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The Originals: Dedicated and hardworking leaders and volunteers of theFilipino food booth every year at the International Folk Fair in West Allis



Submitted By: Maria Melinda Gonzales Tilistyak


Liwayway Dance Troupe

The 71st Holiday Folk Fair was held on November 21- 23, 2014 at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis.  This year’s theme was “Celebrate the Culture of the Artisan”.   The fair showcased the artisans and their work in making and crafting traditional objects by hand.

    The Filipino Cultural Booth was a success as it won the “Best use of Theme Award” presented by the Holiday Folk Fair Institute.   Instrumental in designing the cultural booth honoring the Filipino Weavers were Jojo and Gerry Ramos.   The display was interactive and fun for all ages, especially for the children as they wove pieces of colorful cloth materials to make wall hangings, and made friendship bracelets and rings from an array of rainbow looms, which are stretchy and tiny rubber bands.

    FAAWIS took back directing the Filipino Food Booth.  It has been a tradition for many years for FAAWIS to have and manage the food booth at the fair.  It was a success thanks to the many volunteers who helped in the food booth from transporting food and supplies, setting-up the food booth,  preparing and cooking Philippine cuisine, serving food, washing dishes and finally cleaning up.  Volunteers also helped during the food preparation at the Marian Center a week before the Fair.  Moreover, the collaborative efforts and hard work of the FAAWIS food booth committee members, officers and advisors contributed to the success of the food booth.

2014 was especially important in that it was a transition year in passing on the necessary knowledge allowing the tradition of having the FAAWIS Filipino Food Booth at the Holiday Folk Fair every year to continue.  The FAAWIS Food Booth Committee members and officers learned from the wonderful advisors who have been involved in leading the Filipino Food Booth at the Holiday Folk Fair since the 1970s.  They are: Dr. Jazmin Parcon-Sandoval, Edgardo Sandoval and Ning Mendoza.  It has been a privilege to learn from and work with them at this year’s Holiday Folk Fair.  Also deserving of special thanks were: Joyce Coury, FAAWIS President, and the FAAWIS Food Booth Committee:  Maria M. Gonzales-Tilistyak, Dr. Maria Mendoza-Lemes, Miriam Santos-Amador, Tom Hey, Christine Hey, Sol Atienza-Yoder, Linda Ramos, Divina Wells, Rhoda Dickhut, Delilah Dijamco, and Mae Elliott.

The Filipino Food Booth served Philippine cuisine.  Its main dishes were: chicken adobo (classic Filipino dish), pancit (noodle dish), mami (soup), siopao (steamed bun) and rice.  Desserts included leche flan (custard) and cassava (cake).  The perennially popular hot salabat (ginger brew) was served as a beverage. The Filipino Food Booth was frequented by many at the fair.

Again, many thanks to all who volunteered at this year’s Holiday Folk Fair International, in the Filipino Food Booth, Cultural Booth and Market Place Booth, and to the talented FAAWIS dancers.  Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat!  Thank you all!


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