Barrio Fiesta Sa London 2009

Update June 2010: Details for the 2010 Barrio Fiesta can be found at this page.

Wondering when the next London Barrio Fiesta will be held? The Philippine Centre, organisers of the event, announced that it’s set for Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July 2009. As usual, it will be held in Lampton Park, Hounslow, TW3 4DN.

Let’s hope we don’t have a repeat of last year’s confusions after Hounslow council temporarily shut it down.

Update 16 July 2009: We’re starting to hear conflicting information about whether or not the event will go ahead. Some people are saying that Hounslow council have once again refused the health and safety permit; others are saying that it’s pushing through. We can’t verify what’s true at the moment because no-one at the London Borough of Hounslow could confirm this information when we called. They gave the number for John Laing Integrated Services, the contractor who’s responsible for park maintenance, but there was no answer.

We strongly suggest finding out for yourself before heading off the the Barrio Fiesta this weekend. Contact numbers below.

John Laing Integrated Services: 0845 456 2796 or 020 7901 3200
Philippine Centre: 0845 838 7880 or 020 7096 1246 (ask for Gen Ashley)
London Borough of Hounslow: 020 8583 2000

Update 18 July 2009: It looks like everything is set up and ready to go (see comment from Martin below). For those of you who’ll be there, have a great time and let us know how it goes.

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New photo project on Filipino Care Givers and Nannies around the UK

James Pogson, a London-based British-Filipino photographer, wrote in to publicise his new project. Feel free to drop him a note if you’re interested in helping out.

Dear Phil-UK readers, my name is James Pogson, I’m a Brit/Filipino artist Photographer based in London. I received the 2008 Jerwood Photography Award and I’m currently exhibiting work throughout the UK and have been featured in several magazines.

I’m beginning a new photographic portrait project on Filipino Care Givers and Nannies around the UK. The work is a personal project that I hope will promote Filipino culture throughout the UK, especially within the Arts. For this, I need as many participants as possible to make this work, and I’m asking for your help. If you are a Care Giver or Nanny, or know of someone who is, please get in touch. My email address is [email protected]

Two children at Sinulog festival

Here is an example of my work that I took at the Sinulog festival this year in Siaton, Negros Oriental. You can view my online portfolio at

Thank You for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you!


Kasayahan! Kulay Pinoy’s maiden project

Kulay Pinoy, a new production outfit, is launching its first production entitled “Kasayahan!” on the 10th of May 2009. “Kasayahan!” is a concert featuring Filipino and British performers singing Filipino songs and excerpts from west-end and broadway musicals.

Take a look at KulayPinoy’s website:
Download the flyer

The Kulay Pinoy project started amongst a group of friends who have decided to set up a production company with the aim to showcase our cultural background and artistic talents. The Philippines has long produced world-class performers in the fields of theatre, dance and popular music worldwide. Pilita Corrales and Lea Salonga, amongst others, have become the blueprints to this legacy and many others are to follow.

The Philippines has won the respect of other countries worldwide not only due to the artistic talents of its people, but also because of work ethics and excellence in the fields in which they partake.

Kulay Pinoy Productions wishes to celebrate this excellence and unite Filipinos from all corners of the globe.

Kasayahan! is Kulay Pinoy’s maiden project and is a collaboration of both Filipino and British creativity bringing you an unforgettable musical extravaganza.

Filipino martial art events in London

DG Doce Pares are holding some Filipino martial art events in and around London. For more information, please visit:


15 (Sun) Sport Stickfighting Refereeing and Judging Workshop 4.30-6.30pm
29 (Sun) Doce Pares British Championship and Invitational Championship,


02 (Sat) KOMBATA Limited Armour
02 (Sat) MANNY PACQUIAO vs. RICKY HATTON (evening)


03-05 (Fri-Sun) Doce Pares European Championships, London


06 (Sun) Doce Pares Summer Camp, Colchester


15 (Sun) Doce Pares “Quest for the Best 2” Championships, London

Tasmin Poynton

Tasmin Poynton, one of our visitors, wanted to let us know about her place in the Miss Fresh Photographic competition.

Tasmin: "I’m 18 and live in Wiltshire, my mum is from Philippines (wooo) and my dad is English. To my knowledge, I am the only Filipino girl in the heat, and would love to become the first Filo-English Miss England! I am a black belt in kickboxing, I have been doing the Filipino martial art kali illustrisimo for about 3 years now, and I also have a keen interest in music: having a grade 2 in clarinet, grade 4 in violin, and grade 6 in piano. After I finish college, I would love to stay with my family for a year in the Philippines and do some sort of charity work, including help street families and children. By becoming Miss England I feel that I will have the ability to achieve this, as well as various other voluntary work all over."

