‘A Taste of the Philippines’ draws thousands in San Diego
Filipino American History Month (FAHM) events have been filling this October’s calendar, and one of them, “A Taste of the Philippines” (#TOTP2021) Saturday, Oct. 16 at San Diego, California’s, Waterfront Park drew thousands of celebrants from far and near.
A “Taste of the Philippines” featured several passive and interactive displays honoring fallen Filipino American victims on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, frontline health care workers, fatalities from COVID-19, and the activism of San Diego Filipinos in the ‘70s.
An art gallery showed works of local and regional artists. There were VIP “tastings” of Filipino cuisine along with Philippine infused brews and spirits (e.g. Ube Beer) for the hot day.
The well-known local Samahan and PASACAT Philippine Dance troupes performed along with other local entertainers. Local Old Guys (OG) crooners aka “Undercover Jams” skillfully sang R&B oldies to the delight of the mixed audience. Hometown Pixar animator Bobby Rubio’s acclaimed Fil-Am short “Float” was shown on the stage’s big screen.
“Profits & Protest” representing Filipino American activists of the 1970s-‘80s, who were college students at the time, was pulled together by cofounders of several Filipino student organizations, including SD State Samahan, Southwestern’s Pagkakaisa, UCLA Samahang Pilipino and UC Irvine’s Kababayan. The group sang movement songs of their activist days, “Ang Bayan Ko” (My Country) and “Profits Enslave the World” (from a poem by Philip Vera Cruz, past Vice President of the United Farm Workers Union).
The closing headliner was Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas.
There were photo opportunities next to a vintage U.S. Army Jeep, a jeepney and a tricycle. Children were also seen safely rope-climbing fake coconut trees (rock climbing style) and bouncing in an inflated jumper house complete with slide.
The local San Diego chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society’s (FANHS) booth displayed student-made posters of Filipino American historical and cultural events and activities. FANHS local chapter members Sal Flor, Felix Tuyay and past FANHS Pres. Judy Patacil available to answered questions .
Over 16, 000 were in attendance, according to Joe Mazares III, one of the organizers, who observed a very “diverse crowd of Filipinos and non-Filipinos, tourists and residents enjoying the day.“