The City of Burnaby has proclaimed June Filipino Heritage Month for the first time in city history – and the festivities will culminate in a big celebration at Civic Square.
The whole community is invited to Pinoy Festival on June 24 to enjoy a day of Filipino culture.
The festivities will begin with a community and street dance parade at 10 a.m.
Allan Fernandez, secretary of the Burnaby Filipino Cultural Society, a group which advocates for the preservation of Filipino culture and heritage, said the event will be the first of its kind in Burnaby with more than 30 Filipino organizations and interest groups coming together.
Fernandez described the festival as blending old and new, moving away from stereotypes and instead “showing what Filipino culture was and what Filipino culture is.”
He said the festival organizers want to share the rich heritage of Filipino culture.
“How do we properly integrate ourselves and enrich Canadian culture, and that’s what we’re trying to do is show people from the Lower Mainland that, hey, you know what, we’re not so different.”
Entertainment will include traditional folk dances as well as a youth dance group, Red Filos, who have fused traditional Filipino tinikling dance with modern-day hip hop.
The event will also feature a version the Santa Cruzan, which will showcase gowns created by both local and international Filipino designers.
The festival, spearheaded by the Burnaby Filipino Cultural Society, the Festival Alliance and Mabuhay House, has been in the works since the beginning of the year.
The event tagline is “Panahon na para magsaya” which Fernandez said is literally translated as “It’s time to have fun.”
But he added there’s more to it as well.
“It’s time to come out. It’s time to share; it’s time to be with your community,” he said.
“Especially the past few years with the pandemic, but we just want to tell people, come join us. Come join the fun.”
The proclamation of Burnaby’s first Filipino Heritage Month noted the 125th anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12 and the “tireless efforts, service and contributions of the Filipino community to many facets of Burnaby’s social, economic and cultural life.”
The proclamation was read by Coun. Maita Santiago, the first Filipino councillor in Metro Vancouver.
Burnaby Pinoy Festival
When: Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Burnaby Civic Square (6100 Willingdon Ave.)