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Filipino Barrio Fiesta London 14 July 2007: Article photos and MP3 audio slideshow

The Barrio Fiesta is the annual Philippines festival held in Lampton Park, Hounslow, Middlesex, to the west of London. The Fiesta attracts huge numbers of Filipinos and other nationalities from all over the UK and abroad. Here I present a snapshot of the event in an article and audio slideshow.

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The slide show is available on request. Please contact me and I will e-mail it to you.

This is the first interview I have recorded using my newly-purchased Roland Edirol R-09 MP3 and WAV recorder. Apologies if the speech is a little disjointed and also for my poor pronunciation of Filipino names!

The Philippines Barrio Fiesta is a big and colourful event that takes over Lampton Park in Hounslow, west London every year. It's the biggest Filipino gathering in the United Kingdom and has been running for over 20 years.

In the region of 40,000 people come from all over the UK and abroad to enjoy the culture, cuisine and music of the Philippines, as well as meet their friends, contacts and relatives. Traders offer goods and services to the growing Filipino community, including money transfer, property opportunities in the Philippines, balikbayan boxes - the gift boxes sent by overseas Filipino workers to their families back home - and lots more.

No Filipino gathering would be complete without a generous offering of food, and there is plenty of it on sale or available for free. A stall sponsored by the Philippines Embassy promotes the 'Wow Philippines' tourism initiative. There I met the Ambassador, H. E. Mr Edgardo B. Espiritu, as well as Mr Domingo Enerio, Tourism Attache at the Philippines Embassy in London.

For the audio slide show, I interviewed Nona Tomelden Executive Co-ordinator of the Philippines Centre, Barrio Fiesta sa London. She told me about the background to the event and the work done by the Philippines Centre.

It's amazing to see so many Filipino faces in one location. Unlike Asians or Chinese, there are no Filipino districts in any British city, but perhaps that might change. For the duration of the Barrio Fiesta, Lampton Park becomes a kind of 'Rizal Park, Manila' in the middle of Middlesex.

The slide show is available on request. Please contact me and I will e-mail it to you.

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2007-07-16

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