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Second annual Pinoy Festival will take place at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby

Pinoy Festival
Mabuhay House vice-chair William Canero and Burnaby councillor Maita Santiago took satisfaction in the size of the crowds at the first Pinoy Festival in Burnaby. Photo by Pinoy Festival.

Burnaby will once again be home to the largest gathering of Filipino Canadians in the region. On June 22, Pinoy Festival 2024 will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Swangard Stadium (6100 Boundary Road). It will feature cultural performances, traditional dances, art and panting exhibition, local Filipino “rak en roll” bands, and beer, barbeque, and music garden. Admission is free.

Pinoy Festival: Panahon na para Magsaya 2 (Come join the fun) will also host a Street Dance Parade and a Grand Santacruzan, where families can celebrate the rich Filipino tradition of searching for a hidden cross. Described as part beauty pageant and part religious education exercise, teenagers and young women embark on this quest. The one who finds the cross becomes Reyna Elena, the Virtuous Queen of Constantinople. She’s credited with uncovering the Holy Cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified.

The non-profit Pinoy Festival Alliance and Mabuhay House Society are presenting Pinoy Festival 2024. They’re doing this in cooperation with the Benguet Society of B.C., INARTE, Ateneo Alumni Association of B.C., Bisayan Alliance in B.C., Pinoy Pride, Vancouver Hinirang Eagles, Inter-City Basketball League, Burnaby Filipino Cultural Society, and Barangay Burnaby.

On April 4, the organizing team was at Burnaby Neighbourhood House Community Hall to announce the date and location of this year’s event. Nearly two years ago, Burnaby residents elected Maita Santiago as the first city councillor in Metro Vancouver history who was born in the Philippines.

Last year’s inaugural Pinoy Festival took place in Burnaby Civic Square near Metrotown Station. Premier David Eby attended the event, joining in a traditional Igorot dance. Eby also highlighted his government’s support for a provincial Filipino Cultural Centre, which is being developed in partnership with Mabuhay House Society.

Premier David Eby attended the first Pinoy Festival.

Festival held during Filipino Heritage Month

According to the 2021 census, there are nearly one million Filipino Canadians across the country.

“As we come together to rejoice in our cultural heritage, we are also reminded of the need for a permanent home where our community can gather, connect, and thrive,” Sammie Jo Rumbaua, Mabuhay House Society chair and Pinoy Festival 2024 co-chair, said in a news release. “The Pinoy Festival is a display of our growing Filipino community in numbers.”

June is Filipino Heritage Month. Revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence in 1898, which is celebrated as National Day on June 12, following the Spanish-American War. However later that year, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in the Treaty of Paris.

The prompted Filipinos to continue battling for independence, with the U.S. capturing Aguinaldo in 1901. The following year, the U.S. declared victory in the Philippine-American War. However, fighting continued for many years, particularly in the southern part of the country.

Meanwhile, the treaty set the stage for U.S. colonialism. The Americans imposed their will on the Philippines through a legislative body called the Second Philippine Commission, headed by future U.S.  president William Howard Taft. Taft later became governor-general of the island nation.

The United States waited until 1946 to formally recognize Philippines independence. This following the Second World War when the country was occupied by Japan.

For more information about Pinoy Festival 2024, visit the website. Follow Pancouver on X @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.