Wow! What a Blast in Mississauga!

Never before have we seen such a huge turnout of people at Mississauga Celebration Square. The lower portion was literally full of people coming together to enjoy a warm Saturday afternoon for the annual Fiesta Ng Kalayaan.

Now in its 4th year, the extravagant event showcased the rich Filipino history, culture and talents by various local artists and performing arts groups. So far one of the biggest crowd gathering at the Celebration Square.

People spread their picnic mats on the lawn, savoured traditional Filipino dishes from various food vendors while being entertained by great music and dances.

Josie de Leon set the stage with the patriotic rendition of Ako ay Pilipino and Bayan Ko – songs that always bring nostalgic memories to the Filipino. Classic and popular Filipino songs by other local artists like Chyrell Samson, Arben Lee, Roy Tugbang, Arlene Paculan, Mylene Nicolas, members of charismatic episcopal church and Musika Mississauga Children's Chorus followed. Of course the Fiesta Filipina, Culture Philippines of Ontario (CPO) and CPO Rondalla added color to the festive entertainment through their cultural dances and music.

Other cultural dances from Egyptian Habeeba ensemble and Bollywood by Naach Nation was an added treat. The crowd was excitedly on their feet as they watched the Pacific Magic Hawaiian dance number and Step by Step line dance. Young people did a flash mob dance routine to the music of Michael Jackson . Moreover the audience’ energy were kept high as local group talents performed such as EMRM Band, La Cosa Pinoy Distrikt, Trinity, Michael and Kevin Sheitzbach. The evening concert theme of Celebrate Music of all times featured songs of Elvis Presley by Ian Weir , Beatles Revival by Abaca Brothers. The EZ Rock Band played the grand finale with pop rock music and made the crowd dance the night away with 70's classic rock genre, and renowned original Pilipino music.

Another Filipino tradition that was not missed during the event was the Santacruzan. Pretty little girls dressed in white posed as angels and young gorgeous ladies dressed in their elegant Filipiniana gowns posed as princesses and queens as they led the procession together with the Banda Pilipino.

The highlight of the day long extravaganza was heartthrob – Sam Milby; a member of ABS-CBN’s elite circle of homegrown talents: Star Magic. He was the consummate performer – entertaining the crowd with his music, guitar and live excerpts from his popular Teleserye, “Dyesebel”! Sam was a real trouper mixing with adoring fans who could not wait to catch a glimpse, reach out their hands waiting for a chance to touch the star, to be one of the lucky ones to receive a red rose or the ever exciting selfie with their idol.

The Celebration Square was abuzz from noon until 10:00 pm and according to some observers, the Fiesta ng Kalayaan just completed has attracted the biggest crowd ever since the inauguration of the Square in 2011. Truly, Fiesta ng Kalayaan has notched the charts of Filipino Canadian community events!

Fiesta ng Kalayaan is a joint undertaking by Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre (KCCC), Fiesta Filipina Dance Troupe (Fiesta), Culture Philippines Ontario (CPO), and Kalayaan Filipino Cultural Organization (KFCO), in collaboration with the City of Mississauga, The Filipino Channel (TFC) and its major sponsor, KPMG, as well as other local business sponsors.

(Photo courtesy of Rene Sevilla, click here for additional pictures)