Happy Independence Day, Philippines!

When you are away from home, the best way to celebrate Philippine Independence Day is through Barrio Fiesta in Brisbane. The festival is held every year to celebrate our freedom, but also to feel closer to home as you meet fellow kababayans and eat a lot of Filipino food.

Barrio Fiesta

I have been in Australia for more than six months and ohh boy, do I feel homesick at times specially on some occasions.  The  ways Pinoys, make every celebration like a feast. I miss the heaps of  food on the table, the never ending visitors coming in and out of your home and of course videoke. The closest I can be Pinoy again is being invited to a birthday party or christening by the Filipinas I met in Australia.

So when my husband said there will be a Filipino Festival that held this week, I felt excited. We went to Rocklea Showgrounds yesterday. Brisbane is an hour and a half away from home, so we drove early morning,  8:00 am to the venue. We got there on time to attend the mass. Part of readings were from Luke 7: 44-50;

44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, butshe has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among[a] themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Yes, our Creator forgives our sins, without reservations if we repent with all our hearts.

It was a great day that started with God’s message.

After that, the smell of food being cooked around the grounds were hard to resist; we roamed around to check what food to eat. My eyes were full, so were my senses of smell. Gosh, it was a feast! There were more than 25 stalls of food, from the usual street food of the Philippines to the sumptuous menu you prepare during fiestas.

We tried sisig and longganisa with rice for AUS 8. Hmmm, yummy, the first bite brought me home. Then we craved for more, salivating while we were doing the rounds of choosing what was next. I saw a few holding bowls of food, scooping warm and aromatic food. Wow! Arroz caldo, I grabbed my husband and told him, it’s a must try; and it did not fail, arroz caldo never fails.

There was so much I wanted to eat that day, kare-kare, menudo, dinuguan, bopis, barbeque, empanada, turon, banana-q and kamote-q; it was  a tough choice lol! 🙂 My husband, Stephen, saw his favourite Ilocos Empanada and without batting an eyelash bought one for us to share. Ube cake and cassava were mouth watering, I was never a fan of Ube cake, until I tasted the one we bought in the fiesta.

After all the eating spree, we watched the kids dance tinikling, sang our National Anthem – Lupang Hinirang and also Australia’s Advance Australia Fair.

Tickets were sold for Entry at AUD 5 per adult and AUD 5 for parking. All visitors have the chance to win one of the two International  Return Airfare to Philippines sponsored by PAL.  The food were amazing, though they are a bit pricey; we shared all the food we bought to have more variety.

It was a great experience!  Will definitely come back 🙂

*photo from brisbane.barriofiesta.org/bfb2016