The 2013 Philippine Fiesta

The Urban Ma at the Philippine Fiesta 2013Filipino food fiesta

The 2013 Philippine Fiesta – Melbourne Showgrounds 23rd-24th November

Last weekend was the annual Philippine Fiesta and this year it was again held at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Anticipating Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, all the stalls, stages and exhibits were held undercover in the Exhibition Pavilion. We visited on the 2nd day of the fiesta and as always there was a festive vibe with singers and dancers lighting up the stage and the smell of bbq calling us over to the food stalls – Filipinos love to sing, dance and eat! It was great to see the newly launched Cafe Rende serving up smooth coffee using beans from Benguet in the Philippines.
We devoured at least a dozen sticks of bbq and at 4 for $10 it was a pretty good deal compared to the Night Noodle Markets we attended recently! The skewers from soon-to-be-opened Jasmine’s Cafe and Restaurant were tasty and tender and we also tried halo halo (crushed ice dessert with a variety of fillings) from two different stalls at $5.50 and $8 each, the difference being one had ice cream and leche flan (a Filipino creme caramel) and the other didn’t.
Filipino dishes are not really known for their appetizing appearance but give it a go and I’m sure you will get hooked on dishes such as sisig (chopped pork pieces seasoned with calamansi and chilli), kare kare (a stew with ox tail and peanuts) and ┬álechon paksiw (pork and vinegar stew).
The Philippine Fiesta is in its 31st year and even though there was a cheerful atmosphere when we arrived I did notice that there was a drop in numbers – both in the number of patrons and the number of stallholders that were present at the fiesta this year. It was pretty sad to see this and maybe the car park and entrance fee along with other issues have slowly deterred many people from showing their support year by year. Were you there this year? What did you think?

 

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BBQ skewers!

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A busy opening for Cafe Rende

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Daniel wishes Filipino celebrity Isabel Granada good luck for her performance

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Paquiao wins his fight!

Winter Weekend fun! – Markets and festivals


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Slow Food Farmers Market – Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers st, Abbotsford

Every fourth Saturday of the month

The sun was shining so we embraced the crisp winter morning and went for a wander through the Slow Food farmers market. It was bustling with families, dogs and plastic-free shoppers lapping up the fresh fruit, meat and veg for sale. Baby D made some friends with Zac and a little lab x named Forest who was rescued from the dogs’ home. I got excited to see truffles and also brussel sprouts because for some reason I never knew they grew like that (see pics above)! I had also never tried a cauliflower or cardoon fritter before and boy were+- they good! Will try to make some this week and see how I go.

We got our dose of vitamin D whilst eating pies and croissants from the Convent bakery and also enjoyed a berry lamington from the MoVida Bakery stall. There’s something special about being up early in the morning and catching that first wave of freshness in the air, and it’s even more special when you’re spending it with good company and good food.

Williamstown Toddler, Tweens and Teens Festival 2013

Face painting, a talent quest, farm animals, basketball games and book signings were just some of the things happening down in Ferguson street, Williamstown for the Toddler, Tweens and Teens Festival. It was great to see lots of kids outside all rugged up and enjoying a day outdoors with their parents and friends! There were a few activity stalls and dance schools MDX and The Dream Academy were there too. Baby D loved the little petting farm in the middle with a piglet and the cutest little lamb ­čÖé

When we first got there I thought “Is this all?” There were a handful of stalls and one main stage. But walking around and seeing all the excited little faces and huge, happy smiles I was brought back down and remembered it’s the simple things. It’s the simple things that can excite a little toddler and baby and it’s a simple smile or hand reaching out in awe that can make us parents feel so fulfilled. Seeing Baby D’s eyes widen at the sight of the ducks quacking and piglet snorting was so cute! And slowly the more I looked around the more I appreciated how special these festivals can be as they create lifelong memories that our kids will cherish. So get up, get dressed, and get out there and enjoy the wonderful world around you! <3

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