Traditionally, “balagtasan” is a debate among Tagalog speaking poets. It is a Filipino poetry debate named after Francisco Balagtas. It is characterised by rhythmic verses measured in equal number of syllables. In celebration of Tagalog as the Philippine National Language, the Tagalog Association of Australia (TAA) headed by its president Danny Peralta staged its second Balagtasan at Pabico Club 55 in Mt. Druitt on August 29. Peralta acted as “Lakandiwa” or judge of the contest.
In contrast with last year, the debaters exchanged views on “payat” or “mataba” (thin of fat).
The main participants as shown above were: Aida Morden, Obet Dionisio and Max Lopez of the “Payat” Team; and Ross Aguilar, Rolly Metierre and Cesar Bartolome of the “Mataba” Team. Present were Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis and Consul Marford Angeles.
Other performers were the famous Sonata Singers, Jasmine Montemayor, Nenita Weeks of the Magkaugay Dance Troupe and the Yapak Cultural Group Band. History and Research was done by Dr. Floro Quibuyen.
There was audience participation provided by Ely Carter, Cecille Aguilar, Meg Macatangay, and Dino Crescini. – by Rio Matro