Last update: June 19 2007, 11:50 PM
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Much Awaited Roadshow Events in August

June 12, 2007

CALL FOR ARTISTS, SPONSORS & EXHIBITORS
By L.V. de Leon

SAN FRANCISCO--- With summer just around the corner, organizing has begun in earnest to mount the fun-filled cultural festivals in many Filipino communities across the United States and Canada. In northern California, there are many Independence Day celebrations in Sacramento, Stockton, Vallejo, Hercules, San Francisco and Daly City in June and July, capped by the most-anticipated Pistahan Parade and Festival, now its 14th year in Yerba Buena Gardens in downtown San Francisco in August.

Pistahan has come to signify the most endearing community celebration with a well-thought out artistic program with an upscale mainstream flair, drawing serious artists, Filipino merchants and businesses, and simple community folks who camp out all day in the heart of the city for a sunny weekend of marathon displays of culture, pride and creativity.

What is new and different for the 2007 season is the vibrant team-up of the more “veteran” Pistahan with a “newbie” but promising Filipino arts festival up north in Canada. A new nonprofit presenting organization in Toronto called Philippine Arts and Cultural Experience (PACE) hooked up with Harbourfront Centre, a 10-acre cultural complex by the shores of Lake Ontario. Together they formed the inaugural US-Canada Summer Festival Roadshow, a joint festival swing-around for a North American experience, geared for Philippine product exhibitors and businesses looking opportunities in the lucrative markets in the United States and Canada.

Pistahan and Making Waves Festival are unique and like no other: each is a “festival-within-mainstream-festival” that celebrates diversity and creativity of its different communities. Pistahan is the biggest crowd-pleaser with some 50,000 fairgoers of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, 150-event outdoor arts events throughout the year. The Making Waves Festival is the most anticipated to build similar audiences. Both have festival and parade events that instill immense Filipino pride and build strong cross-cultural awareness and appreciation of what “diversity” means in terms of Philippine island cultures.

The Filipino cultural parades in San Francisco and Toronto in particular simulate the famous street and river parades during key festive season months in the Philippines. In Toronto, a first-ever Filipino fluvial regatta outside the Philippines will be mounted with boat décor and lively music reminiscent of the Penafrancia, Sinulog, Ati-atihan/barter at Panay, Bohol’s Sandugo/Blood Compact will definitely wow crowds in their thousands. In San Francisco, it’s the fun-filled array of floats and marching contingents that has made Pistahan having the liveliest summer cultural parade outside the Philippines. In sum, Pistahan festival offers a profound cultural experience for nonFilipinos and Filipinos alike—especially young Filipinos born and raised here in North America to learn by doing, singing and dancing along the streets of San Francisco—and eating with gusto at the fair.

Pistahan has adopted a theme for its Parade in the slogan “Welcome Home: the Philippines is in the Heart” focusing on the different regional products, festival traditions from food to costumes, traditional practices as well as the exciting development programs that’s changing the face of the homeland for the future. There are more great festival events and activities that will be announced shortly.

As festival roadshow organizers promise to “make news, make new friends, make great business, not only in Toronto and San Francisco but to many other places that enjoy great festival events to remember.

This is what the first-ever US-Canada Summer Festival Roadshow aims to bring together in a two week cultural trip around North America.

For information on how to exhibit and sponsor in each or both the twin festivals, contact Luz de Leon 415-424-8908 email luzdleon@aol.com. In the Philippines, contact May Cruz 0906-512-7757 cell or 415-413-4888 or email mariflor_cruz@yahoo.com. Pistahan business office: call Rita Rodriguez 415-777-9650 fax 415-777-6958 or email ritzthe1@aol.com. To participate in the Pistahan performance stages, call Al Perez aperez@pistahan.net or for the parade Gerard Talampas gtalampas@pistahan.net. Visit www.pistahan.net.

Those interested to participate in the Making Waves Festival may get in touch with Teresa Torralba, executive producer 647-234-8387 or the production staff at makingwavesfestival@gmail.com. Visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com/wr.

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