Hundreds return to Maui’s Barrio Fiesta to celebrate Filipino culture
At one of Maui’s first public festivals since pandemic mandates lifted, the 53rd Barrio Fiesta drew hundreds of people from all ethnic groups to the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center in Kahului during its opening night Friday.
The Filipino cultural festival, which showcases food, culture, pageantry, music, entertainment and activities, continues today from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Maui County and state leaders attended the opening festivities and were welcomed onstage Friday.
Lines were long for Filipino favorites such as banana lumpia, cascaron and pork adobo. Other food included chicharron empanada, dinuguan, gulaman, ice candy, marinated bangus, pansit, pork adobo, pork and peas, pork BBQ, pork lumpia, puto, suman and vegetable lumpia. Local dishes, such as andagi, BBQ beef teriyaki, chow fun, corn and sweet spicy chicken, were also offered.
This year’s Barrio Fiesta is dedicated in memory of the Agrifina “Aggie” Cabebe, who was the first chairperson of the Barrio Fiesta. Cabebe, also known as the “Mother of Filipino Folk Dance on Maui,” died in December 2020.
Started by the Maui Filipino Community Council, the Barrio Fiesta was first held May 31, 1970, at the War Memorial grounds near the swimming pool. At that time, there was an influx of recent immigrants from the Philippines.
The festival began as a way to share the Filipino culture with the rest of Maui county and to instill a sense of pride in local Filipinos of the rich culture of their motherland, organizers said.
For a weekly listing of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, May 26-June 1 and click here.