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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

EVENT: Showcase of the Philippines
THE Filipino community in Qatar led by the Philippine Independence Day Committee (PIDC) Tourism Committee, will be hosting a two-day cultural and tourism presentation at the Hyatt Plaza Mall Food Court on June 5 and 6, free of entrance fee.

The programme will feature performances of traditional dances from different regions and provinces in the Philippines by Doha-based Filipino artistes. A presentation of the prime tourist destinations of the Southeast Asian country, with emphasis on the City of Vigan (one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines) which is a nominee for the ongoing search for the new Seven Wonders City of the World, will also be part of the presentation first time to be hosted by the community.

The event is among the kick-off programmes being organised to mark the grand celebration in Qatar of the 116th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence to be held at the Al Rayyan Sport Club on June 13. The Philippine Independence day officially falls on June 12.

"It has become a challenge for the Philippine Embassy Doha to host an event that would showcase our rich heritage to the international community here. With other Embassies hosting their own cultural celebrations such as the Chinese week held in Katara, we also thought of giving a chance for the different communities in Qatar to witness and experience our own diverse culture," Ed Alcantara of PIDC Tourism Committee told Qatar Tribune on Tuesday.

Alcantara added that the cultural presentations would be done in a travelogue style thus the title 'Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang' (The Travelogue of Grandma Basyang). Lola Basyang is a famous character in the Philippine folktale. She is a grandmother who tells fantasy stories to children while seated on a rocking chair. The classic anthology of short stories written by Severino Reyes has been adapted in books, comics, television and film.

Alcantara said the event will demonstrate the festive spirit in the Philippines through the presentation of world renowned festivals in the country such as the Masskara Festival of Bacolod (street dancing participated by people with different masks) and Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo City (both a religious and cultural event). The festivals are just among the major events in the Philippines that attract foreign visitors annually.

The cultural presentation is a joint effort of different Filipino organisations. Among the partners and supporters of the event include FFL Migrant Workers, Philippine International School in Qatar (PISQ), Philippine School Doha, Beats & Bytes Productions, Beats & Bytes Dancers, DT Talents and Events, Doha Trendsetters, Extreme Level Dancers, M2CD and the Middle East International School.