Filipinos mark Independence Day in LA’s historic Filipinotown

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Waiting for parade to start in Filipinotown, Los Angeles. Photo by Alex Drechsler

LOS ANGELES—The Filipino community’s Philippine Independence Day celebration began early on June 8 in the Historic Filipinotown in this city, the festivities commencing with a parade that spanned several blocks.

Dinagyang dancers and drummers led the parade comprising dozens of Filipino companies and groups who were all proudly celebrating their rich cultural heritage.

“The celebration signifies the unity of the Filipino people while truly celebrating the freedom that we are all blessed with,” festival-goer Jun Macaraig said. “I thank God for the freedom because in turn it has become a blessing to many people.”

The LA Philippine Consulate’s booth. Photo by Alex Drechsler

Once the parade ended the crowd gathered in the festival area, booths featured businesses such as media groups, restaurants, realtors, healthcare facilities and more.

In the center was the main stage for various entertainment acts.  These performances showcased Filipino talent at its best. Contemporary and folk dances and singers entertained the crowd, which was having a good time.

Abe Pagtama said, “Independence Day is just remembering that we can finally make decisions for ourselves, and we are not being dictated by foreigners.”

Festival-goers visiting booths of Filipino businesses and organizations. Photo by Alex Drechsler

“I think the parade was a great way to celebrate and revive our roots because we had the chance to meet many people who share our culture” said Melissa Gasia. “We also were able to feel that we are part of a bigger community,”.

For Rowena Dionisio “the fight for our freedom was quite a big accomplishment as both loyal men and women fought for our independence, just like the Americans when they won their independence from the British—no country or group of people would want to be ruled by any outsiders.”

While the crowd was predominantly Filipino and Fil-Ams, a significant number of other ethnicities came to the celebration, proof of the growing impact that the Filipino presence in Los Angeles.

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  • just_the_guy

    Just where exactly in LA is this Filipinotown?

    • socali

      Its near downtown L.A. It used to be full of pinoys but now its a predominantly latino quarter.

      • just_the_guy

        Is it still called Filipino town even if it’s now mostly inhabited by Latinos? Baka yung sinasabing mga “nakatambay na fliplams” na nakaka-hiya ay hindi mga Pinoy but Latino.

      • bok

        I went there once, I almost got shot.

  • bogli_anakdami

    ay sus ginoo… it’s in the condemned section of lost angeles… you won’t gonna miss it… it’s dirty and dilapilated… parang quiapo sa dami ng nakatambay na flipflams…. ‘sang tambaks na flipflams ang mga nakatambay doon sa paradahan ng Amtrak… I avoided fliptowns at all costs… nakakahiya ang mga asal gung gongs, di ba? yun lang…

    • socali

      Bobo, its historic pinoytown but all the pinoys have moved out. Its now a latino community that lives there

      • Mang Kiko

        ayan mga 50 cents propa..wag kc pabigla-bigla ng comments..

        barado ka tuloy.. lol

        ampalayang talangka ^_^

        pag “Filipino Town” puro pinoy kaagad..pag “South China Sea” sa China kaagad.. hmmmmmmm… just saying..

    • ReneV

      katulad mong useless pinoy typing derogatory words against your own! HAHAHA as if nakarating ka dito HAHAHA! the worst thing that you did was fly the Philippine Flag on your own website then call your countrymen flip gung gongs. as you say… yun lang.

      • bok

        The guy is ignorant. Most tambays there are mex, puertos, and god knows which south american countries their parents come from. 80 to 90 percent belong to gangs.There is a very very small percentage of filipinos on “tambay alleys” in LA. Or they are found in malls, puro pagkain lang ang nasa isip.
        They’re not into hanging. When they hang, they hang out inside their compounds, or “sa loob ng bahay”.

      • boybakal

        Pagkain lang ang nasa isip.
        This one I agree with you. Kaya ang mukha ng mga Pilipino parang mga plato sa laki at taba.

        Seguro di nakakain ng husto ng nasa Pinas pa kaya pagdating ng LA lamon ang ginagawa at proud pa.

  • boybakal

    No more trace of Filipino town in that section of LA.
    Only symbolic as most filipinos don’t live there anymore.

    I think it starts from corner of Virgil of Fountain all the way to Downtown.
    Most Hispanics from Central America occupied that place but there are also filipinos.
    You can see them as they are easily distinguished.

    Once you smell the fry tilapia, and sees not so ugly people….you are not that far.

  • boybakal

    That section of Filipino town has no more White people living in the area, And no blacks too.
    Mostly filipinos, Central Americans like Guatemala, Honduran, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexicans.
    These people are mostly drunk.

    But they go along well…they have the same faith, Catholics and they eat the same fish….fried Tilapia.
    That area smells like you are in a Tilapia country.

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