Flagcom Wins Mardi Gras Award

May 13th, 2020 · No Comments

By Benjie de Ubago

When the ostentatious Mardi Gras parade rolls down the streets of Sydney every year, you can bet that the Philippines is represented.  And behind the glitz and glamour of the Philippine Float is the FLAGCOM Association (Filipino Lesbian and Gay Community) representing the LGBTQ and the Filipino community.

Albert Prias of Flagcom (right) receiving the Ron Muncaster Award from Mardi Gras official (left).

After 10 years of participation, this year, Flagcom’s efforts were rewarded with a win. Out of 198 parade participants, Flagcom clinched the Ron Muncaster Award for “Best Parade Costume”, one of the four major Mardi Gras awards.

FLAGCOM was founded 10 years ago by Albert Dimarucut, Albert Prias, Charles Chan and Jude Gonzales, although to date, Prias and Chan are left holding the fort. This year, inspired by their 10th anniversary, the Flagcom float was themed “Adam and Eve” – back to the garden of Eden, as it was in the beginning.  On the Flagcom float are the pageant participants and winners which is held one week prior to the parade. Poised in their scantily clad leafy costumes, they were resplendent and they sure dazzled the spectators that lined the streets.

“It takes a week to prepare and decorate the truck,” said Albert Prias.  “What’s more, it has become an expensive exercise. It can cost up to $25,000 to fully decorate the truck that would be to the standards of the Mardi Gras organizers.   We’re ever so grateful to our sponsors to include Philippine Department of Tourism, Sydney, Philippine Airlines, ABS-CBN (TFC), and Brass Homes who provided us with the truck,” he added.  

The spectacular t Mardi Gras Parade started in 1978 as the spirit of protest; a cry for diversity, equality and inclusion.  Every year, the parade unleashes the unbounded energy and creativity of the participants. Now on its 42nd year, Mardi Gras has evolved into a fully fledged world renowned festival that Sydney proudly celebrates annually. This year’s theme was “What Matters” – allowing participants to visually scream what matters most to them. 

In the early days of the Mardi Gras, Ms Nadia had already participated until the David Jones sponsorship ran dry.  Prias picked it up and has since been participating in the parade for the last 10 years. Prias then, simply threw his passion and creativity behind the project.

“We aim to promote social cohesion and community harmony.  All we ask is for people to accept us, as we are,” said Prias.

The Flagcom Float at the 2020 Mardi Gras Parade.

“Life could be simple” exclaims Prias. Flagcom reminds us of how we should treat one another – with acceptance and respect. 

Tags: Features