New jeepney tour launched in LA Filipino district

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Mar 11 2016 03:46 PM

CALIFORNIA – Looking to explore Los Angeles during spring break? How about a jeepney ride through Los Angeles' Filipino district?

A Philippine jeepney is going throughout Historic Filipino Town.

"This one particular jeepney is a 1944 Sarao Jeepney. It's one of the first versions of the jeepney as you can see it's a lot smaller than some of the jeepneys that you find in the Philippines," said Xochilt Sanchez of Urban Futures Fellow.

Aqui Soriano Versoza of the Pilipino Workers Center said, "This jeepney tour is a fun cultural Tour. But it's a way to bring the community together."

The Pilipino Workers Center's Hidden Hi-Fi Jeepney tour has begun, showcasing the history of where Pinoy life began and grew in Los Angeles. But despite being called Hi-Fi, the area is still somewhat low-profile.

"We have a less visibility but the richness in the community is in the people, and in their stories," said Versoza said.

While the jeepney draws attention as it brings visitors through the local landmarks, the hidden Hi-Fi program also helps the community grow, bringing work to some of the locals.

"This jeepney tour is like a new 2.0 version. It's actually part of doing training and doing an equitable community development to help people looking for work, getting youth from the neighborhood to actually run it," Versoza said.

One of the fellows who works for the tour is Sanchez. Her family is from Central American but she grew up in the FilipinoTown neighborhood and takes pride in showing off her stomping grounds.

Of the 400,000 Filipinos who reside in Los Angeles, an estimated 10,000 live in Historic FilipinoTown.

It's also a chance to meet local Filipino leaders on the road.

At home base, visitors meet other Filipinos such as one of the city's top rated Mixologists, Darwin Manahan, who held a cocktail mixing class for the tour group.

Read more on Balitang America.