May 8, 2009
Keeping Our Traditions Alive at the Maui Barrio Fiesta
When May comes, one can't help but reminisce those merrymaking events associated with the hot summer in the Philippines.
It is during this time of the year when fiestas are held in honor of a patron saint and when this religious rite becomes a moment for community gathering and re-gathering. The summer season has its rhyme and reason and this gathering and re-gathering testifies to that as everybody gets involved in the preparation of the town parade of floats festooned with flora with their riot of tropical summer color; the floats would invariably carry the princesses and queens in their finery, with marching bands announcing their reigns or giving off that melodious sound that can only be called joyous. The schools come in for more gaiety, with laughter and smile of the young adding flair to the celebration. In some provinces, the Flores De Mayo and Santacruzan add color and festivity to the season.
On Maui, we bring our indigenious customs and traditions here, we make our culture alive as well. The celebration may not be a copycat of what we have in the Philippines but our act articulates the essence of our coming together each other's company. The various forms of entertainment spice up our fiesta day; games and the sharing of food complete our story of reunion and merriment.
The Barrio Fiesta-Maui Style came to life about four decades ago. This is the only fiesta in the United States within the Filipino-American community that is celebrated for three days. According to Greg Peros, one of the pioneers of the Barrio Fiesta, the event has been held to showcase- and make people understand better- our rich cultural heritage. A unique feature of the event has been the participation of unit organizations that built "bahay kubo," the traditional Filipino. The bahay kubo is a simulation of barrio scene.
This year's 40th Annual Barrio Fiesta will be held May 22-24 at the War Memorial Soccer-Field; Binhi at Ani is coordinating the event.
Expect Filipino games, bahay kubo, delicious Filipino cuisine and pastries, entertainment, and the coronation of Miss Barrio Fiesta.
Let's all have fun and be proud of our heritage.
Aloha and Mabuhay!