Updated June 7, 10:02 a.m.
Get ready for a fun-filled day of Filipino festivities next weekend!
For the first time ever, the Kalayaan Festival, which commemorates the 114th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, will be held in Union City.
This year’s celebration will be held June 10 at from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The free annual event is usually held in San Francisco every year, however, an advisory group decided to host the event in Union City, according to Union City Vice Mayor Pat Gacoscos, who, along with a committee of local community leaders, helped bring the event to Union City.
“Someone said, ‘Why don’t we do it in a place where there is a sizable Filipino population?’” Gacoscos told Union City Patch last week.
Union City has an ethnically diverse population of 70,000 residents with more than 20 percent of the population being of Filipino descent, according to a press release from the City of Union City.
The Union City event was organized by Kalayaan event coordinator Arnold Pedriga with the helpd of a committee of community leaders — which includes Union City Councilmember Jim Navarro, Union Sanitary District Board
Member and former Councilmember Manny Fernandez and New Haven Unified
School District School Board Member Linda Canlas — along with young professionals and staff of the Philippine Consulate.
“We are very excited as this is the first time that the festival is being held outside of San Francisco,” said Vice Mayor Gacoscos. “The Independence Day
celebration is an opportunity for Filipino-Americans and the community to
rediscover and learn about the country’s history; appreciate its cultural heritage
and to honor those who fought for the country’s freedom. This is also an
opportunity for Union City to showcase its rich cultural diversity, businesses and
hospitality to our neighboring cities."
The event will feature live entertainment, a fashion parade, comedy and cultural performances, along with celebrity guests.
The theme of Kalayaan 2012 is “A New generation of heroes: Connect. Inspire. Empower.” According to a press release, the theme was selected to inspire the next generation to be leaders in their communities and respective fields of interest.
“Now is the time to encourage our youth to be actively engaged and be conduits for positive change within our communities,” the press release states.
According to AsianJournal.com, the daylong cultural event will include performances from Filipino American talents such as April Labson, Ram Lopez, Allan Manalo and San Francisco theatre group Bindlestiff Studio. Clothing designer Crisanta Malig will also showcase her latest works in a fashion parade and Eskabo Daan will lead a Filipino martial arts demonstration.
Those interested in sponsoring, hosting a booth or volunteering at the event can email info@kalayaanSF.org for more information.