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Philippines Receives Top Honors in Asian Festival in Virginia

RESTON, VIRGINIA - The Philippines received top honors in the annual Asian Festival here and was awarded "Best Over-All" exhibit in the Festival's Destination Asia. This is the second year in a row the Philippines received an award from the organizers.

The Philippines earned high marks from the judges for its integrated showcase of culture, history and heritage through creative, colorful, informative and innovative displays.

The Philippines Exhibit drew inspiration from the diversity of the country and had for its theme: Destination Philippines: Diverse, Different, Delightful. Docents dressed in the Philippine National and regional attire greeted visitors and provided historic and cultural information on the Philippines, giving visitors a virtual tour of the country. A flat screen television provided audio visual support for the docents' tour of the Exhibit.

Among the highlight sections of the Exhibit were the musical traditions and costumes from the Southern Philippines, including the kulintang, woven products from the Northern Philippines and carvings from Paete, the Philippines' wood carving capital. Also featured were religious items, costumes from the Philippines, miniature settings and displays of modes of transportation, including the jeepney, the tricycle and the Philippines' flag carrier. Panels of notable Filipino-Americans showed the contributions of the Filipino-American community to mainstream American society.

A collection of fruit carvings by Filipino carvers Eric Baisas, Angelito Baban, Marcelo Dalagan was displayed at the center of the Exhibit. The fruit carvings showed interpretations of various Philippine sceneries. The fruit carvers likewise conducted a demonstration of their fruit carving abilities to the Exhibit's visitors.

Folk dances such as tinikling and sayaw sa bangko were performed in front of the Exhibit by the Bicol Association of Metro Washington, DC; Angklung bamboo music was also performed. After the performances,
visitors were asked to participate, an interactive feature which the judges of the competition duly noted. Colorful Philippine costumes were also paraded in front of the Exhibit, giving visitors an overview of the diversity of Philippine attire.

Meanwhile, at the main stage of the festival, Sayaw sa Bangko was performed with representatives of the Filipino-American Community showing their support on stage. Filipino-American singer and musical theater actress Stephanie Reese performed three songs and dedicated a kundiman to President Corazon C. Aquino who recently passed away.

Philippine Ambassador Willy Gaa lauded the participation of the Filipino-American community for their support and continued partnership with the Embassy of the Philippines.

"This demonstrates the strong bayanihan spirit that remains alive here in the Greater DC area. We hope that with this show of support, more people will get to know more about the Philippines and our rich culture and heritage," said Ambassador Gaa.

The Philippine Exhibit is a partnership between the Embassy of the Philippines and the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc. with the support of its member organizations, Paete Carvers Association, Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity, Tau Gamma Sigma Sorority, Barangay ng Sining Pilipino, Tanghalang Pilipino Angklung Ensemble, UP Alumni Association of DC/MD/VA, College of the Holy Spirit Alumnae Association, World Bank Group-IMF Filipino Association (WBIFA) and Philippine American Metropolitan Washington Engineers (PAMWE), NaFFAA and Travel Outlet. END

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Consul Gines Gallaga
Press and Information Officer
Email: ggallaga@cox. net
Tel: 202-467-9432

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