Long Beach Filipino Festival returns with food, music and comedy

Long Beach’s third annual Filipino Festival returns to St. Lucy Catholic School on Saturday, Aug. 6, in a day-long event celebrating Filipino history and culture through food, dance, music and community.

The festival’s inaugural event in 2018 drew hundreds to Silverado Park, and it’s now back again for the first time since the pandemic hit. This year’s event is set to return strong with over 50 retail, food and community vendors, two stages with performances and live music and appearances from Filipino celebrities.

The headlining talent is Rex Navarrete, an internationally celebrated Filipino-American comedian perhaps most well-known for his 2003 special “Hella Pinoy.” Navarrete has toured across the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asia, appeared in “Lopez Tonight” and performed alongside comedians D.L. Hughley, Paul Mooney and more.

Co-headlining is Filipino-American singer Jo Awayan, a popular rhythm and blues singer who rose to fame in the ’90s. In addition to other music and dance performances all day, entertainment includes a magician, a short film screening, art demonstrations, karaoke and more.

Some cultural performances to take note of feature a Filipino martial arts demonstration by Kali Kollective, dancing by Los Angeles-based urban fusion dance company Ancestral Vision Movement and a show by Cal State Long Beach’s “Tinikling Suite,” who perform a traditional dance known as Tinikling that uses bamboo reeds.

Attendees will be able to try a number of traditional Filipino fare and fusion food, such as pork and chicken adobo, ensaymada, ube desserts, halo-halo and more.

The festival, which is from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, costs $5 to attend. Children 12 years old or younger may attend for free. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

The Long Beach Filipino Festival will be at St. Lucy Catholic School at 2320 Cota Ave.

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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.