Barrio Fiesta celebrates the Philippines

Alex Palacios, Scene Writer

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Sandy beaches and warm weather can—at times—seem elusive in Ellensburg but they are common in the Philippines. Since the weather here can’t be changed and CWU far from the nearest beach, it is up to students to bring the beaches here.  

The Center of Diversity and Social Justice (CDSJ) and the Filipino American Student Association (FASA) will be hosting the annual Barrio Fiesta.

This traditional Filipino event will be a good chance for students to observe and participate in Filipino culture through games, food and music.

When translated, the word barrio means “celebrating the community,” so everyone is invited to come and participate, according to Justin Francisco, a junior communications major with a specialization in international communications.

Traditionally, a barrio is celebrated by neighborhoods getting together and celebrating their individual communities.

Some CWU students are helping host the event by working with CDSJ and FASA. Among these students is Francisco, who is happy to share his Filipino culture with the community, and works for CDSJ and is a member of FASA.

Francisco and his family moved from the Philippines to the United States in 2008. Almost 10 years later he is doing his best to try and preserve his culture in a place with a limited Filipino population.

“I am the only member of FASA that was actually born in the Philippines, so the hardest part is being the only bridge between my home and my fellow community,” Francisco said.

Francisco is essentially the lead organizer of the event and has a lot planned for the evening.

“We not only want to celebrate Filipino culture but we also want to recognize the other cultures of Ellensburg,” Francisco said.

To help teach about the culture, there will be activities such as games, a bouncy house, food and musical performances.

One of the games that can be played during the fiesta is tinikling. Tinikling is a game that is a bit like jump rope, except it is played with bamboo sticks and people switch the sticks while the player jumps.

Another featured game is called tumbang preso. Tumbang preso is like a mix of kick-the-can and tag.

They will be serving traditional Lutong Pinoy, which is a Filipino spin on barbecue. Filipino style cuisine is well known for its mix of Asian and Latino style dishes.

There is also a vegetarian food option that will be served as well.

The CWU FASA club and Batang Wapato, a Filipino based music group, is set to perform.

Even though the focus of barrio fiesta will be of Filipino culture, Francisco is hopeful that people will bring their own cultural pride to the party.

He also mentioned that he hoped that more than just the CWU community would join, and that people who live in Ellensburg feel welcome to come.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for people in Ellensburg to experience a culture they’ve never been around before,” Francisco said.

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Barrio Fiesta celebrates the Philippines