The Filipino Market
The festival was filled with booths catering to differnt needs. As is with every festival, there are the booths from different political parties. There are doctors, dentists, beauty products, foot specialists, finacial advisors, insurance products, car dealership and entreprenuers. It was the best venue to capture the Filipino market all in one roof. The festival is the biggest Filipino event in Ontario.
Then, there are the food vendors. Attending the festival from morning to night can be tiring. Always the busiest vendors during the festival, vendors like FV Foods were not complaining as customers were lining up non-stop.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT, Kat Romero, Renee Jaojoco, Naomi Macapagal, Regine Alaina Semira and Natalie Rafael welcomes visitors at the Mabuhay festival. PHOTO FROM KAT ROMERO’S FACEBOOK
Helping fellow Filipinos
There are also forums and seminars addressing issues affectin live-in caregivers and nannies. With the new rules in place, a lot of questions are being asked with regards to immigration.
Alexis Macapagal and Krisilda Pagaduan of Culture Philippines perform one of their numbers at the Mabuhay Festival. PHOTO BY RAY JOSEF
Alexis Macapagal, Kristine May Atienza, Krisilda Pagaduan and Yyvon La Vercasio of Culture Philippines Ontario perform at the Mabuhay festival. PHOTO BY RAY JOSEFGrace Macapagal poses with GMA-7 star Mark Herras.
Culture and Heritage on display
Cultural performances are always a welcome form of entertainment at the festival. Fiesta Filipina and Culture Philippines Ontario were there to entertain the crowd during the day. These groups always showcase our native dances that we have forgottten or do not know that we have.
The Santacruzan parade is a feast for the eyes. It is a parade of beautiful women, young and old. The Santacruzan is a popular religious festival held in many towns and cities throughout the Philippines as the highlight of the month-long celebration of Flores de Mayo during the month of May. It is usually celebrated with a parade of decorated floats and elaborately dressed characters, representing various aspects of the Virgin Mary and other figures. The festival was introduced to the country during the Spanish period and continues to be celebrated by Filipinos all over the world. Young women are chosen from among the townspeople to represent the various characters in the parade. Each is carried on a bamboo arch and escorted by a young man. The highlight of the parade is Reyna Elena, representing St. Helena whose discovery of the cross is commemorated by this feast. She is escorted by Prinsipe Constantino, under a canopy of flowers. The floats are accompanied by a brass band. Occasionally, movie and TV stars and other celebrities join in and are featured as major sagalas and escorts.
GMA-7 star Iza Calzado goes shopping at Vaughan Mills with Natalie Rafael, Grace and Naomi Macapagal.Helaine Macapagal takes a breather from shopping with GMA-7 star-maker, host and actor German Moreno.
Fashion through the Ages
Of course, one also move with the times. The fashion show featured clothes from the modern era. Models from different Filipino beauty pageants sashayed on stage to the delight of the crowd. Parents, friends, and families were thrilled to see their beautiful daughters, mothers, sisters and friends walk on stage wearing stylish clothes.
Of course, nobody goes to the Mabuhay without waitiing to see the stars. During the day, everybody went to line up to get their autographs and get their pictures taken with the stars. This year GMA-7’s Kapuso network brought German Moreno, John Nite, Wendell Ramos, Mark Herras and Katrina Halili. Last minute addition was Iza Calzado. It was pandemonium. Security had their hands full trying to control the crowd. Even the official press photogaphers had trouble taking their pictures as phalanx of security created a wall facing the stars, instead of the the crowd.
Caregivers pose with Mayoral candidate George Smitherman.
Everybody is trying to get healthy these days. But health costs a fortune in Canada and in the United States. This is where the Philippines can benefit. With cheaper costs of health care, the Philippines can take advantage of the booming health tourism. Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain health care. It also refers pejoratively to the practice of healthcare providers travelling internationally to deliver healthcare.
Services typically sought by travelers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries. However, virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, convalescent care and even burial services are available.
Enter Cebu Health and Wellness Council which had a very big banner that was hard to miss at the festival.
The Cebu Health and Wellness Council (CHWC) is a Private-Public sector coalition of industry stakeholders that shall set the directions in developing and promoting the Health and Wellness industry in Cebu. It is currently represented by the following sectors in Cebu: Hospital/Medical services; Dental services; Spa and Wellness services; Hospitality services; Travel & Tours services; and the government sector’s Department of Health (DOH), Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). CHWC is partnered with Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, Perpetual Succour Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu
Cebu hosts a large number of spa facilities, specialty clinics, and a network of public and private hospitals that can facilitate recovery and relaxation - the Cebuano way. It offers custom-made Health and Wellness solutions that suit every customer’s needs. It’s a matter of letting us know what you need, and we’ll take care of it.
• Affordable cost at quality standards, comparable to US and to Europe
• Cebuanos are known to be excellent caregivers, trained in the best schools in the country and abroad
• Cebuanos have good command of the English language and high affinity with Western culture
• Less waiting time with pre-arranged schedules for tests and procedures
• Wide array of choices for tour and travel packages