Two-day Philippine cultural show begins at Hyatt Plaza

June 06, 2014 - 5:13:53 am
Children perform traditional dance as part of 116th Philippine Independence Day celebrations at the Hyatt Plaza yesterday. Salim Matramkot

DOHA: A two-day cultural extravaganza aimed at promoting Philippine tourism through folkdances representing various regions of the island country kicked-off yesterday at Hyatt Plaza Mall.

Donning elaborate costumes, Filipino students and dance groups enthralled the audience with their performances of well-known Philippine folk dances including Maglalatik, Pandanggo sa Ilaw, Jota Bal and Canao, among others.

The event, organised by the Philippine Independence Day Committee (PIDC) is one of those being held in the run-up to the Philippine Independence Day which will be observed next Thursday. The biggest event for the Independence Day celebration will be held on June 13 at the Al Wakra Sports Club, highlights of which include dance performances, singing competition, band concert, trade fair, food festival and medical mission.

“One of the objectives in organising this cultural show is to promote Philippine tourism through the initiative of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). There are 11 million Filipinos overseas who can play a big role in boosting our tourism sector,” said Ed Alcantara of PIDC Tourism Committee.

Alcantara said the show was a departure from the usual Independence Day cultural shows organised for the Filipino community annually.

“This year we decided to show it to the multi-cultural community of Qatar,” he said, adding this was also the chance to showcase the varied costumes worn by Filipinos which are seldom seen every day.

Through the show, the Filipino community here would also like to take the opportunity to thank the international community for their help for the victims for super typhoon Yolanda. In February, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism launched ‘The Philippines says Thank You’ worldwide campaign as a gratitude for the international community’s outpouring support.

The show was presented in a unique format in which Lola (Grandma) Basyang, a famous character in Philippine literature took the audience in a journey to different parts of the country showing the various dances including those performed in festivals.

“We will show Qatar’s international community how diverse our culture is,” said Alcantara.

Another show will be performed today from 3pm till 8pm at the Hyatt Plaza Mall food court The Peninsula