Pistahan Parade and Festival to Raise Awareness and Support for Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Areas

Contact: Al Perez, alsperez@pacbell.net
(415) 987-9170 

Pistahan Parade and Festival to Raise Awareness and Support for Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Areas  

The Largest Celebration of Filipino Culture & Cuisine in the U.S. is set August 9 and 10, 2014 at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (June 25, 2014)—Experience the best of Filipino art, dance, music and food at the 21st Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival on August 9–10, 2014 at the Yerba Buena Gardens located at Mission and 4th Streets. The event is the largest celebration of Filipino Americans in the U. S. and features the return of the popular Adobo Cook-off, Balut-Eating Contest, delectable Filipino cuisine and desserts, cultural exhibits, and world-class live performances on two stages. The two-day event organized by the Filipino American Arts Exposition is expected to draw over 75,000 people. It is FREE admission and fun for the entire family!

In light of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Visayas Region of the Philippines in November 2013, this year's theme is “Viva Visayas.”

Through this Festival, we hope to continue to raise awareness about this province which was severely devastated by the typhoon," said Pistahan organizer Al Perez. "We want to celebrate and revive the unique Visayan culture, music, dance, cuisine, language and traditions. We want to honor the resilience of the Visayan people, and hope to be a catalyst in the rebirth, renewal and rebuilding of the Visayas Region."

The Pistahan Parade will kick-off the weekend festivities and will take place Saturday, August 9 at 11:00 am. As the only major Philippine parade in the West Coast, the Pistahan Parade is a display of Filipino community pride. Beautifully themed floats and an estimated 100 colorful and entertaining contingents representing many different ethnic communities around the Bay Area make this a unique San Francisco event. This year the Pistahan Parade begins at the San Francisco Civic Center on Turk Street and will go down Market Street, make a right on 4th street, and disembark at Mission Street.

Both festival days will feature an array of world-class entertainment, hands-on exhibits, and immersive cultural opportunities. There will be seven fun, educational and interactive pavilions:

Crowds at Pistahan Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens (Photo: FAAE)


A Masskara visual art exhibit will showcase an eclectic genre and styles of Filipino artists from the Bay Area, around the country and from the Philippines. A second art installation will feature artwork utilizing the iconic and ubiquitous "balikbayan box" as the canvass for art expression. Meet the artists and discover the rich artistic heritage of the Philippines.


Festival attendees can catch the rhythm and partake in folk dance and ballroom dance demonstrations. There is even a free Zumba workshop! This interactive pavilion will teach traditional folk dances, including the Visayan Curacha dance, for a memorable and immersive cultural experience.


Celebrating the many flavors of Philippine cuisine, local restaurants will feature their specialty regional cuisine at the Food Court. Professional and amateur chefs are invited to participate in the 9th annual Adobo Cookoff, where celebrity judges and the audience get to vote for the winners.

Don't miss the ever popular Balut-Eating Contest. Baluts are fertilized duck eggs, which includes the egg white, yolk, and yes, baby duckling embryo. Winners gain dollar bills and bragging rights for the whole year!

Balut eating contest (Photo courtesy of Ramar Foods International)

Brain freeze addicts assemble! Gorge on ube ice cream (purple yam flavor) at the Magnolia Ice Cream Purple Freeze Challenge, our Filipino version of the classic ice cream eating contest. Last person standing wins! Can you dig it?

Step right up at the Pistahan Ice Cream Tasting Bee - this is a blind tasting competition where the contestant that identifies the most ice cream flavors correctly wins! It's just like a spelling bee, but more delicious!

And be sure to stick around to watch cooking demonstrations on delectable Visayan dishes by renowned Filipino chefs.

On Sunday, the Culinary Pavilion will be the site for the the Qualifying Round for the Kulinarya Filipino Culinary Showdown. Cheer on your favorite amateur and professional chefs as they slice and dice their way for the spot to represent San Francisco at the Championship Round in November of this year, against formidable chefs from Los Angeles, Honolulu and New York.


