A high intensity zumba session led by Filipino Canadian zumba dance instructors opened the first Kultura Festival in Edmonton.
The festival featured Filipino music and arts and various Filipino cuisines and desserts.
But the highlight of the opening ceremonies was the fashion show featuring traditional Filipino national costumes, further showing the vibrant cultures of the Philippines.
"It showcased yung mga award-winning national costumes by our multi-awarded Filipino designer Edwin Uy. So galing pa pong pilipinas yung mga costumes. And of course, we want to highlight the various regions of the Philippines. So we have costumes from the culture of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao," pageant international director Dr. Harlijk Mirasol noted.
(It showcased the award-winning national costumes by our multi-awarded Filipino designer Edwin Uy. So the costumes came from the Philippines.)
The designs, like the crowd favorite warrior costumes and Maranao princess' costumes, delighted the audience during the fashion show.
Famous Filipino talents also serenaded the crowd with Filipino songs, while some Filipino artists also proudly displayed their artwork.
Filipino Canadian journalist Lito Velasco said festivals like this strengthen pride in one's culture, and promote respect for and appreciation of the Filipino heritage.
"Ipinagdiriwang natin ang kultura, kung saan makikita natin ang bawat pilipino ay magkakaisa. Bakit? Culture is the binding force of the society. Eto ang lakas na nakakapagbigkis ng lipunan," Velasco said.
(We are celebrating culture, wherein we can see that Filipinos are uniting. Why? Culture is the binding force of society. This is the force that ties the society together.)
Despite some last-minute changes to venue and other issues, the festival was a success, with the support of the Filipino community in Edmonton.
The festival took place at the renowned Heritage Amphitheatre at William Hawrelak Park. This is Canada's largest outdoor amphitheatre and is also home to many of Edmonton's festivals.