Filipino fiesta showcased in Florida

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Apr 15 2015 10:56 AM | Updated as of Apr 15 2015 06:56 PM

TAMPA, FLORIDA – The annual PhilFest at the Philippine Cultural Enrichment Complex and Bayanihan Events Center in Tampa, Florida has shown America what a Philippine fiesta is all about.

"This 10-acre land is owned and operated by all organizations. We have a total of 33 organizations combined into 1 group, we call that unity," said Philippine Cultural Foundation's PhilFest organizer Emil Cruz said.

For 3 days, more than 10,000 people came together in Tampa to celebrate anything and everything Filipino.

Attendees were treated to non-stop Pinoy music and cultural entertainment as well as sumptuous Filipino food.

Guests sampled roasted pig or lechon, and the Pinoy favorite, ice cream, to cool them down from the Sunshine State's scorching hot weather.

PhilFest also allowed Filipinos to show their love and pride for the Philippines, as well as for the Pinoy boxing champ, Manny Pacquiao.

"Philippines is really far away and we don't get to go home yearly, so it's nice to like connect," said Viel De La Torre of Tampa.

Nicolo Angelo Rosero who came all the way form Kalamar, Sweden said, "I find this quite amazing. It gives an opportunity to meet other Filipinos."

PhilFest kicks off The Filipino Channel's 2015 Summer Saya Festivities in the US.

One of the highlights of this year's PhilFest was ABS-CBN's TFC Hour where Kapamilya star Gab Valenciano headlined the show and wowed the crowd with his electrifying moves.

"It was very special to me, people were very warm, I could see everybody smiling, enjoying. Definitely, it was one for the books. I just wish we had more time so we could have partied more with the people," Valenciano said.

Organizers are hoping that the younger Filipino-American generation in Tampa continues the yearly fiesta to keep Pinoy culture and tradition alive for years to come.

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