Filipino Community in Athens Celebrates ‘Paskong Pinoy’Dec 20th, 2009 | By staff | Category: News
Filipino Community in Athens Celebrates ‘Paskong Pinoy’
With songs, laughter and food, the Filipino Community in Athens celebrated its version of “Paskong Pinoy” last December 13, 2009 at the Philippine Embassy premises in Paleo Psychico, Athens, Greece.
While the temperature dropped to 5®Centigrade, the sun had suddenly come up after days of cloudy skies and rain, a lucky sign for all Filipinos that congregated at the embassy.
Philippine Ambassador to Greece Rigoberto D. Tiglao and his wife Getsy Tiglao attended the festivities as well and enjoyed the full-day program prepared by the Filipino community and the Philippine Embassy staff members. Welfare Officer Atty. Venus Bravo was the Embassy and POLO’s lead officer, together with cultural attache Joan David, for undertaking the event together with leaders of the Filipino Community.
Also on hand for the festivities were Deputy Chief of Mission Fe Pangilinan, Consul General Constancio Vingno, and Labor Attache Atty. George Eduvala.
The luncheon became a highlight of the day with kababayans gathering around and enjoying three lechons sponsored by the Philippine Overseas Society and FCAI led by Mrs. Charie Bataan and by FilBag, led by Mr. Danny Robles, who incidentally also supervised their cooking Filipino-style in the premises.
Other traditional Filipino food such as barbeque, menudo, dinakdakan, bicol express, chopsuey, and various sweets, were also enjoyed by the crowd which was estimated to be at 200 people, the highest ever crowd gathered at the Philippine Embassy for a single event.
The program proper began 9 a.m. as the Athens Filipino community watched a cultural program prepared by its own members. There was singing by the Catholic Union of Filipinos in Athens; dance numbers by the Couples for Christ and its Family Ministries Dancers; song numbers from children of the Candonian City Ladies Association; and group singing led by the Philippine Overseas Society and the Filipino Community Academy Institute Association.
Other musical participants were the Pamana Musical, a vocal solo by Hanelette Haboc, Purebats, the Christian Fellowship Choir, the Filbag Singing Group, and the Guardians Singing Group.
A nativity play by the students of the Philippine School in Greece, delighted the crowd with endearing dramatization of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem. The PSG Kabataang Tinig provided the narration and musical accompaniment to the nativity play.
In between the musical numbers, parlor games for both children and adults were played, much to the enjoyment of the crowd.
Another high spot of the day was the parol-making contest which drew 12 entries from the Filipino community. The top winners had used recycled materials for their parols including used bottles, paper, and old CDs.
Ambassador Tiglao also delivered an inspiring Christmas message to the crowd gathered at the embassy. He said that celebrations like these show the Filipinos warmth and love for country and community, while it is also a commemoration of our Christian traditions.
“Filipinos, wherever they may be in the world, will always celebrate Christmas as it is a significant part of our cultural, religious and social heritage. Our version here in Athens is the traditional one with songs and dances, and of course Pinoy food and lots of fun and laughter,” Ambassador Tiglao said.
The program closed with group singing led by the Philippine Embassy of the favorite Filipino Christmas song, “Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit.” It was a truly enjoyable program that was ably emceed by Mrs. Shirley V. Manigbas and Mr. Joshua Escalante.
MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGONG BAGONG TAON SA INYO PONG LAHAT!
At tauspusong nagapapasalamat ang Embahada ninyo sa lahat ng mga kababayan natin dito sa Gresya at Cyrpus sa suporta ninyo sa pagseserbisyo namin sa mga Pilipino dito!
Mabuahay po kayo!
(More photos at the Photos from the Paskong Pinoy Event page. I f you would want a higher resolution, please email us and indicate the name of the file, which will show up at the ” mouse-over!”, and we will email you at a medium resolution.Photos by Mr. Byron Villanueva.)