(by Fr. Adonis Narcelles Jr. SVD)
Filipinos sang Tagalog songs. Vietnamese built the stage. Indonesians cooked “Satay.” Children from Laos and Thailand presented a traditional dance. Asian Reynas joined the Santacruzan. Asians planned together, helped each other and celebrated their multiculturality, rain or shine. Asian Feast is the event of the year, the cultural fiesta, the experience of Asian’s varied culture in songs, dances, food and arts. Guests from Asia, Germany and around the world “journeyed” together on June 23, 2007- a day which “we will cherish in our heart and memory in the coming years,” commented one guest.
The compound of the rather quiet St. Aloysius Church and the nearby Schillerpark was transformed by the Asian Festival into a cultural magnet whose sounds and sights have enriched both the Asian and European guests alike. Seven Booths were already open at 12 noon where Asian specialties were cooked and served. The air was filled with the smell of meat marinated with exotic Asian spices. The variety of cuisine offered turned the event into a humble “Asian Food Fest.” Other booths sold Asian goods, fresh vegetables, clothing and accessories.
The Cultural Program started at 2 PM with the “Jubilee Song” which fittingly expressed the vision of the Asian Feast: “No more walls, no more chains, no more selfishness… for we are all together as one family.”
This was followed by the rare showcase of traditional and indigenous dances from various Asian countries. Guests from Oceania also enriched the grandious repertoire. More than 20 dances and five song performances where witnessed by around 300 guests.
The highlight of the Feast was the “Asian Santacruzan”. Vietnamese ladies in their traditional costume supported their representative as “Divina Pastora”. Likewise, the Indonesians where represented by the “Reyna Mora.” The angels carrying “Ave Maria” came also from different Asian countries. The 24 other “Reynas” and Personalities were represented by Filipinos and Germans. The Reyna Elena this year is Ms. Denile Magallanes while the Hermana Mayor group is the Moving Friends. After the Santacruzan, there was a short program with dances from Thailand and the Oceanian continent.
The Asian Feast culminated with the “Asian Night.” Guests enjoyed the rest of the evening in the short program and the disco held at the Hall of the same church. It was a fitting conclusion of a day full of fun, culture, memories and meeting of friends. The Asian Feast which takes place for the second time this year achieves its goals of sharing the richness of Asian culture, of binding the Asians closer together and of creating bridges of communication and dialogue. Indeed, it was a day when Asians proved that they can sing, dance and shine!