Cavan Multicultural Christmas Market & Cavan Enterprise Town Dec 2017

Vanda Brady set up a Filipino Christmas Tree pm 8-10 December 2017 at the Cavan Multicultural Christmas Market featuring Christmas Filipino traditions and decor.  She coordinated this with the Event Organisers of Cavan County Council Peace Project.

On December 8, she also set up a Cavan Filipino Community stall at Cavan Enterprise Town which featured schools, businesses families and local communities in County Cavan.

Re-Imagine 1916 Centenary Celebration in Co. Cavan


On 23 April 2016, ENFiD-Ireland participated in the 1916 Centenary Celebration in Cavan called “Re-Imagine 1916”. We coordinated with Cavan County Council in setting up an exhibition showcasing Philippine crafts and food, presenting 4 folk dances namely Carinosa, Banga, Bulaklakan and Tinikling, and participated in the parade with three Reyna Elena embellished arcs and three groups representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Here’s a video of the Filipino folk dance Bulaklakan performed in front of the Cavan Library.





Weaving Filipino & Irish Music

Weaving Cultures:  A Tradition that Unites

Listen to Dawn’s rendition of the Visayan lullaby “Ili-Ili, Tulog Anay” (Sleep Little One) in Visayan, English, and Gaelic, and Three Irish Polkas played on a Filipino Bamboo flute by her daughter.

Dawn Zabala-Dickey is an Educator-Singer-Storyteller and Consultant for Steiner Education and mentor for Philippines, Ireland, Vietnam and Singapore. She implemented a wholeyear celebration of Filipino-Irish Festivals with songs and verses in Filipino and Gaelic. A University of the Philippines Singing Ambassador, she leads forest & nature-based Parend & Child Circles where she incorporates the richness of Philippine Folk Songs and Folk Tales. Dawn continues the advocacy on promoting the Filipino culture and support for the new generation of conscious parenting.

From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery


Vanda Brady was the editorial coordinator, Foreword contributor, and national  book launch event director of “From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery. ” The honest and eye-opening account brings new light on how to tame culture shock through a journey of self-maturation and self-discovery. It reveals what many migrant workers currently experience in the Republic of Ireland, but also highlights the similarities between the Filipino and Irish culture. It is a book to be enjoyed by migrants all over the world as it equips readers with some guidance on what to expect and helps them discover new things about themselves as they explore unfamiliar ground.

Vising Kennedy has an article on the Metro Eireann, the first and only weekly multicultural newspaper in Ireland. She was also interviewed on June 18 by Teresa Quinn in her radio programme called “Bookline” on Liffey Sound 96.4 FM, a community radio station serving Lucan and its Environs.  Here is her live  interview. The book is available on Amazon and

The Philippine Honorary Consulate Dublin and the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD)-Ireland launched the first book of its kind, “From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery,” at a special Philippine Independence Day Celebration held at Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin on the 2nd of June 2017 from 6 pm.

The book, which is about the life of Filipino immigrant and former journalist Vising Benavidez- Kennedy as she explores her two homes, was officially inaugurated by Philippine Honorary Consul to Ireland, Mark Christopher Congdon.

“May the commemoration of our country’s Declaration of Independence inspire you to build a community . . . that embodies a deep love for their homeland.” This and the Philippine government’s efforts on eliminating crime and drugs are the main points that attendees of the event heard from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s letter.

Philippine Embassy London First Secretary and Consul Mr Voltaire Mauricio delivered a message on behalf of the newly appointed Non-Resident Philippine Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Antonio Lagdameo, a Davaoeño like the President. Honorary Consul Congdon, along with First Secretary and Consul Mauricio, was introduced to Filipino community organisations, who, in return, presented issues and concerns affecting over 13,000 Filipinos in Ireland.

Sancha Magat of Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) spoke of the origins of her group’s work which started mainly with the Filipino community, and drew attention to its campaigns with workers.

Cynthia Barker, the first Filipino to be elected Borough Councillor in the UK and 2016 Recipient of the British Honours Award endorsed by Her Majesty the Queen, attended the event.

