When a Filipino stepped to a different country, he/she will definitely be happy to see a kabayan (fellow Filipino) in the same place. Personally,when I came in the UK, every time I see an Asian, I always check out which parts of the South-East Asia they were from; usually, Chinese and Koreans. In Norwich, which is quite multi-cultural than Brundall, I have seen some Filipinos but never had a chance to talk to them. honestly, I am very excited to see them, even just to see them.
I know that there are Filipino communities all over the UK and one of them is from Bognor Regis. In fact, last August 6th, 2017 there was an event in the said place, and I witnessed a night full of laughter and excitement!
Filipino Community in Bognor Regis
Filipinos united by faith, these people around Bognor Regis came together for an exciting event; to raise fund for the said community and their church, the Our Lady of Sorrow Church. By paying the entrance fee of £3 for adults and £1 for children; you are entitled to play the first BINGO game and eat unlimited delicious Filipino dishes. but of course, we wanted to play the entire game, so we bought a whole set of BINGO cards (five games with three cards each) for £6. The fun part was when I get to eat Filipino dishes cooked by some members of the community! They cooked different types of pancit (noodles), Filipino style spaghetti, lumpiang sariwa and shanghai (spring rolls) which I really loved, and pork dishes like menudo and lechon paksiw (I am drooling as I am writing this!). Of course, rice will never be absent! In fact, most of their prices in the game were few sacks of rice. The grand winner sacked £50 and 10 kilos of rice!
The evening was full of fun and laughter. The hall was decorated with tiny Filipino flag banners all over, then one huge Filipino flag together with the UK flag in front (the stage). Chairs and tables filled with Filipinos and British; some with their kids. the event made me feel like I was home.
Aside from the BINGO game, there were performances from some of the members of the community like the talented girl who played cello named Shane. There was a dance number from two lovely ladies, named Cherry and Tonette that made the crowd groove with the collections of dance hits from the 90s until the present time. They also have a very good acoustic band which played in between games that made everyone relaxed. And yes, oh yes! I, your honor, did perform as well. I am glad I entertained everyone that night (it was really nerve-wracking!).
Games, Games, Games!
In addition, they had a fun musical statues game for the kids whom they had a hard time picking for the winner so in the end of the game, the kids shared the price. For the adults, there was a “Rated PG” (for adults only) game where the players chosen were British husbands with their Filipina wives. The gents had to sit while holding balloon pumps, but the ladies were the ones pumped it. The first couple who popped it was the winner, and those were my aunt and uncle. It was really fun that gave me a tummy ache from non-stop laughing because my partner and I participated as well (if you only heard what those contestants were shouting).
To describe my night with the Filipino community in Bognor Regis, I would say it was unforgettable! i made new friends; I ate Filipino dishes; i spent my time with my aunt and uncle as well as my family, and we enjoyed the party. Even we didn’t win any of the BINGO games, I still had the best time! They said that they were planning to have another event in December, sadly, I will be in the Philippines by that time. Even so, I know that was just the start of their community projects for Filipinos in Bognor Regis and definite;y won’t be my last.
I would like to congratulate and thank the Filipino Community in Bognor Regis especially the people behind the successful event they had. For more details of their upcoming events, you might want to visit their Facebook Group
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