Los Angeles PH art and culture fest comes back strong
LOS ANGELES – After a five-year absence, the popular Filipino American culture and arts celebration Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC) came back Saturday, Sept. 3, at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles.
Thousands converged at the free event hosted by FilAm ARTS and the Levitt Pavillion to enjoy the food, entertainment and merchandise of community vendors of jewelry, clothing and comic books.
A new feature was the Philippine Rum and Craft Beer Garden, featuring Don Papa Rum cocktails and Ube Beer, plus live entertainment.
Although reduced to 6 hours from the previous weekend-long bash held at venues like San Pedro’s Cabrillo Beach and Pt. Fermin Park, Echo Park and Grand Park, the comeback reunion welcomed throngs while respecting pandemic measures. Free testing and Covid boosters were made available by the Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County and Fulgent.
Other community info booths included Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats, and Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) with its fully restored jeepney.
“Since its inception, FPAC has given countless artists various opportunities to amplify the voices of Filipino Americans and Filipinos in the diaspora. We all look forward to having FPAC return in person. Kaya natin ito ( We can do this),” said Giovanni Ortega, festival director.
Gracing the stage were cultural performers including the traditional Rondalla Club of LA, Kayamanan Ng Lahi, and Pakaraguian Kulingtang Ensemble.
Also onstage were contemporary performers Headband Andy, Ella Jay Basco, Mica Javier, R-Jay and DJs, with Ruby Ibarra closing. Helping to keep the action flowing were emcees Jennifer Paz (musical theatre actress), Giselle Tongi (FilAm ARTS executive director) and a very capable Spanish translator.
Its very strong MacArthur Park comeback bodes well for the future of FPAC as an annual institution.