[COLUMN] Philippine American Friendship Day to be celebrated on July 13 in Cerritos

Season 13 America’s Got Talent runner-up Junior New System, the heart-stopping performers from the Philippines known for their sky-high back flips on their six-inch heels will thrill once again the event goers in this year’s Philippine American Friendship Day celebration on July 13 at Don Knabe Park in the City of Cerritos. Photo by Dan E. Niño

Cerritos – On its third year run as Los Angeles County’s largest Philippine American Friendship Day, this year’s edition will be held on July 13 (Saturday) from 10:30 am to 8 pm at the Don Knabe Community Regional Park on Bloomfield Ave., this city.

Hosted by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) in collaboration with the Los Angeles County under the auspices of Supervisor Janice Hahn, this year’s theme is “Fostering Friendships Beyond Borders.”  This annual festival of friendship had its roots in the City of Carson in 2021.

Among the pop and cultural entertainers lined up that will reprise their performances that left indelible  imprints among the revelers were the  Club Magkaisa of Cerritos High School, the Maranao Tata Malong Iligan-Maranao  and Lanao Del Norte Dance Troupe, and the heart-stopping hip-hop Junior New Systems, a finalist in “America’s Got Talent” from the Philippines with their elevated shoes, among others. The kicker here is,” It’s free entertainment and free admission,” the NaFFAA executive Committee said in a statement.

A fun parade will kick off the festivities that will snake through the sparkling and scenic Don Knabe Lake participated in by various community organizations. As an incentive, group participants will receive cash prizes for the Largest Delegation, Most Colorful Delegation and Liveliest Delegation. Last year’s community winners were the Holy Family Church Catholic Community (Largest Contingent), the combined forces of Alpha Phi Omega Greater Los Angeles and APO South Bay (Liveliest Contingent) and the Iligan City and Lanao Del Norte of Southern California (Most Colorful).

Elected officials from various mainstream,  local communities and Philippine consular officials will be on hand to inspire, greet and mingle with the throng. Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn in last year’s celebration enthused, ”I’m so proud to have been a part in launching this Filipino community event in the City of Cerritos and make sure that we not only keep this tradition alive but make it even bigger and better.”

The Supervisor added,  “Los Angeles County is not only home to the largest community of Filipino-Americans in the country. We are home to the largest concentration of Filipinos in the world outside of Manila! And that’s why this event is so important. This festival is an opportunity to enjoy so many of the wonderful things Filipino American culture has to offer. But it is also an opportunity to lift-up the Filipino Americans who work to improve our community every day.”

Cerritos Councilmember Lynda Johnson is this year’s overall event chair.

Informational, merchandise and kids zone will surely enliven this festival. To assure that the huge crowd are fed and hydrated —  food booths and food trucks serving Filipino and international cuisines are on hand for the thousands of attendees with free fruit smoothies all-day long from McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food restaurant chain. Aa an added attraction, get to explore the Philippine-made Sarao jeepney and the newest Toyota electric car models on display.

According to NaFFAA Greater Los Angeles Region President Noel S.V. Omega, proceeds will be used to fund the event production expenses and the rest if any will be added to the organization’s  funds for community empowerment and civic engagement programs.

For booth reservation and further information, interested parties may call Mary Ann Omega at 747-777-9811 and Lynda Johnson at 310-650-6159.

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