Filipino Cultural Festival & Parade
The Bay Area is the classic example of the melting pot that is the American city. Nothing proves this more than the summertime, when many of the numerous cultures present in San Francisco and the surrounding area come passionately forward to celebrate their heritage and share their history with thousands and thousands of others. This weekend, two linked events are coming to San Francisco that will give people a chance to experience Filipino culture in a way that we rarely can.
On Saturday, August 13th, the San Francisco Civic Center (located at Fulton St. And Larkin St.) will be the starting point for the 2016 Pistahan Parade. The Pistahan (translated as a sharing of cultures that culminates in a feast) stretches down Market Street to 4th street and includes:
- Plenty of vibrant floats
- Marching Bands from local high schools
- A massive Philippines flag created entirely out of human participants
- Local celebrities and notable figures
- Massive amounts of dancing.
Beginning at 11:00 on the morning of August 13th, the parade is the kick-off of the festival itself, which runs from the 13th to the 14th. The festival, known widely as the biggest U.S. festival revolving around Filipino Americans, is a chance to immerse yourself along with an estimated 75,000 others in the rich traditions, food, art, and culture of the Philippines and the Filipino people.
This year, the festival includes a total of seven different pavilions:
- The Art Pavilion: A curated exhibit of Masskara art and other Filipino styles from local, national, and international artists.
- The Ramar Foods Culinary Pavilion: Food is a universal conduit for the spirit of a people, and the Filipino tastes and flavors will leap out at you as you try the amazing foods prepared by local chefs. The Ramar Foods Culinary Pavilion also features cooking contests, a Balut eating contest, and an ice-cream tasting.
- The Sports Pavilion: Saturday will feature a basketball tournament, and Sunday will see a martial arts tournament as well as various workshops.
- The Innovation Pavilion: See how the work of young Filipinos will change the technological landscape and the world.
- The Dance Pavilion: The Philippines is home to some unique and exciting dance styles, and this pavilion will give you a chance to join in various folk dancing traditions, learn some ballroom dancing moves, and even engage in some Zumba.
- The Kaiser Permanente Health Pavilion: A more utilitarian pavilion, visitors will learn about how to prevent heart attacks, know how to identify a stroke, and get information on eating healthy foods prepared the Filipino way.
- The Heritage Pavilion: A small museum of Filipino treasures and recovered artifacts, some of which have never been on display.
The Festival will run from August 13th to the 14th, 11:00am to 5:00pm, at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens. It is completely free.