San Diego’s Filipino American community celebrates historic firsts

Local

SAN DIEGO — Organizers hosted the first Filipino American Friendship Festival at Broadway Pier Saturday, featuring the first mayor of San Diego and California attorney general of Filipino descent.

The event celebrated historic firsts for the Filipino American community. 

Filipino music, dance, culture and food filled Broadway Pier for the first Filipino American Friendship Festival in San Diego to celebrate Philippines Independence Day.

“That’s a huge, huge achievement for San Diego, and the country as a whole,” visitor Marc Oregano said.

The festival featured the first Mayor of San Diego of Filipino descent Todd Gloria and the first California Attorney General of Filipino descent Rob Bonta.

“Really exciting we were joined by our first Filipino mayor of a major city Todd Gloria, our first Attorney General in the United States California Attorney General Rob Bonta,” organizer JoAnn Fields said. “We see a reporter like (Liberty Zabala) our emcee and knowing that FOX 5 is supporting the community in a real meaningful way — we need to keep demonstrating, keep teaching our kids, our family, our neighbors, that we can be successful in these careers and there’s someone that looks like us.”

Organizers say the Filipino American community in San Diego County is 200,000 people strong and growing.

“That’s a big deal for me because now at least we have a voice for Filipino Americans and whatever activities or whatever it is that we have to express, we know have representatives,” visitor Maria Fontimayor said.

Around 3,500 to 4,000 people attended the festival, according to organizers, and they say they look forward to holding the event next year.

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