There was plenty of chatter and laughter at Shepparton’s Philippine House on Monday as people placed food on top of a long table.
The food, which included spring rolls, rice, fish, noodles, sat neatly on top of banana leaves as close to 100 people gathered to say a prayer in honour of the Philippines Independence Day.
The food had been placed similar to a ‘Boodle Fight’, which is a Philippine military term used for mess hall eating.
Each year on June 12 the Philippines Independence Day is celebrated in Shepparton with a great deal of food and fun, and people travel from across the Goulburn Valley to be part of it.
For Cynthia Gorry, who helped organise the celebration, the day was an important aspect of her nation’s history and culture.
‘‘I think it’s important for migrants,’’ she said.
‘‘When you’re out of your country you become more patriotic and you don’t forget your traditions.’’
Ms Gorry said it was important to celebrate Philippines Independence Day because it paid tribute to those who fought for the country’s freedom, first from Spain, then America, then Japan and then America again.
Although the Philippines was under the rule of many different countries, Ms Gorry said they were thankful to Spain for bringing them Christianity and America for helping them to establish their current education system.
Ms Gorry said it was important to hold onto your culture and it was wonderful to see so many young children at the independence day celebration.