CHRISTMAS came early this year during the 2nd annual HiFi Holiday Festival attended by Fil-Am celebrities and community members.
Organized by Filipinos Advancing Creative Education (F.A.C.E.), the HiFi Holiday Festival held at Rideback Ranch in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown spread Christmas joy through live entertainment, free meals, family-friendly activities and a toy distribution for children in the community.
“This is one our favorite annual community engagement programs we offer to serve those less fortunate during the holiday season. It’s an opportunity for some the many talented Filipinos in entertainment to donate their time and talent to connect, inspire, and this is their reason to celebrate the season,” said F.A.C.E. Executive Director and founder Lyle Del Mundo.
The program, emceed by radio personality PJ Butta and NBC4 meteorologist Shanna Mendiola, featured live performances from talents like Jon Jon Briones and son Teo and singer Jules Aurora.
“My son, Teo, and I sang Pasko na Sinta Ko. It’s a Filipino Christmas song. We chose it because I thought it would be nice to represent our Filipino heritage at the event. Also, it was the first time we sang together and also Teo’s first time to sing a Tagalog song,” Jon Jon Briones said. “The best part of the event is seeing all the kids having fun and receiving some awesome gifts. The season is for young ones and young once.”
Children received toys from Santa’s famous helpers, including beauty personality and entrepreneur Patrick Starrr and actors Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi”), Vincent Rodriguez III (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Joshua Dela Cruz (“Blues Clues & You!”) and Paris Berelc (“Alexa & Katie”), and YouTuber Alex Wassabi.
“The best part about being one of Santa’s helpers was getting to interact with the kids and take pictures with their families…seeing their smiles of joy & gratitude fills my heart, it gives me hope and reminds me why I love this magical time of year,” said Rodriguez.
Meals were prepared and distributed by guests like actor and singer Roshon Fegan and celebrity chef Vallerie Castillo, while gifts for children in the Philippines were donated and packed in balikbayan boxes.
Families also enjoyed a Christmas bazaar with booths by community organizations and activities like face painting and ornament making.
“I wanted to connect with the kids and families that watch our show and give back by bring a little Christmas joy. There’s no better way to say thank you than to support your community,” said Dela Cruz.
He added, “Organizations like FACE are indispensable because they not only provide educational programming, but give kids the chance to be kids and creative professionals the chance to cheer them on. Events like the HiFi Holiday Festival celebrate kids and act as kindling to keep fire of possibility burning.”
F.A.C.E. is a non-profit organization uplifting the next generation of Fil-Am creatives through music, film, fashion and creative arts.
Its year-round programming includes mentorship matching, internship placement, songwriting workshops, and more for emerging creative talent.