Inner-city Pinoy kids enjoy Halloween at safe, free carnival

SAN FRANCISCO – A coalition of youth programs, non-profits and businesses in the South of Market neighborhood (SoMa) of San Francisco held the third annual Halloween carnival for the families in the community.

Children dressed up as their favorite superheroes and scariest monsters came to the SoMa Rec Center for an free afternoon of fun and safe Halloween activities put on by the SoMa Youth Collaborative.

Glen Jermyn Andag, Program Manager of the SoMa Youth Collaborative, said, “Although we love this community with all our hearts and we do everything we can to build it up, it is a challenge for a lot of the families to go trick-or-treating here so we just want to provide that space for these youth.”

The South of Market neighborhood has historically been a home for many Filipino-American families.

Children from the Galing Bata Bilingual Program and the youth anti-violence program United Playaz lead by Fil-Am Rudy Corpuz enjoyed the carnival.

“We do have a lot of students who are enrolled at the Bessie Carmichael Filipino Education Center so that’s a whole spectrum from per-kindergarten all the way up to eight grade,” said Andag. “We do have a lot of alumni that are coming back here to have fun, play games and we have a lot of the younger siblings. We also attract a lot of the kids in the neighborhood that might not go to Bessie Carmichael Ed Center.”

Local non-profits like the District Attorney’s office and the YMCA, along with big businesses like Twitter, Pinterest and Forest City gave their support through donations and volunteers.

The event was deemed a success bringing in over 500 people including more than 400 children and their families.

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