LOS ANGELES — Filipino celebrities including rapper Saweetie, actors Eugene Cordero, The Basco family and Carlin James, and musicians Travis Atreo and The Filharmonics took part in the annual Christmas celebration at the Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, or SIPA.
“It’s always good to give back for the holidays you know, I’m put in the position in where I can give back I just love to be with the community especially my Filipino community. I’m just happy to be here,” said Saweetie.
”It’s always great to Santas helper because you don’t have to buy any of the gifts you just give them to people, but on top of that it’s just nice to be part of the community and help out the community and to be able to interact and have fun with everybody here,” said Eugene Cordero.
This SIPA tradition kicked off with a Filipino breakfast, free haircuts, and some Christmas carols by Fil-Am celebrities brought over 100 families from the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood.
But of course the real star of the show was Santa Claus — who led the toy give away.
This celebration continues to grow each year Through SIPA’s collaboration with community groups, and businesses.
This year, kids snatched up hundreds of Funko Pop figures, courtesy of the founder Mike Becker and his Filipina wife Rosario.
While the annual Christmas give away is once a year, SIPA plans on celebrating the season of giving year-round.
As SIPA enters its 47th year, the group plans on continuing their after school and community programs.
“We’re gonna do a hip hop show in February do another fundraiser in March that’s all gearing towards our big gala, annual gala which is happening in April, but we do have a lot of activities for the kids, for youth and the kids. We have summer programs for the summertime then we have ongoing programs for the homeless, it’s called #lunchbag,” said Fidji Victoriano.
The next chance to help is this weekend when SIPA does it’s quarterly #lunchbag. they’re inviting community members to also participate — and to help spread some smiles all year round.