Served Manila was tapped to help mount “Fiesta Filipinas: An Online Celebration of Philippine Festivals” launched last December 2020 by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in cooperation with the Department of Tourism (DoT) and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Aiming to introduce and showcase Philippine festivals, culture, and traditions to a global audience, this six-part online event series simulates the experience of a Filipino festival through the combination of live performances, pre-recorded videos, and interactive workshops.
“We’re hoping to bring the experience of Philippine fiestas closer to people’s hearts by making them feel the fiestas,” DFA Executive Director Marie Yvette Banzon-Abalos emphasized.
Fiesta Filipinas is completed with a customized fiesta kit for each festival which includes Filipino delicacies, culture representation, and activities, carefully curated by Served Manila, a local pioneer in experiential online events.
The Halal-certified delicacies featured in the kits come from SMEs and local brands like Malagos Chocolates, Bong Bong’s Delicacies, Cebu Best Dried Mangoes, Gourmet Farms Coffee, Oh So Healthy Snacks and Orich International Malunggay Juices.
“We are excited to bring our exploration kits to people around the world, and showcase the best of Philippine culture, traditions, and even food! It warms our hearts to see foreign nationals smile and hear them say that they are excited to see the Philippines in the future,” says Served Manila chief explorer, Alan Fontanilla.
These kits are delivered to 94 foreign service posts across the world—an immersive invite for foreign tourists to visit the country when conditions are more favorable.
“There’s the taste, the aroma. There’s the sensation of doing things. And everything actually equates to, “Go to the Philippines if you want more,” DoT Undersecretary Roberto Alabado III expressed when asked about the program’s impact on tourism.
Fiesta Filipinas has created a community of foreign nationals and Filipinos overseas looking forward in experiencing the actual festival themselves.
“This is the first time that I have an online celebration like this which is really a great experience for me,” Jennie, a virtual bisita who attended the Sinulog, Ati-atihan, and Dinayang event from Vietnam said.
Another bisita noted that the experience was “absolutely amazing”. “I felt like I was there but I have never been there before,” said Dionte from New Zealand when she attended the Panagbenga virtual fiesta.
Currently gearing for the other fiestas scheduled, the DFA, together with its partner agencies and with the help of Served Manila and its video production and streaming partner Sinematika, Fiesta Filipinas continues to evolve the activities to bring the full Filipino fiesta experience around the world.