by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News
TAMPA, FL — This is what a Filipino fiesta looks like.
For more than 20 years, the city of Tampa, Florida has been hosting one of the biggest Filipino outdoor festivals in the US.
The Philippine Cultural Foundation’s “PhilFest” is held annually at this ten-acre property fully owned by the Filipinos in the Tampa Bay area.
“Awesome, because I can see my friends and I can eat lechon,” said Ethan Livingston.
For three days, thousands of people come together to celebrate anything and everything Filipino.
From a real functional bahay kubo, to a Santacruzan parade of Filipina beauties, PhilFest is the closest to being home in the Philippines, without the 18-hour flight.
“It’s a chance to experience the Philippines without the high airfare,” said Arlene and David Meier.
From regional delicacies, Pinoy desserts and the fiesta favorite pork lechon, Philfest is a showcase of diverse Filipino flavors.
“The variety of food, I can’t believe how many different types of food!” said Troy Phelps.
Mang Simo has been roasting lechon for the past 15 years.
“Masaya naman kasi yung ibang tao nagustuhan nila ang lechon ko, siyempre masaya ako,” said Simo Dolotina, owner of Simo’s Lechon.
What’s a Filipino fiesta without the beauty queens and beauty pageants.
Finalist Alexis Nevalga will be representing Florida in the Miss Earth Philippines 2017.
“Pia Wurtzbach inspired me so much for this pageant, and I’m really grateful,” said Nevalga.
PhilFest kicks off The Filipino Channel’s 2017 “Sama Saya” festivities in the US.
Wow im so proud being a filipino all over the world stunning a filipino culture