The Philippine Consulate General has ushered in the month by holding its annual Christmas Party for the members of the Filipino community, attracting over 500 migrant workers.
Held yesterday at Chan Meng Kam Theater, the event, “Paskong Pinoy,” which means “Filipino Christmas,” featured a series of performances, games, raffle draws and food sharing.
The event is held annually every first Sunday of December. Consul general Lilybeth Deapera explained that the consulate aims to gather the Filipino community to feel the spirit of Christmas, as the date is heavily celebrated in the Philippines.
“Paskong Pinoy is an annual event for the members of the Filipino community where we celebrate Christmas for them. […] We hold it in the first week of December because a lot of members of the Filipino community will go back home before Christmas day,” the official explained.
Although several migrant groups and associations are also set to hold their own Christmas events, the official noted that the event held by the consulate shows the cooperation between the several migrant groups in the city.
According to Deapera, the annual event is recording a yearly increase.
“When I first welcomed the participants, [I noticed] there were a lot of first timers and I liked it especially because it means that there are more and more members of the community who get to know their compatriots,” said the official.
“It’s a good testimony of the unity amongst the members of the community,” she added.
Meanwhile, several members of the community recalled how they celebrate Christmas in the Philippines, noting that the event is the closest to home this festive season.
“We are far from our families so we want to experience the spirit of Christmas and experience Christmas with [our fellow compatriots] in Macau. We feel happy because we are gathered today,” said a worker who attended the event for the first time.
“It’s important for us because we usually feel sad [during this season] being away from our families, so these kinds of events help to remove our homesickness,” she added.
Echoing the same sentiments, another migrant worker said, “We miss Christmas back home but we feel it here too during these kinds of gatherings, so we really appreciate this event as a way for us to gather and to show unity.”
Held from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., the event also attracted a growing number of sponsors from the Filipino businesses in the city and in Hong Kong. LV