30 July 2014 – The annual Barrio Fiesta in Vienna, organized by the Council of Filipino Associations in Austria (CFAA) in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Vienna, was held on July 19 at the Sportplatz ATV Liesing in Vienna, Austria.
The pleasant sunny weather contributed to the joyous celebration of the Barrio Fiesta. About 5,000 people attended the event, composed mainly of Filipinos from Austria and from Slovenia and the Slovak Republic.
Many Austrians and other nationalities attended the event. Liesing District Deputy Manager Harald Gruber and Police Commissioner Hofrat Dr. Walter Czapek also attended the event.
The event was a venue to showcase Philippine culture, cuisine, arts and tourist destinations. The Philippine Embassy booth displayed tourism posters and distributed campaign collaterals to vote for Vigan as one of the New Seven Wonder Cities.
In her message, Philippine Ambassador to Austria Lourdes O. Yparraguirre thanked the members of the Filipino community for remaining steadfast partners in raising the profile of the Philippines abroad.
The participating Filipino organizations and groups, in their colorful costumes, joined the cultural presentations.
The Barrio Fiesta’s top attraction was the food bazaar, where mouth-watering Filipino dishes gave the crowd a savory treat of native Filipino cuisine. Other booths offered groceries, souvenir items, real estate investment opportunities in the Philippines, tours and travel packages, cargo-forwarding and money remittance services.
Another highlight of the Barrio Fiesta was the graduation ceremony of the annual Paaralan sa Pasuguan (Schule in der Botschaft). Running on its 8th year, this year’s cop of graduates was composed of 15 Filipino and Filipino-Austrian children ages 3 to 9 years old. This year’s volunteer teachers are founder of Sentro ng Kultura at Wika ng Austria at Pilipinas and sole nominee from Austria for the 2014 Presidential Award for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (Banaag Category) Arlene Castañeda, and Mrs. Richel Bögner from the Kapunongan sa mga Bisaya sa Austria. At the graduation ceremonies held during the Barrio Fiesta, the students performed a dance interpretation of the Bulaklakan and Tinikling dances.