Pistang Pilipino for everyone
Hard work and years of preparation will come together as Filipino communities from around the country flock to Rotorua for a national festival.
Pistang Pilipino 2018 is being held in Rotorua over Labour Weekend at various places around the city.
Event co-ordinator Cherry Andrews says Pistang Pilipino has been going for more than 30 years and started in Auckland.
It is a Filipino festival of sports and culture, and this will be its fourth time being hosted in Rotorua.
It is hosted by the Bay of Plenty Philippine Friendship Society Inc.
The sports to be played in this year’s festival include basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, badminton, 10 pin bowling, darts and billiards.
She says it is friendly competition which helps to unify Filipinos throughout the country in all age groups.
There will also be a cultural and talent evening, Miss Philippines-nz 2018 finals and a food festival.
The food festival will have 16 stalls, a bouncy castle and concert, including performances from Rotorua Girls’ and Boys’ High School’s Raukura kapa haka group, a Pacific Island group and dance group Xecute from Rotorua Girls’ High School.
It is being held in front of the Rotorua Museum on October 20 and 21. Cherry says about 5000 or 6000 people in New Zealand’s Filipino community are expected to attend, and the Rotorua community is invited to join them.
The event has taken at least two years of planning, she says.
“We are so pleased to show all our compatriots and people from the Philippines that Rotorua is a very important place in Aotearoa because it is the centre of Ma¯ ori culture.”
She says Rotorua also has a lot of activities to do both inside and outside, with plenty of exciting
places for the Philippines community to visit.
“They are also pleased to come back, that’s our feedback.”
Cherry says people always have fond memories of the festival held in Rotorua, and says the Rotorua community has accommodating and friendly people.
The event is also a chance for Filipino societies to have an AGM, she says.
All daytime activities throughout the weekend have free entry.
Evening events have tickets available from Ticketmaster.
■ For more information on the weekend’s programme go to pistangfilipino.org.nz
(From left) Members of the Rotorua Filipino community Ronald Espellarga, Trish Pike, Cherry Andrews, Risalie Villasan and Vincent Villasan encourage people to come along to Pistang Pilipino.