Thousands celebrate Filipino culture at Pistahan festival

SAN FRANCISCO — Thousands gathered in downtown San Francisco this weekend for one of the biggest Filipino celebrations in the nation.

San Francisco’s Pistahan Parade and Festival started with a mile-long march down Market Street.

A procession of performers, personalities and Pinoy-themed floats from Civic Center Plaza, to Yerba Buena Gardens.

Located in the city’s Filipino District, Yerba Buena Gardens is home base for the weekend-long festival and is expected to host more than 80,000 people each day.

They gathered for a non-stop celebration of Filipino culture — including Pinoy cuisine, traditional dances, and the opportunity to soak up some Philippine sunshine.

“I think at the end of the day that we should really celebrate the fact that we are Filipinos, and we have such a beautiful history and culture that’s worth promoting and celebrating,” said Jae Tioseco.

“I really miss being in the Philippines, and I guess this is a really good way to connect with my roots,” said volunteer Bianca Loarca.

On Sunday afternoon, people packed the park for the main event: TFC Hour, featuring kapamilya stars Iñigo Pascual and Sam Milby.

Both relished the chance to perform in front of their US-based kababayans.

“Pag nasa ibang bansa tayo, we tend to forget where we come from, so in events like this, I’m happy that we’re able to do that, we’re able to appreciate who we are and in a way come together as a country,” said Pascual.

“I hope that everyone enjoyed at sana babalik din ako dito, and just thank you guys for coming out and supporting and being a great crowd,” said Milby.

The hour-and-a-half long concert proved to be a fun conclusion to the weekend, finishing the festival on a high note.

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