Also present was 2017 Emerging Scholar Awardee Diane Nititham who talked about “Making Home in Diasporic Communities”. Based on original ethnographic work conducted in Ireland and the Philippines, the book examines how Filipina diasporans socially and symbolically create a sense of ‘home’.

Carmen Legarda, the first Filipino-origin to run for the Houses of Parliament in England and selected to be the Parliamentary Candidate for the Hendon constituency by the Green Party for the June 8th British Elections was also there.

Performers included world-renowned Filipina-Irish-American vocalist and ENFiD Ambassador of Goodwill Stephanie Reese and the young Filipino winners of the 2012–2016 All-Ireland Irish Dancing.

The event was covered by international media including UNTV and ABS-CBN.  Here is a link to the TV coverage by UNTV.

Puppets for Peace



Vanda Brady and Dawn Zabala-Dickey have initiated PUPPETS FOR PEACE beginning July 2017 composing and presenting a multi-cultural story. It involves music, stage mounting/tableu/landscape and multi-cultural languages.  Dawn is an Educator-Singer-Storyteller and Consultant for Steiner Education and mentor for Philippines, Ireland, Vietnam and Singapore schools.

At “A Philippine Summer Concert in Malta,” Vanda and Dawn presented a Waldorf puppet show of an adaptation of Filipino folklore “Ibong Adarna” where Vanda read the story while Dawn moved puppets and played the handmade Celtic lyre made by Sam Irwin of Co. Down.  It was well received by Filipinos and other cultures partaking in the event.

Throughout history, storytelling as a highly valued art form and the storyteller was always a welcome guest. Carefully selected tales were used to teach children the rules and values of their culture and to educate them in the mythological and spiritual traditions by which the people lived. Stories were used to mark and remember important events, to honour great achievements, to amuse and to entertain, and to move the people to action” – excerpt from “A Storyteller’s Kit” – researched and compiled by Dawn Zabala-Dickey.

“The Healing Story of The Adarna Bird” is an adaptation of a 17th Century Philippine Epic about an eponymous magical bird and believed to be written by Jose de la Cruz. Its message is very timely for migration issues of today.

The title’s longer form during the Spanish occupation in the Philippines was “Korrido ng Pinagdaanang Buhay ng Tatlong Prinsipeng Magkakapatid na Anak ng Haring Fernando at ng Reyna Valeriana sa Kahariang Berbanya.”  Thus it is timely to be reminded of the representations of the journeys in our lives, the characters solving problems that address our feelings and temperaments, the Willing-Thinking are tested. This type of stories help us incarnate and find our ego to carry on with our missions. As we know folk stories came from people who knew the truth and thus gives us hope learning from the metaphors and the struggles of the people that were finally overcome. Dawn and her husband Alan, both teachers in a pioneer Steiner/Waldorf State School in Ireland wrote it together and did a healing puppet show for St. John’s Festival in Ireland. Apart from the wider community, it was geared for the children and adults of Camphill Mountshannon, one of the many around the world where people with special needs do lots of arts, crafts, biodynamic gardening and live in a community that shares daily tasks, celebrate festivals and live harmoniously despite differences.

Many Filipinos do volunteer work in different Camphill communities around the globe. The second time this was shown to the public was for the Cultural Festival hosted by Irish and Filipino Nurses in Ireland.


Storytelling for ENFiD 2nd Conference, Malta July 31-Aug 3 2015

  1. LYRE PLAYING THEN BELL – Dawn (after emcee’s spiel)
  2. UNVEIL SILK COVER – Dawn & Vanda on each end of the puppetry holding the silk cloth

“The Healing Song of the Adarna Bird”

(an adaptation by Alan & Dawn Dickey)

Once upon a time it happened in the Kingdom of Berbanya. King Fernando was known even beyond his kingdom, (Dawn starts to walk K Fernando and make gestures) and he was well loved by his subjects. He was a very understanding and just king. Half of his heart belonged to Queen Valeriana, (gesture & movements) who, besides her beauty, was also very kind hearted.

