PhilFest showcases Filipino fiesta fun in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. – It’s considered one of the biggest Filipino outdoor festivals in the United States.

For 20 years now, the annual PhilFest at the Philippine Cultural Enrichment Complex and Bayanihan Events Center in Tampa, Fla. has shown America what a Philippine fiesta is all about.

Philippine Cultural Foundation’s PhilFest organizer Emil Cruz said, “This 10 acre land is owned and operated by all organizations. We have a total of 33 organizations combined into one group. We call that unity.”

For three days, more than 10,000 people came together in Tampa to celebrate anything and everything Filipino.

Attendees were treated to non-stop Pinoy music and cultural entertainment, as well as sumptuous Filipino food.

What’s a Filipino fiesta without a sampling of a roasted pig or lechon or your favorite Filipino ice cream to cool you down from the Sunshine State’s scorching hot weather?

Philfest also allowed kababayans to show their love and pride for the Philippines, as well as for the Pinoy boxing champ Manny Pacquiao.

Viel De La Torre said, “The Philippines is really far away and we don’t get to uwi para yearly, so it’s nice to like connect.”

Nicolo Angelo Rosero who came all the way form Kalamar, Sweden said, “I find this quite amazing, it gives an opportunity to meet other Filipinos.”

PhilFest kicks off The Filipino Channel’s 2015 Summer Saya Festivities in the US.

One of the highlights of this year’s PhilFest was ABS-CBN’s TFC Hour where kapamilya star Gab Valenciano headlined the show and wowed the crowd with his electrifying moves.

“It was very special to me. People were very warm. I could see everybody smiling, enjoying — so definitely it was one for the books,” Valenciano said. “I just wish we had more time so we could have partied more with the people.”

Organizers are hoping that the younger Filipino American generation in Tampa continues this yearly fiesta to keep Pinoy culture and tradition alive for years to come.

You can contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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