Victoria Filipino festival held in-person after two-year pandemic hiatus

A festival celebrating Filipino culture made its in-person return to Victoria this weekend for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Called Mabuhay: Celebrating Philippine Culture, the two-day event was held at Centennial Square and featured a plethora of live performances, plenty of Filipino food, and cultural items.

It was organized by the Victoria Filipino Canadian Association and the Bayanihan Cultural Housing Society.

“We are… trying to help keep the heritage of Filipino culture in Canada,” said Agnes Mhyre, president of the Victoria Filipino Canadian Association.

The annual event, which marked its 21st anniversary, had been held online for the past two years, so organizers wanted to make this one special. The theme for this year’s event was “Rising from the pandemic: A celebration of unity, cooperation, and resilience.”

“Coming out of the pandemic we really wanted to promote resilience, unity, and community spirit,” said promotions and marketing coordinator Micah Leonida.

It was also the first time the festival was held over two days.

Organizers wanted one day to commemorate the declaration of June heritage as the Filipino month, and one to celebrate Filipino independence day, which falls on June 12.

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