The annual Barrio Fiesta creates a “Home away from home”


Photo by Yohanes Goodell

Hunter Rhea, Staff Reporter

Filipino culture was celebrated through food and dance at the Barrio Fiesta at Barto Hall. Barrio, also known as Barangay, means “village” in the Philippines.  

The Filipino American Student Association (FASA) hosts the Barrio Fiesta annually to bring light to their culture. 

Providing the community with Filipino traditional dances, food and desserts, FASA introduces their culture and many celebrities who represent the Philippines. Some such notable public figures are Olivia Rodrigo and Manny Paqciao. 

Three of the dancers at Barrio Fiesta were Yari Granados, junior double major in safety health management and risk insurance, Sandra Rojas, a junior majoring in Law and Justice and Angela Roseus, a sophomore math secondary education major. 

To these dancers, Barrio is a chance to bring the community together. 

“[To] me, as a non-Filipino who’s really involved in FASA, it really means…bringing the community together and showing the culture or appreciating the culture if you’re not a part of it,” Granados said.

Roseus said that she has learned a lot preparing for the Barrio Fiesta with FASA.

“I agree with [Granados],” Roseus said. “FASA has been a big community…super welcoming and it’s been a really great experience being able to learn about their culture.”

Preparing for the event like Barrio Fiesta calls upon Northwest FASA representatives.

“Northwest FASA Rep[s] connect with other alliances within the region like Gonzaga, Saint Martins and a lot of other schools came here today to support because each FASA under Northwest is supposed to have [a] Barrio Fiesta,” Granados said.

The traditional dance the women of FASA performed is called the Bulaklankan, or the flower dance, which is a display of flowers performed in Filipino culture in early May. The women also performed in a dance called ‘Pinoy Medley,’ which is a Filipino-American combination of songs.

The FASA member joyously dancing to ‘The Spageti Song.’.Photo by Yohanes Goodell

Granados spoke on the Filipino food and entertainment that was put together for Barrio Fiesta.

“The Filipino food is a 10 out of 10, it doesn’t matter what you’re eating…it’s’ always good…traditional food is always made with care. A lot of hours in preparation, work and love have been put into this event and its accommodations,” Granados said. 

According to Granados, the annual Barrio Fiesta is a great celebration that improves every year. 

Kennedy Jurada-Cain, a senior majoring in Psychology, talked about his role as a board member of FASA.

“The process was definitely lengthy and a lot more in depth…being on the board this year, I enjoy being part of something bigger than myself…challenging, to say the least, a lot of people would think, including myself,” Jurada-Cain said.

Representing the club and also the Filipino people, Barrio Fiesta and FASA allows Jurada-Cain to tap into his roots.

“I’ve been able to visit the Philippines plenty of times, but [it’s] obviously not the same as living there… being fully immersed in the culture all the time here, it felt like home away from home.” Jurada-Cain said. 

According to Jurada-Cain, his culture has a special place in his heart. 

“It was a way to connect with other people like me, not much of an opportunity for me back home [in Bellingham, Washington],” Jurada-Cain said.