Published on

Bulaklak, harana, at sayawan sa The Leaf

by Maryrose Villena, ACC News Correspondent

  leaf igorot
  leaf ukelele

An afternoon full of flowers, cultural celebration, and people. Assiniboine Park’s The Leaf held an event to showcase different local flowers from the Philippines, and performances of fellow Filipinos on March 17.

To pay homage to the richness of Filipino flora and culture, Aira Fusilero Villanueva, a florist from the Philippines, collaborated with The Leaf to organize an event called 7,000 Islands: Kalikasan, Kultura, at Kapwa, which highlighted a production that consists of traditional Filipino entertainment. The audience immersed themselves in the enchanting melodies of local musicians, and skilful dances.

Being both a florist and a teacher, Aira wanted to impart to the community here in Winnipeg that her Filipino heritage can be shown through an event like this that combines flowers and performance.

Filipinos take pride in the diversity of their country especially with their local native tongues, and with that Aira was able to get different singers of various genres to serenade the audience with Filipino love songs in different languages. The Ukelele Filipino Club’s opened the show followed by Jovelle Balani with her jazz-infused music, Joyze Colada’s OPM covers, and Mikaelah Ramos and Daniel Santos’ duet.

In addition to the harana, the event also showcased the country’s ancient martial arts sikaran through a dance exhibition from Winnipeg’s Sikaran Arnis Academy, the BIBAK Association of Manitoba’s cultural dance promoting the heritage of the indigenous people from the Philippine’s Mountain Province, as well as the Ati-atihan, and Sinulog Folk dances.

This collaboration between Aira Villanueva and Assiniboine Park was an enriching experience for the community, and it really proves how Filipinos are ecstatic to introduce their colourful traditions here in Winnipeg.