British Festival wows Filipinos anew
Since its introduction in 2014, The British Festival in Manila had become a weekend showcase of the best the United Kingdom can offer from food, to clothing, to automobile.
This year from Filipino families, friends and officemates once again gathered for the third edition of outdoor festival with pocket venues at the Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad led the ribbon cutting ceremony that formally opened the festival, under a new archway inspired by the iconic London Eye that beckoned visitors to the festivities.
He was joined by Shell Philippines’ Ed Chua and Ramon del Rosario, British Council Executive Director Nicholas Thomas and UK Education Ambassador Joyce Tan.
The ambassador also went around the festival area to interact with the visitors who had fun sampling the delicious assortment of British food and drink while completing the festival passport, which allowed them to go around the festival and see all the great activities and attractions.
People of all ages took turns taking selfies by replicas of British landmarks and pop culture icons at UK in Miniature. Amateur sleuths tried their luck at the mystery game created by Escape Hunt especially for the occasion. At the Education Pavilion, British alumni shared how a British education can be a life-changing experience.
At the Main Stage British creativity melded with Filipino talent. The crowds cheered on their favorites as Rockaoke contest finalists belted out West End numbers in a bid to grab the top prize of round trip tickets to the UK courtesy of Etihad Airways. In the end, Richard Supat emerged victorious. British Embassy staff joined PMAP models as they strutted the catwalk in the latest summer trends of top British brands in a fashion show directed by Robby Carmona.
At the Shakespeare Pavilion, local groups celebrated The Bard’s life and legacy. Budding artists joined the children’s theatre workshop conducted by the Philippine Education Theater Association (PETA). Other highlights were Everyday Shakespeare Talks by the Manila Shakespeare Company; excerpts of PETA’s highly-lauded Shakespeare rap-musical “William”, “William Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits” by Word of Mouth Theatre; excerpts from “A Comedy of Errors” performed by British School Manila students. Miriam College students surprised and delighted audiences with pocket live performances of Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night and Julius Caesar.
At the finale, Deputy Ambassador Nigel Boud thanked everyone who participated and came to the festival.
His heart-warming speech was followed by a performance of award-winning a capella group Los Cantantes de Manila, which wowed the crowd with their stunning renditions of British and Filipino songs.
Organized by the British Embassy and its partners, the third British Festival in Manila proved to be an even greater showcase of the creativity, innovation, culture, heritage and knowledge that spell Britain’s success in fashion, music, sport, education and design.