by : Myrna Aquitania
The highly-attended annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture (FPAC) this weekend which showcased Pinoy talent in various disciplines was indeed a successful event.
Founded by a handful of artists and community leaders in 1992 and in cooperation with the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department, FPAC’s aim was to address the Filipino American community’s visibility in the community. The first event took place at the Los Angeles City College on Mother’s Day, May 14, 1992 where “3,000 participants braved the aftermath of the L. A Riots which occurred the week before. Since then FPAC has only grown stronger and bigger moving to Cabrillo Beach in 1994 to its present location at Pt. Fermin Park in the historic district of San Pedro in 2001.”
The year before moving to Pt. Fermin Park, in 2000 “FPAC organizers officially launched Fil-Am Arts as a fully-operational 501 © 3 organization at the L.A. River Center.
Currently, the FPAC is the “largest presenter of Philippine arts and culture in Southern California. presenting over 1200 artists in 9 disciplines and attended by around 25,000 visitors throughout the country. FPAC is still a grassroots and community-led effort produced by a core group of 50 volunteer professionals in collaboration with around 50 community – based and civic organizations as well as 400 volunteers.”
Consul Maria Hellen Barber-Dela Vega not only opened this year’s FPAC ceremonies but she was the recipient of the public service award and community awards for Judge Cas Tolentino and wife, Jennifer Tolentino and Ernest Pena.
The logistics in this year’s program included two entertainment stages called the legacy stage and the generation stage.
Some of the performers on the Legacy stage were: Kayamanan Ng Lahi, Adams Attic, Angel Bonilla,D & G Accordion Ensemble, Danongan Kalanduyan, Kristen Dawn, Krystle Cruz, Mini Shock LA, Movement Project, Pekiti Tersia Kali, Shining Sons Titanie Bucholtz, Skyscrapers and Sebatini Fernandez.
The Generation stage presented headliner comedian performers such as: Rex Navarrette, Dakila Group, FASO Orchestra, Hula O’ Napualani, Tribu, Malaya Filipino Dance Arts, Carson Streetdance, Kat Badar, Enemy Among Us, Hip Hop Club at Sipa, The Sampaguita Youth Dance Group, Board Avenue, Anak, Daniel Velarde and Friends, Jason Bayani, Ten to Midnight, Sunday Jump, Kristen Dawn, Mothurload, Ruby Ibarra, Skyscrapers, Ethnic Descent and Young Lovers.
One of the more prominent booth participants was the Babaylan Pavilion which featured “indigenous arts, practices and beliefs as a way of fostering reconnection with one’s cultural roots.”
To attract the youth, the Eskuwela Kultura Youth Pavilion had various activities geared for them such as: pabitin, parol-making, face painting, puppet-making and tinikling dance workshops.
Not to be missed was the colorful Philippine Tourism booth monitored by Assistant Tourism Director Manny Ilagan along with Eve Adan and Lara, their loyal tourism staff.
I was particularly attracted to the City of Los Angeles’ free tree program sponsored by the Dept. of Parks and Recreation to “beautify LA”, where we were able to receive fruit trees to be planted in our backyard as long as we live within the City of LA.
Food trucks were available as well as various food vendors such as Neri’s, Asian BBQ, MMM’s Kettle Korn, Sun Tropics, Ramar Foods, LJC Foods and House of Seafood
Our marketing director Alex Llorente who painstakingly set-up the booth with me was thankful to FPAC for inviting us to be part of this year’s great celebration. Mabuhay FPAC!