A taste of turon, tinikling, and good ol’ Filipino hospitality

Second-generation FilAms try out the tinikling.

Second-generation FilAms try out the tinikling.

By Maricar CP Hampton

For second year in a row, people young and old alike flocked to the Philippine Embassy as it opened its doors to showcase what the country has to offer.

Close to 8,000 visitors came to the open house on May 2, 2015 to experience why “it is more fun in the Philippines.” This year’s numbers surpassed that of last year.

Frank Lopez, a native of El Salvador, said, ” I really like this it’s something very cultural I can learn from.”

Organized by the District of Columbia Cultural Tourism Office the annual Passport D.C. Around the World Embassy Tour was participated by 40 different embassies this year.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. in his welcome remarks said, “Filipinos are known for their hospitality, and while you are guests at the Embassy, we hope that you will feel at home. I invite you to sample our food, sing and dance along with our performers, and learn more about Philippine culture from Embassy personnel who you will see dressed in our national attire. ”

With the fiesta-like atmosphere the FilAm community wowed the visitors with a steady stream of performances including cultural dances like Aray, Bikma and Pangalay, musical numbers such as the Anklung, using bamboo instruments and martial arts presentation like arnis and escrima.

Colorful Ati-atihan costume  attracts non-Filipinos

Colorful Ati-atihan costume attracts non-Filipinos

Tinkling and coconut dance lessons were a big hit among non-Filipinos who tried it for the first time.

“This is really very nice as it promotes our culture,” said Lorna Imperial Seidel, president Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC, Inc.

Visitors marveled at some cutting edge furniture designs by Kenneth Cobonpue whose works are on display at the Romulo Hall.

Guests were also treated to an array of authentic Filipino cuisine such as pancit, lumpia, lechon, chicharon, popsicle and turon provided by Filipino restaurants Bistro 7107,2As and caterer’s, Northstar, Filipino Global, Luming’s and Lumpia Pancit Atbp.

Different Filipino organizations like National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) also provided refreshments.

Minister and Consul General Emil Fernandez said the Magnolia popsicles from Tito Al’s were a hit among embassy troopers.

Visitors were also seen having a good time taking pictures of the huge props like the Bahay Kubo, the Philippine Carabao papier mache, Ati-Atihan costumes and the bamboo bike that were on display at the embassy grounds.

Nurse Alice Andam said, “I am so proud of my heritage this is really good as other cultures are also learning from us.”

The celebration was capped by performances by young Filipino rock band Wandering Lies, while second-generation FliAm leader Eric Macalma also provided a number with his acoustic guitar.

With the embassy’s offering this year, many visitors expressed their desire to visit the Philippines this year.

“I am really having fun here. The food is so good,” said a Russian visitor.

An arnis demonstration  by  Pinakatay Arnis Sigidas  of Maryland

An arnis demonstration by Pinakatay Arnis Sigidas of Maryland

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