Filipino culture was on display on Historic Pine Avenue Saturday, Dec. 18 where hundreds of people gathered to take part in the 4th annual Long Beach Parol Lantern Festival.
The energy from the crowd was serene as they stared in awe at the live performances while the aroma of Filipino barbecue filled the area between Fourth and Fifth Street, the vendor’s never-ending line stretching from sidewalk to sidewalk.
And to make sure everything went along peacefully, a volunteer security guard stood by with a shirt that read “Kuya Protector.”
The six-hour event highlighted the Filipino tradition of making parols, a five-point star-shaped lantern made from paper and bamboo, which symbolize hope and finding the light in the dark, according to organizers. The Filipino community in Long Beach has over 14,000 residents who were born in the Philippines, according to Census data, making it the largest Asian population in the city.
Last year, a group of Filipino organizations and allies hosted a virtual parol lighting ceremony to highlight violence in the Philippines and to help fundraise for the hundreds of thousands of people devastated by typhoons in 2020.
In attendance this year at the Long Beach Parol Lantern Festival was the first Filipino Mayor of the City of Artesia, Melissa Ramoso, who helped sponsor the event.
“Count on me to support your event again,” said Ramoso, who was elected into her role last Monday by the Artesia City Council. “To all my Pinoy brothers and sisters, thank you for your support of this event and may you have a Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”
Here is one of many live performances that have been on display here since 2 p.m. pic.twitter.com/PeTuBqyAJ9
— Fernando Haro (@FernandoAHaro) December 19, 2021