A first 3-day FilAm festival in New England to be held in Harvard Square Oct. 7-9

by Ricky Rillera

Harvard Square Philippine American Alliance Festival Poster | CONTRIBUTED Poster

NEW YORK – The Harvard Square Philippine American Alliance (HSPPA), a non-profit organization, is holding the first three-day Filipino American Festival at Harvard Square beginning on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, to commemorate Filipino American History Month.

The free event, in partnership with the Harvard Square Business Association 43rd Annual Oktoberfest and Honk! Parade and Festival! intends to showcase a panorama of the FilAm community’s rich heritage and tradition through music, dance, and food to the local community.

The event will feature live music on multiple stages from different eras catering to a multi-generational crowd, international vendors of crafts and items, including those uniquely from the Philippines and Asia, and festive beer gardens from local and national businesses throughout Harvard Square.

To kick off the three-day Festival, on Friday, Oct. 7, HSPPA and the Philippine Consulate General in New York will hold a Community Recognition Cocktail Reception at Harvard Faculty Club from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Four organizations will be honored with the New England Distinguished Achievement Award:

Philippine American Mainstream Advocacy for Non-Partisan Associations, Inc. (PAMANA)
Iskwelahang Pilipino (IP)
Philippine Medical Association of New England (PMANE)
Philippine Nurses Association of New England (PNA-NE)

HSPPA said Consul General Elmer Cato’s video message would be played during the ceremonies. Francisco H. Lardizabal, the Department of Tourism Attache in New York, would attend with his wife. According to a source, other dignitaries from the Consulate, the Philippine Embassy, and a New York Congressional delegation are expected to attend Saturday and Sunday events.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, HSPPA will have a Harvard Private Tour for Sponsors and Dignitaries from 1 to 3 p.m.

“We are excited that the Filipino American Cultural Groups – Cebu Inc. Tribu Cebuano, Mutya Philippine Dance Company, and GIUSA,” said Catherine Uy, chairwoman of HSPAA. “The HSPAA contingent will be marching from Porter Square, arriving at Harvard Square beginning around 2 p.m. to “Reclaim our Filipino Heritage!” and coincide with the Honk! Festival’s 2022 theme, ‘Reclaim the Streets,’ focuses on “everyone’s presence on the good works that you, our local partners, are doing.”

Slated to perform during the Festival’s main event on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., are:

Headliner: Ez Mil courtesy of I want TFC & MYX Global
Artists – Bryan Termulo, Garth Garci, and Rachel Anne Wolfe
Cultural Dance Groups – Cebu Inc.Tribu Cebuano, Mutya Philippine Dance Company, and GIUSA.
Asian American & Pacific Islander Comedy Jam (Cynthia Gray, Marcus Cardona, Peter Liu, Infini T.)

Filipino American Entertainers include bands SOM Sounds of Manila, Highland Avenue, The Beatlogs with DJ Clyde; Illuminous; EYTCH Angeles; New England’s very own Charlene Hernande; and Carlo Bunyi.

According to HSPAA, they believe in bringing the community together through cultural events that celebrate the core values of Filipinos’ rich and profoundly rooted ancestry. “Our goal is to organize events on an annual basis in partnership with business owners and community leaders,” HSPPA said.

As the younger generation of FilAms mature and share their cultural heritage, HSPPA said it enriches overall community diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. And promoting FilAms through networking and researching ensures the prosperity of every individual involved.

Organizers said their commitment to the organization and the community is matched by their enthusiastic approach to each partnership and alliance they create and work with. They ask entities, corporations, and partners to join forces with them to contribute to the important cause of helping all FilAms to thrive and prosper.

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