King Fernando and Queen Valeriana had three sons. The eldest was Don Pedro // and the middle son was Don Diego //. Both could be naughty and cunning compared to the youngest, Don Juan, // who was adored by the King for his kind nature. For seven years King Fernando taught his three sons the things that a royal prince should know about. He was achieving the dreams and joys of his life and there was nothing more that he could ask for. (pause for 3 sons and the King to be back in place ready for next scene)

But one day there was turmoil in the entire kingdom. In the middle of the night a horrifying nightmare came to the king, and when morning came he could not awaken.  He lay groaning in his bed, suffering a terrible sickness. Now the only cure for this sickness was the magical song of a bird called Adarna. // This bird lived in the mountains of Tabor, nesting on the golden tree of Piedras Platas. It was said that only in the night times could the Adarna bird be sighted there, singing her magical song. After singing, the bird dropped a black feather from its wing, // and if the feather should ever fall on somebody, he or she would turn to stone.

Doctors from far off kingdoms were called upon but none could cure the King’s illness. Then one day the news arrived from the woods where a Wise Woman lived. She was the only one who knew about the cure of the Adarna Bird’s magical song.

So the eldest son, Don Pedro was the first to be assigned the task of traveling to Mount Tabor and capturing the Adarna Bird. Don Pedro brought everything he thought he might need to fulfill his mission for his father, and plenty of food and drink for the journey. On the way he met a leper who begged for something to eat, // but Don Pedro did not want to give him even a morsel of his bread. In the end with much difficulty he reached the Mountain of Tabor. He rested under the golden tree of Piedras Platas and ate his bread until the Adarna bird came at night fall. // But he felt so tired that he couldn’t stay awake when the Adarna sang her song:







After singing, the Adarna Bird’s black feather fell on Don Pedro and he was turned into stone! (pause for the falling feather and positioning the puppet)

Seven years passed and the kingdom was worried. All were disheartened when Don Pedro didn’t return to the palace.

So it was that the second son, Don Diego, was asked next to undertake the journey. Like his elder brother, he brought everything he needed. On the way to Mount Tabor, he too met the leper who asked for a small piece of bread, // but Don Diego didn’t even stop to listen to his begging. He reached Mt. Tabor with much more difficulty than Don Pedro. He felt very thirsty so he drank under the golden tree of Piedras Platas until the Adarna bird came at night. And as it sang, Don Diego was lulled to sleep and thus the Adarna Bird’s black feather fell also on him. // So Don Diego suffered the same fate as Don Pedro, and was turned into stone (pause for setting puppet  )

Another seven years passed and the kingdom was in mourning for the two princes who had never returned from their journeys. And because the king adored his youngest son Don Juan so much, he hesitated to send him on such a dangerous journey. But Don Juan loved his father, and he insisted that he would follow his brothers towards Mt. Tabor and bring back the Adarna Bird and its magical cure.  He departed without even a horse, but with just five loaves of bread, and his unfailing faith in the Lord Almighty.

For seven months Don Juan traveled. One day he met the same old leper who was very hungry. Don Juan pitied him and gave the old man his last piece of bread. // The old man was so happy, he bowed and thanked Don Juan. And not only that: because he felt so grateful, the old man gave Don Juan the directions to the Wise Woman’s house – the only living soul who could help Don Juan capture the Adarna bird.

It didn’t take long for Don Juan to find the house of the Wise Woman. It was as if the wind was directing his path to the one who had much wisdom to share, but only to those who were willing to listen. And instantly the Wise Woman from the woods recognized Don Juan. She gave Don Juan everything he needed to capture the Adarna bird – a piece of golden net, and a small flask of agua bendita. This is the holy water needed to relieve his brothers from the enchantment of the Adarna’s black feathers. The Wise Woman also instructed Don Juan and said: “When the Adarna bird sings, you must wound your arm with a knife and drop some calamansi or lime juice on the wound. The pain will keep you awake, and in this way you will not be turned to stone

as your brothers were.”  Don Juan thanked the Wise Woman and said: “I am indeed very grateful for your help and advice.”  Afterwards Don Juan carried on his journey to Mt. Tabor.     Unlike his brothers he did not experience much difficulty in reaching Mt. Tabor, // and he had enough strength to keep watch until the Adarna Bird nested on the golden tree of Piedras Platas. The Adarna alighted and instantly sang her song.







