Surrey was never as busy as it was over the last weekend as it hosted two big events in the city – the Surrey Fusion Festival, and the first ever in BC Surrey Fiesta Extravaganza, which found its way to the west coast after years of events in Ontario. Expanding its reach to BC and to NewFoundland, Fiesta Extravaganza showcases Filipino-Canadian talents and businesses as it celebrates the independence day of the Philippines throughout the summer.
Many performers were slated for both days, July 22 and 23, and Canadians flocked to the Civic Plaza in Surrey for the two whole day events. Showcasing BC Fil-Canadian businesses, it was also host to a Santacruzan with a line up of young, teen and adult female beauty queens with their escorts. In attendance was Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke, Consul General of the Philippines Arlene Magno, Conservative MP Ed Fast, MLA Mable Elmore, Gen. Azurin of the PNP, and other special guests.
Performances from singers and dancers from the community entertained the crowd, as Himig Kabataan, Vancouver’s first Fil-Canadian youth choral group began the program with the national anthems of Canada and the Philippines, followed by a heartfelt prayer in both Tagalog and English by Fr. Junjie Zarate of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish. The program was hosted by Gizelle Mirasol from Fiesta Extravaganza Toronto and Rosette Correa of PNC-Balitang Vancouver, with Salve Dayao and Jojo Alpuerto hosting the events later in the day. On Sunday, actress and musician Yam Concepcion wowed the audience who eagerly awaited her performance.
The event was staged for the first time in Surrey by the Fil-Canadian Cultural Heritage Society of Surrey (FCCHS) headed by Primarosa Roine, and Rey Fortaleza of Reyfort Media Group, who initiated the bringing of the event to BC with its founder Von Canton. The success of the event was due to the hard work and effort of FCCHS and its board members.
FCCHS hopes to bring Fiesta Extravaganza every year to Surrey.
By Rosette Correa