Philippines’ Mabuhay! event returns to Centennial Square this weekend

Philippines' Mabuhay! event returns to Centennial Square this weekend
Cobb Carbonel/Mabuhay! Celebration
File photo.

Victoria’s Filipino community is proud to bring back Mabuhay!, an event offering a taste of Filipino culture at Centennial Square.

The Filipino word ‘Mabuhay’ means long life and prosperity.

The Philippine Bayanihan Community Centre organizes the festival, which is touted as the largest gathering by a Filipino-Canadian organization on Vancouver Island.

It opens on Saturday, June 8, and is the pinnacle event of Filipino Heritage Month in Victoria, an observance decreed by a motion of the Canadian House of Commons in Nov. 2018.

Mabuhay! will have various exhibitors offering anything from sticky rice cakes, hats, fans and fabrics to employment services and ways of sending ‘pasalubong’ or gifts to friends and family in the Philippines by cargo.

There’s also a food market boasting approximately 20 vendors offering authentic Filipino delicacies, including ‘halo-halo’ and the famous Filipino ‘adobo’ – chicken or pork stewed in vinegar, soy sauce and spices.

Vegetarians can opt to try the Filipino version of spring rolls, called ‘lumpia,’ served with rice, of course.

The festival will also feature more than 30 cultural performers, including the multi-awarded Sampaguita Dancers, on the stage from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The first Mabuhay! event in Victoria was held in June 2018 to commemorate June 12, 1898, when Filipino revolutionary leaders declared Philippine independence from Spain after more than 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.

The Victoria Filipino-Canadian Association, the Victoria Filipino-Canadian Seniors Association, the Victoria Filipino-Canadian Caregivers Association, as well as the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society are all part of the festival and spend hours practicing songs and dances, cooking, preparing promotional materials, setting up booths, and publicizing the event.

The festival is free to the public on June 8 and June 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Harry CorroHarry Corro

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