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23rd Pistahan Parade and Festival

Photos: © Francis Arcega

On August 13-14, the successful 2016 Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival was held. For 23 years, this significant community event has successfully celebrated and promoted the world-class characteristics of Filipino culture.

It started with a fun parade along the streets of San Francisco, where dancers in colorful costumes swayed to lively music, unique and creative floats entertained people, while beauty queens and headline artists waved and smiled at people who were watching cheerfully. Community leaders and members marched with positive Filipino pride. It was a great way to start the 2-day celebration.

According to Al Perez, the President of the Filipino Arts and Exposition, the purpose of this annual celebration is to, "Broaden awareness and deepen the understanding of Filipino heritage and traditions, spark cultural pride and also to foster community empowerment.”

Apart from the colorful and exciting parade, the festival showcased eight pavilions at the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. These pavilions had themes including arts, culinary, health, heritage, food, sports and more. Top brands from different industries, such as Mango Tours, Kaiser Permanente, Manila Express, and Bart were also there to support and exhibit their products and services. The Philippine Department of Tourism also played a major role in promoting the Philippines as a world-class destination.