Filipino festival draws 200,000 in Toronto
An estimated 200,000 participants trooped to Fun Philippines in Toronto’s event over the weekend to celebrate Filipino culture, food, games and crafts.
The two-day event was organized by the Philippine Legacy and Cultural Alliance (PLACA), the non-profit organization responsible for events like Taste of Manila in 2019.
Performances by artists like David Pomeranz, ABBA Revisited and a Bon Jovi tribute band were crowd drawers but the festival-like events that had the semblance of fiestas back home were enjoyed by participants of all ages.
A mini-perya (carnival), basketball games and sungka were memorable for Wena Basco, one of those who joined the event.
The event opened with a parade that featured Philippine regional festivals that encouraged participants to join the street dancing.
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The one-kilometer stretch of Bathurst St. featured over 130 booths lined with food and craft vendors, lively street activities and eye-catching Filipino cultural installations.
“Fun Philippines aims to spread cultural education through fun programs and installations. There will be fun and exciting activities at the event that will engage attendees and keep them entertained throughout the festival. The event will feature more than just food stands. This event benefits the community, Ontario as a whole, and the country’s efforts to revitalize its economy,” the organizers said in its website.
The Greater Toronto Area is home to the biggest Filipino population in Canada. Ontario accounts for more than 50 percent of immigrants of Filipino descent according to the 2021 census.