PH embassy brings fiesta to US capital

MANILA, Philippines – "It simply was overwhelming," Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia, Jr. said. "For 6 hours on Saturday, we were able to let other people know why it’s more fun in the Philippines."

More than 6,000 people in Washington, DC, got to experience  Filipino culture, at the embassy's open house on Saturday, May 3.

It was the first time the Philippine embassy joined the annual Passport DC "Around the World" Embassy Tour, organized by the District of Columbia Cultural Tourism Office.

The Washington Post previously mentioned that the Philippine embassy's event was one to visit.

And it was indeed a hit.

While they were only expecting 3,000 visitors, a total of 6,105 people actually showed up.

Visitors got to hear, taste and see Philippine culture.

An open house visitor tries tinikling. Photo from Philippine Embassy Washington DC Facebook page

An open house visitor tries tinikling.

Photo from Philippine Embassy Washington DC Facebook page

Magnolia popsicles (in ube, buko, and mango flavors), calamansi juice, Ati-Atihan costumes, and lessons in tinikling (a traditional dance), were among the favorites of attendees, said Emil Fernandez, minister and consul for cultural affairs.

And of course, it's not a fiesta without lechon.

Jollibee and Red Ribbon also provided plenty of food.

Dancers from Mabuhay Incorporated, Club Filipino of Georgetown University, the Philippine Culture Society of George Washington University and the Migrant Heritage Commission performed traditional Filipino dances like tinikling, salip-banga, and sakuting.

Filipino martial artists demonstrated their skill in arnis and escrima.

Fashion and art highlights included: wood sculptures by Paete Woodcarvers Association, a photo exhibit by the International League of Conservation Photographers, and the Filipiniana piña gown collection of fashion designer Cathy Ebrada Cleveland.

According to latest reports, nearly 700,000 tourists from the United States visited the Philippines in 2013.

The Philippines' main embassy in the US is in Washington DC, while it maintains other consulates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Honolulu, Guam and the Marianas Islands.

More than 50 embassies in the US capital participated in the month-long embassy tour. –

See photos of the Philippine embassy's open house on their Facebook page.