Filipinos perform the La Jota Moncadena during an earlier edition of Bayanihan Festival at Al Mamzar beach park. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Thousands of Filipinos will be treated to a community celebration this Friday during the Bayanihan Festival 2017 that promises a day full of fun and competitions, cultural performances, giveaways, entertainment and an award ceremony for exceptional Filipinos.

What is it?

The Bayanihan Festival is an annual celebration hosted by the FilClub, a Filipino community organisation under the auspices of the Philippine Consulate-General. Bayanihan refers to a Filipino tradition where a community gathers to help a family relocate.


Dubai World Trade Centre


Friday, December 15, 7.30am to 8pm

Admission Cost


What to expect?

Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said the Bayanihan Festival allows Filipinos in Dubai to reconnect with their roots and also showcases what it means to be Filipino.

“Bayanihan allows Filipinos to reconnect with their culture and tradition and art, at the same time provide other ethnicities a glimpse of how we as Filipinos embrace the cultures of the UAE and that of the other expatriate communities. The festival will exemplify the essence of Filipino hospitality and creativity,” Cortes told Gulf News.

“It also will highlight the penchant of the Filipino to celebrate life, culture, and camaraderie not only among themselves but also with others. It is an eye-opener as to what the Filipino spirit and soul is all about,” he added.

5 Must-Try Things in the Bayanihan Festival

1. Try authentic Filipino delicacies

This includes the famous bibingka, a type of rice cake native to the Philippines that's popular during Christmas. Some prefer it with cheese, some with salted egg. The hot rice cake is most popular during the cold December mornings.

2. Get your hands on Filipino handicrafts

Check out the Tatak Filipino bazaar at the free entry event to see some amazing handcrafted items.

3. Explore the whole country

Experience the different regional Festivals that celebrate the Filipinos' rich cultural diversity from its more than 17 regions and more than 7,000 islands!

4. Take selfies on the iconic Philippine jeepney

The most popular mode of transportation in the Philippines. Thes colourful "King of the road" were carefully crafted from US jeeps left behind after World War II.

5. Giveaways and special prizes!

And finally… Freebies and door prizes! A medical team will be on hand to offer a free medical mission. Lucky attendees will get a chance to win air tickets to the Philippines, appliances and many more. Job hunters may submit their CVs at the CV drop box that will be given directly to potential employers. 

Organisers of the festival said there is something for everyone in this free admission event. Filipino children who grew up in the UAE will see many of their traditions come alive right before their eyes.

“We brought the Philippine Festival Grand Parade here that showcases the various cultural street parades that we hold throughout the year in our provinces back home,” Engr Maria Fe Tata Dayot, FilClub chair, told Gulf News.

Dayot said there will also be various competitions on food carving, arts, drum and lyre, cheerleading, hip-hop dance, and Parol Making in celebration of the Christmas season. Parol is a star-shaped ornamental Christmas lantern that is a common feature in Filipino homes during Christmas.

Dayot said the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Bayani Award is back for the second year and will be given to six deserving Filipinos.

“This prestigious award is given in recognition of the awardees’ contribution to their family, community, government, and company. It seeks to honour Filipinos who are not only professionals who excel in their fields but even those who work in the household,” Dayot said.

As with the previous years, the celebration will not be complete without music and entertainment. There will be a Battle of DJs and Battle of Bands. Soul singer Jaya is this year’s celebrity guest. Ivy Paredes, former X Factor contestant, will also be present.

"The upcoming Bayanihan Festival is going to be grander and jam packed with lots of programmes, activities and special guests for all to enjoy for free. This year, visitors can expect a grand celebration of Filipinos culture. What also makes it special is that nearly 100 Filipino groups across the UAE have united in ensuring that this will be a successful event," Ericson Reyes, Vice Chairman of FilClub, told Gulf News.

Door prizes and community service will also be available. A CV or resume drop box will be provided for job hunters.