The three offices of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan held its annual Paskong Pinoy celebration in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung cities last December 9, 2018.
Along with the Migrant Worker’s Day every June, the Paskong Pinoy celebration every December is one of the two annual events for Filipino migrants organized by the MECO offices in Taiwan. This annual event aims to provide a traditional Filipino Christmas atmosphere for Filipino workers in Taiwan who are longing to come home every Christmas. For this year, the three offices decided to conduct the event simultaneously.
“Ito ay isang munting handog mula sa Manila Economic and Cultural Office o MECO upang maiparating at maipadama sa ating mga manggagawa dito sa Taiwan ang diwa at kahulugan ng Paskong Pinoy kahit na tayo ay malayo sa ating mga tahanan at ating sariling bayan,” said MECO Chairman and Resident Representative Angelito T. Banayo in his welcome message.
(This is a tribute given by MECO for Filipinos in order for them to feel the spirit and meaning of Christmas even if they are far away from home,” said MECO Chairman and Resident Representative Angelito T. Banayo in his welcome message.)
MECO Taichung’s Paskong Pinoy was held in the Tanzi Catholic Church, Taichung wherein a Holy Mass celebration commenced the event. The Taichung office organized four competitions to provide entertainment to Filipino attendees such as a beauty pageant, dance contest, lantern making contest and bingo bonanza.
On the other hand, MECO Kaohsiung’s celebration held in CAPETRONICS, Nanzi District in Kaohsiung City also featured a dance contest with four groups competing under the remixed tune of Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas in Our Hearts. OWWA Deputy Representative Arnel Ignacio was also present during the event to serve as a judge in the dance contest.
MECO Taipei’s celebration was highlighted by the performance of 18 caroling groups and Mikey Bustos, a famous YouTube vlogger who creates music parodies. MECO Taipei awarded the top five groups with cash prizes both for the group and to their registered target charity organizations in the Philippines. The top five groups are Mga Bisdak sa Taiwan, COT Taipei Band, Filipino Migrante Chorale, Brown 101 and One Life One Chance.
The top five groups awarded showcased a glimpse of Filipino talent and culture particularly the groups of Mga Bisdak sa Taiwan and COT Taipei Band which landed in the first and second place, respectively. Mga Bisdak sa Taiwan, an association composed of Filipinos who originated from the Visayas region of the Philippines, combined Visayan elements to provide a twist to the famous Christmas caroling songs of Filipinos. On the other hand, COT Taipei Band, a group of Filipinos who came from the Cordillera region in the northern Philippines, fused Christmas music with the beat of their wooden instruments.
Clad in their Filipiniana attire, the Filipino Migrante Chorale from Hsinchu City showcased their blended voices as they performed Carol of the Bells and Munting Sanggol.
On the other hand, Brown 101 performed their piece through rapping. Using a minus one version of the song Ngayong Pasko Magniningning ang Pilipino, the group performed an original composition which narrates the perseverance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in a foreign land.
Lastly, the group of One Life One Chance brought a nostalgic presentation as they performed the traditional Christmas caroling songs sung by children in the Philippines such as Pasko Na Naman, Sa May Bahay Ang Aming Bati and Mano Po Ninong Mano Po Ninang.
Being the anticipated guest of the MECO Taipei’s event, Mikey Bustos traveled from Manila to entertain Filipinos with ten of his most famous video parodies uploaded in his YouTube channel.
Aside from competition prizes, MECO Taipei also distributed raffle prizes from the sponsors of the event. Approximately 1,000 Filipinos attended the event in Flower Expo Park.