DOT takes barrio fiesta to London

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Department of Tourism opens the sights, sounds and tastes of the islands to the British as it participates in the 24th Philippines “Barrio Fiesta sa London” this month at the Lampton Park in Hounslow Borough, London.

The annual affair is considered one of the biggest Filipino festivals outside the Philippines, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from the United Kingdom and nearby countries.

“The barrio fiesta has always been a great opportunity for us to showcase the Philippines outside the typical expo and business venues. Not only do we get to feature our destinations, but more so the Filipino brand of hospitality, warmth and cheer, which is an attraction in itself,” Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said.

The Philippines “Barrio Fiesta sa London” is organized by the Philippine Centre, the first and biggest umbrella organization of Filipino associations in the UK.

The two-day outdoor event features a colorful display of Philippine arts and crafts, musical and dance performances, and fun activities for children. This year, the United Kingdom chapter of the Philippine Chefs Association will serve up a spread of traditional and fusion Filipino cuisine.

The Philippine Embassy in London and the DOT will set up an information booth on the country’s top adventure, nature, historical, cultural and tropical destinations. Health and wellness, as well as retirement in the Philippines, will also be featured.

“This time, there will be a bigger space for Philippine tourism promotion and marketing. This is in view of increasing interest for our islands, as shown by record numbers of British and European visitors last year,” Eduardo Jarque Jr., DOT undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions, said.

The DOT’s representative desk in London has invited UK-based and members of the British media to experience the fiesta. Also in the guest list are Friends Philippines, a group of Britons who have worked and lived in the country and who actively encourage their peers to visit the islands.

Philippine Ambassador to the Court of St. James Edgardo B. Espiritu will grace the occasion, together with newly elected Mayor of London Boris Johnson.