This year’s festival is promising to be an eye-catcher. Photo: SEAN PLETA


This month is fiesta time when the Bendigo-Filipino Foundation celebrates all things Filipino.

The BFFI is a fundraising body founded in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. 

Haiyan was the strongest storm to make landfall in history causing enormous devastation and loss of life in the central Visayas region of the Philippines. 

Foundation president Maria Gillies said one of the remotest area hit by the typhoon was the Doong-Bantayan group of islands in the northern section of the Cebu province. 

“From the immediate aftermath of the typhoon, the BFFI with the help of the Bendigo community has provided much needed relief goods, and after successful fundraising activities, we were able to provide construction of 40 houses and repair of additional 20 dwellings,” she said.

“However, to help rebuild the lives of the affected families, we believe that we have to move on by helping them rebuild their means of livelihood.

“The Bendigo Filipino Fiesta 2018 with the theme Sama Samang Saya meaning happy together, is partly a way to raise funds for the community that we are helping in the Philippines, but the main purpose of the Fiesta is to showcase our Filipino culture, foods and Filipino talents, most of all it is to promote social cohesion and better understanding of our culture to central Victoria.”

Ms Gillies said the second purpose of the Bendigo Filipino Fiesta 2018 is to educate the second generations of Filipino – Australian about the Filipino Culture, as well as raise the profile of the Filipino migrants in central Victoria.

“The fiesta will have
food stalls, we will have dancing, singing, and games as well as the Parade of beautiful muses called  Santacruzan in the Filipino culture when there is a Fiesta the Reyna or Queen will be chosen.”

The Bendigo Filipino Fiesta  takes place on Saturday, April 21 in Hargreaves Mall.

It starts at 11am and will finish around 4pm. Entry is free.