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See The Asian Festival

8Th Annual Asian Festival 2011

8Th Annual Asian Festival 2011

By Jennie L. Ilustre

It’s summer! And it’s time for the 8th annual Asian Festival, with community participation led by the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc. (PAFC).

Expect a record-breaking crowd on July 23-24 weekend. Reason: The convenient site, which also offers free parking. The George Mason University Campus (Lots J and K) is located at 4400 University Drive in Fairfax , Virginia .

PAFC Chair Ador Carreon lauded the festival goals of promoting Asian culture and goodwill. “It’s such an honor to be a part of this festival,” he said. “It’s a way for our community to showcase our heritage-and on a bigger stage in Mainstream America -as we share the best of the Philippines and its people.”

The Philippine Village won as best booth in the past. This year, the famous Paete, Laguna carvers will again show their talents in carving fruits and vegetables. Back by popular demand are The Speaks, Ivy Rose, the all-girl Filipino American band. Showtime for The Speaks is Saturday at 4 p.m., on the Main Stage free shows. Ivy Rose Band’s turn is on Sunday at 3 p.m., also on the Main Stage. Filipino American stand-up comedian Rex Navarete will perform on Saturday at 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center . General admission is $20.

Festival hours are: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (For a complete schedule of activities, visit www.asianfestivaldc.com.) The festival started as part of the Thai Tennis Organization in America (TTOA) tournaments. It has since become a summer tradition in Mainstream America.

It drew some 50,000 last year, and many came with their families and friends. Small wonder, because it has something for everyone: all-day, free multicultural and entertainment shows, tennis tournaments and tennis clinic, games and an inter-active tent for kids, and food and product booths.

Wow Philippines!

This year’s four main villages are Wow Philippines, Heritage India, Amazing Thailand, and Chinese Village. Performances (except one show) are free and open to the public.

PAFC President Becky Pagsibigan said, “This is probably one of our busiest years, but we always find time for the Asian Festival. Part of PAFC’s mission is to share Filipino culture with the mainstream, and the festival is a perfect venue for it.”

PAFC Board member Presy Guevara is the Philippine Village Chair. Committee chairs are Eileen Nadal, Dulce Guevara, Elvi Bangit, Vice Consul and Cultural Officer Corinna Apostol-Reyes,  representing the Philippine embassy, and the officers of the George Mason University Filipino Cultural Association. Major sponsors are, The Land Bank of the Philippines, The TRAVELOUTLET, Taglishtees and Tito Al.

Remarked George Duangmanee, festival founder and member of the all-volunteer festival committee: “When we started this, we didn’t know it would be this huge. We have so many people to thank, PAFC and the Philippine embassy among them. From the beginning, they have always given their all-out support. They’re awesome!”

He also thanked individuals, businesses and other organizations, in particular “the USTA-Virginia and our title sponsor, Singha Beer.”

Festival attractions

The shows feature over 200 performers from Asian American organizations in the Greater Metro Washington area. Think Bollywood, Asian martial arts, cooking demo, Anklung music, and children’s inter-active tent.

The festival offers authentic Asian cuisine from over 30 booths. Take your pick from Thai, Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Indian food. Are you Christmas shopping? Several booths have unique Asian products, many of them handmade: jewelry, ladies apparel, baskets and other arts and crafts.

8th Asian Festival at a Glance

When: Weekend of July 23, 24

Time: July 23, Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; July 24, Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: George Mason University (Main Campus), 4400 University Drive , Fairfax , Virginia , Lots J and K.

Cost: FREE (No entrance fee). FREE parking. FREE shows on three stage sets.

Info: Visit www.asianfestivaldc.com

Contact: George Duangmanee, info@asianfestivaldc.com. Or Bing Branigin, bing@asianfestivaldc.com.

 

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