Your Ultimate Guide to the 2019 Filipino Fiesta in Honolulu

Celebrate Filipino culture and indulge in your favorite traditional foods on May 4.


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Filipino Festival 2019

Photos: Courtesy of Filipino Fiesta

 

Here in the Islands, we love our Filipino food. And rightly so—there are plenty of restaurants that sell our favorite dishes. But if you’re looking for a full spread of all of the authentic staples (we’re talking lumpia, pancit, halo halo and more), head to the Filipino Fiesta.

 

Here’s your guide to what to expect, where to park, what to eat and more.

 

What It Is

As the largest Filipino celebration in the Islands, the Filipino Fiesta attracts about 10,000 people every year, with participation from about 100 organizations, community groups and businesses. The festival, which features live entertainment, arts and crafts, cultural booths and kids games, moved from its longtime home of Kapi‘olani Regional Park to Kaka‘ako Gateway Park last year.

 

SEE ALSO: Why So Many Major Events Are Leaving Kapi‘olani Regional Park

 

L&L Drive-Inn founder Eddie Flores is credited with starting the event 26 years ago as a way to garner support for building the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, which is now the festival’s organizer. Fast forward nearly three decades, the event remains a cultural staple for the community. It also coincides with a popular event in the Philippines known as “Flores de Mayo,” or the Flowers of May celebration.

 

Filipino Festival 2019

Try your hand at tinikling, a traditional folk dance.

 

When and Where

Festivities start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 at Kaka‘ako Gateway Park. The event wraps up at 5 p.m.

 

How Much It Costs

Entrance to the festival is free and open to the public.

 

Where to Park

Free parking will be available at Kaka‘ako Gateway Park.

 

SEE ALSO: How 5 Popular Ethnic Festivals in Honolulu Adapt While Keeping Traditions Alive

 

Filipino Festival 2019

 

What to Eat and Buy

If you’re looking to satisfy your lumpia craving, the festival is the place to be. Event organizers expect about 10 vendors selling authentic Filipino arts, crafts and food. If you prefer something else, there will also be plate lunch bentos (we won’t judge). And don’t worry—food booths will be open all day.

 

Entertainment

Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the day on the center stage and will include Filipino song and dance, martial arts, salsa and more. Stick around for several prize giveaways, including one round-trip ticket to Manila.

 

Head to the 10 cultural booths to learn more about the Filipino culture, and try your hand at tinikling, a traditional folk dance in which two people tap and beat bamboo poles on the ground while dancers step over and between them. Each booth represents a different region of the Philippines and will have information and displays. Next to the cultural booths will be a keiki tent filled with arts, crafts, games and puzzles for children (and the young at heart).

 

SEE ALSO: Best of the Fests: O‘ahu’s 21 Annual Ethnic Festivals

 

Filipino Festival 2019

 

Tips

  • Bring cash. Some vendors may not accept credit cards. 

  • Portable toilets will be located throughout the park.

  • Plan ahead and bring your own picnic mats, chairs and umbrellas to sprawl out on. There won’t be any tables or seating provided. 

  • Remember, the event is outdoors, so dress comfortably and lather on that sunscreen.

  • Beat the crowd by heading to the festival early. The busiest time is typically during lunch, around 11 a.m. to noon.

 

For more information, visit filcom.org.

 

Read more stories by Jayna Omaye

 

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