adrain and his mother, he said he was privileged to be able to touch people lives through his roles.
“Sobrang ganda ng opportuninty na ito. Nakakasama ko sila at nakaka-relate sila sa mga ginawa ko sa ‘Budoy.’ Sila po talaga ang inspirasyon,” said Anderson.