Fil-Ams give back through Christmas celebration

By John Hernandez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau Correspondent

Posted at Dec 26 2012 09:39 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2012 05:39 PM

ELK GROVE, California – More than 300 Filipinos from all-over the central valley and the Bay area attended the first annual Paskong Pinoy festival on Sunday.

“First time dito kaya importante kasi para sama-sama ang Pilipino at tulad nito ang mga Pilipino pag nagsasaya puro parol, pagkain. Yan ang essence ng Christmas. Masaya, di ba?” said Roel Ebuen of Fremont, California.

Elk Grove officials said the Filipino Christmas celebration is an impressive showing of community camaraderie.

“It’s a wonderful event being able to celebrate Christmas Filipino style here in Elk Grove. This is awesome. What I have realized is that Filipino style is giving back to the community and helping each other out,” said Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis.

Attendees filled balikbayan boxes with toys and clothing to be sent to the needy in the Philippines.

“We’re planning to send it to Compostela Valley for the typhoon Pablo victims and then the toys were going to send it to day care centers we are supporting in the Philippines. One in Rizal and one in Mindanao,” said Howell Felix, organizer.