As the Adarna Bird sang Don Juan remembered the advice of the kind Wise Woman. He took his knife and carefully made a small cut on his arm.  // Into the wound he squeezed some drops of stinging calamansi juice.  The pain ensured that he was able to stay awake and not become enchanted by the Adarna bird’s magical song. And so when the bird’s black feather floated to the ground, // he was able to move out of its way. He waited for a few minutes, and once the Adarna had fallen asleep, he took his golden thread to capture the bird. He also took his agua bendita and sprinkled a few drops of the holy water onto the stones beneath the tree. // In a moment the two stones came back to life, and Don Pedro and Don Diego stood smiling in front of their youngest brother. The two were very thankful, and then the three brothers, with Don Juan carrying the Adarna Bird in his arms, started on their journey back to their father’s kingdom. (pause as Pedro & Diego are walked backed to the Kingdom, then Juan & the Adarna Bird )    Queen Valeriana was very thankful for the return of her sons. They told her all about the challenges they had encountered on their journey. // Then straight away, the Adarna Bird alighted near King Fernando’s sickbed and sang her beautiful song.







King Fernando felt warmth and strength returning to him. //He thanked the Adarna Bird and let it free again to continue its singing and healing for those in need. As for the kingdom, love, peace and joy continued among its people. III. Vanda rings the bell then cover the puppetry table with Dawn. IV Community Singing: DANDANSOY

An adaptation for the Irish audience by Dawn and Alan Dickey from a Philippine lyric poem

First shown for St. John’s Festival at Camphill Mountshannon and Parent & Child Group Open Day, 17th June 2012, Co. Clare and INMO (Irish Nurses and Midwives Org) Culture Fest 24th Aug 2013, Dublin

Modern Oriental Design Home with Traditional Filipino Elements, Nestled Amidst Irish Pastures

Hidden in the back roads of the Cavan countryside and yet only minutes from busy Cavan Town in Ireland, Long Meadow View is an amazing design project and fascinating retreat created and owned by ENFiD Country Representative Vanda Brady and her Irish husband Shane Brady.

It embraces a Boutique Oriental Chic concept that features understated luxury within a modern exotic design. It captures the visual experience of a traditional Filipino home, yet tempered by a well insulated and smart geethermal structure that can brave the harsh Irish weather.

The fundamental design of the interiors was inspired by the Philippine style that blends both Spanish and American influence with the use of 19 capiz shell embellished doors and decor shipped from the Philippines, dark and heavy wood furnishings, spacious living and dining areas, and a high hand- railed timber stairway with elaborate balustrades.

The capiz doors, lamp shades and, dining table set were skillfully handmade by a family-owned Capiz Furniture making company based in SamaI, Bataan. The fundamental design of the interiors was inspired by the Philippine style that blends both Spanish and American influence with the use of 19 capiz shell embellished doors and decor shipped from the Philippines, dark and heavy wood furnishings, spacious living and dining areas, and a high hand railed timber stairway with elaborate balustrades. Instead of crisp white walls or plain magnolia, the mild grey foundation and unanticipated accent walls delight the contemporary eye.

However, care was taken to incorporate local Philippine details such as traditional or native Filipino ornaments including the sungka or the butaka style tumba-tumba or rocking chair, a unique wind chime made of a real carabao horn, and a carved wooden Last Supper. There is also a dedicated learning area for their two children to learn about the Filipino language and culture.

Long Meadow View is a genuine Filipino home ironically set in the Irish countryside, a dream fulfilled in three years by a Filipina who proudly hails from the foothills of the southern most tip of Mindanao.