Here’s the text from her promo poster:

Tasmin Poynton

Tasmin Poynton has been selected as one of the 20 finalists for the Miss Fresh Photographic competition which is being held by the Miss England organisers. Tasmin is a student at Chippenham College and is hoping to win the title of ‘Miss Fresh Photographic’ and a place in the Miss England semi final next June. Every year, Miss England is selected for the finals of Miss World. During 2008, the Miss England contestants have raised over £100,000 for various charities around the country including £30,000 for the Institute of Cancer Walk with Cancer Campaign. In 2007 Georgia Horsley held the title of Miss Photographic and WON the national final!

Tasmin needs your support to help win in the quarter finals for the Miss Fresh Photographic title. You can vote for Tasmin by texting TASMIN POYNTON TO 84205 or vote from a landline which is 0901 6561500, and enter the unique number 18 when requested (votes costs 60p plus standard network charge)

Thank you all in advance for your support.


Why you should ignore the petition against ‘Harry and Paul’

Over the past few days, the Filipino community has been brewing a storm over Episode 4 of the ‘Harry and Paul’ show. It contained a short sketch featuring a Filipina maid which some people found offensive enough to start a petition.

I don’t watch the show but caught the clip via the BBC iPlayer service. Personally, I think that the those complaining missed the real butt of the joke and that the issue was being blown out of proportion.

It was not the Filipina maid who was being mocked. The target was the British class system and culture. The skit ridicules stereotypes of the dim-witted Northerner and the pompous upper middle-class Englishman. What you see in the ‘Harry and Paul’ comedy series are typical examples of British self-deprecating and satirical humour.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines satire as:
“the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

You will find that this explains the comedy series perfectly. The same episode similarly pokes fun at Americans, South Africans and Russians, but above all, it mocks the latent stupidity within British culture.

Folks, this show is about British people laughing at themselves, not Filipinos.

As a community, we cannot overreact at every hint of perceived offence to our culture. We have more important things to be concerned about, such as the foreign national ID card. The National ID card and National Identity Register are serious intrusions into our right to privacy and freedom. For more information, please see no2id.

Edit: I’d just like to point out that these are my views. I’m not speaking on behalf of the Filipino community or anyone who is or has been associated with Phil-UK.

Here’s a clip showing the sketch:

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Petition against pesticide spraying in the Southern Philippines

Nina at sent this message about the effects of pesticide spraying in the Southern Philippines. We can support the ban by signing the online petition at

Communities (around 40,000 people) living within banana plantations in Davao, Mindanao, Southern Philippines have been subjected to regular aerial spraying of pesticides for years, suffering from acute effects such as skin rashes, nausea and stomach cramps. In February, after an imaginative well-coordinated campaign, the City Government of Davao passed an ordinance to ban aerial spraying of pesticides.

What I love about this story is that Lia, my good friend and former boss, coordinated a perfect campaign. It primarily involved working with the affected communties, educating and organising them, so that they would be empowered to articulate their concerns and policy solutions to the government. Other stratgeies involved networking and coalition-building to gain broad support throughout the city, even from those who were not immediately affected. They set up an organic growers market as a means of linking poor rural producers to city-based consumers, and to showcase alternatives to pesticide use. The community, with support from the NGOs, regularly lobbied the local council and mayor, and engaged the bureaucracy to push for tighter regulation and environmental monitoring. The end result was Ordinance 0309-07 banning aerial spraying of pesticides. It was a triumph of democratic governance for the protection of people’s health and the environment 🙂

Unfortunately, the plantation companies did not accept this asked the Court of Appeals to invalidate the ordinance, which it did. Now, the communities have filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals. They are waiting for this the verdict; whatever the decision it will have a tremendous impact on their lives.

It’s rare to have these inspiring stories of “powerless” communities influencing government to actually work for them. So, please please do demonstrate support for their efforts by signing the online petition at

Barrio Fiesta sa London 2008 rescheduled to 13th and 14th Sept

The Philippine Centre confirms the new date for Barrio Fiesta sa London 2008:

The meeting [of the Health and Safety Working group] agreed to offer Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September as an alternative date for the Philippine Centre to hold the 24th annual Barrio Fiesta sa London in Lampton park Hounslow, Middlesex.

Barrio Fiesta cancelled

Lots of people have asked if the rumours are true that this year’s Barrio Fiesta has been cancelled. The Philippine Centre, organisers of the Barrio Fiesta released a statement giving their answer and background:

Barrio Fiesta not going ahead

Due to concerns regarding the health and safety of the Fiesta attendees, the London Borough of Hounslow (as represented by John Laing Integrated Services) has declined to issue a licence for the Barrio Fiesta…