"It's a lot of your Philippine countrymen coming together for their country," said Nardo Andes, of Union, N.J.
Andes said that this was his first year coming to the convention. He had heard about it from flyers posted in his local stores.
The fiesta consisted of two days worth of shows and gatherings. Leading artists in the Philippine community from both America and the islands themselves performed concerts at the center. These performances ranged from the musical group Terpsichoreans of Queens to comedienne Pokwang from the Philippines.
Miss Philippine Fiesta 2007
One of the biggest draws of the weekend was the crowning of Miss Philippine Fiesta 2007.
For the past year, Filipino females on the East Coast have been vying for a spot on the floor and a chance to wear the crown.
This year's winner was Debbie Ann Pascual, a 22 year-old. Pascual is currently attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and is majoring in fashion merchandising. By participating in the competition, Pascual had said that she hoped inspire people to become the best that they can and meet new friends.
Auria Lopez, of Middletown, attended the event with her daughter Ampitina. Ampitina won the title of Miss Philippine Fiesta in 2005. Auria, along with the former winner, was back to watch Ampitina's friend compete for the 2007 title.
Lopez said that she was coming to the convention before her daughter was a competitor and looked forward to coming back every year.
"You get to learn about what's going on over there from here," Lopez said.
Along with talking to individuals about news in the Philippines, there were also a few newspaper stands that contained stories from the islands.
As much as the fiesta was geared towards bringing people together to be entertained, it was also the home to hundreds of vendors and net workers.
Realtors advertised housing in the Philippines, while some online banking sites promoted fast money transfers to the islands.
"My favorite part of the convention has been the Filipino goods that were on sale," said one attendee as she exited the convention center with her children.
On sale at the convention were articles of clothing, religious artifacts, and different pieces of fashion apparel.
Money transfer company Western Union had one of the largest tables. They were giving away numerous items and hosted cultural dancing outside of the booth. The dance involved stepping in and out of two poles that were laid on the ground and held on either side by Western Union employees.
There were also interactive activities geared towards exercising the mind.
At one booth, chess players could test their mettle against one of several master chess players. Anyone who beat any of the masters won a t-shirt. T-shirts were also given out to those who could solve the "Mate in 2 Moves" game. No one won a t-shirt during both days of the fiesta.
There was also a place for artists to assemble. Paper and paint were given out on request for attendees to create still life paintings and drawings of a collection of items in front of them. "Curators" of the event hung what they believed to be the best works up, while others were sent home with the artists.
For information on Philippine Fiesta 2008, call (212) 682-6610 or e-mail email@example.com.