This is a mini Filipino museum displaying Philippine antiques, artifacts and material art from local institutions and collectors, often never displayed in public before. This year's exhibit, "Farm to Fork: A History of Filipino Farmers and Foodies," will present the rich history of Filipino farmers (like the Sakadas from Visayas) and laborers (such as Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz). The exhibit will also chronicle the emergence of Filipino cuisine and chefs (from White House Chef Cristeta Comerford, to Top Chef winner Paul Qui, and even Filipino winemakers and gourmet food truck owners. Connect with Filipino American history and learn something new!


This pavilion is a fun, creative space where children of all ages can get hands-on experience learning Filipino arts and crafts activities, ancient Baybayin script writing and even hear Philippine folktales and folklores.


Come and learn how to improve your health! This is where young ones can enjoy fun nutrition and safety quizzes and adults can sample a healthy version of Filipino dishes. Learn about prevention of heart attacks, understand warning signs of stroke, and get free blood pressure screenings from friendly Kaiser Permanente physicians and nurses.


On Saturday, the Pistahan Boxing Championship will showcase some of the finest amateur boxers from San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Now on its third year, the Championship will feature boxers 8 to 25 years old who will compete in Junior Olympics and Senior Open Divisions. The bouts will be dedicated to all great Filipino fighters, including Pancho Villa who hailed from the Visayan Region of the Philippines.

On Sunday, families and friends of all ages are also invited to experience the Filipino Martial Arts Tournaments and Workshops featuring Arnis, Escrima, Kali and Taekwondo to learn and preserve these indigenous cultural traditions for the next generation of Filipino Americans.

Pistahan Festival performance at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco (Photo: FAAE)


The Filipino American Arts Exposition would like to invite the public to participate in the Festival. Here are ways to get involved:

  1. BE A VENDOR / HAVE A BOOTH: Pistahan is currently looking for Philippine-inspired arts & crafts vendors and community booth exhibitors. For booth applications click to our website at www.pistahan.net. For more info, contact: Al Perez, President, Filipino American Arts Exposition, pistahansf@gmail.com, 415-625-EXPO (3976)
  2. PERFORM AT THE PISTAHAN: Musicians, vocalists, choirs, dance groups, martial artists, spoken word artists, hosts, comedians, and other entertainers are encouraged to apply. Please go to our website at www.pistahan.net, click on PERFORM AT PISTAHAN, and compete the short questionnaire.
  3. SPONSOR THE FESTIVAL: Support THE premiere Bay Area Filipino event and connect with the largest Asian ethnic group in California! Take advantage of our many branding and marketing opportunities. For details contact: Al Perez, pistahansf@gmail.com, 415-625-EXPO (3976).
  4. WALK IN THE PARADE: Get your contingent together and show your Pinoy Pride! Prizes will be awarded to the best contingent, best costume, best choreography, best spirit and more! Individuals and couples can come dressed in their best ethnic Filipino attire to be a part of the Lead Banner Contingent and for a chance to win the "best dressed" award.To participate, fill out the form online: www.pistahan.net.
  5. VOLUNTEER: Volunteers are needed in the weeks leading up to the event, and on the day of. Join the dynamic Pistahan Volunteer Crew, share your unique talent and skills, give something back to the community and meet lots of cool people who are passionate about promoting the best of Filipino culture. Fill out the short Volunteer Survey at www.pistahan.net.


21st Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival An International Celebration of Filipino Culture and Cuisine


PISTAHAN PARADE Saturday, August 9 10:30 am - Opening Ceremonies 11:00 am - The Pistahan Parade begins at the San Francisco Civic Center on Turk Street, marches down Market Street, makes a right on 4th Street, then disembarks at Mission Street.

PISTAHAN FESTIVAL Saturday, August 9 and Sunday, August 10 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission St @ 4th St, San Francisco

Email: PistahanSF@gmail.com
Call: 415-625-EXPO (3976)


About the Pistahan Parade and Festival The Pistahan Parade and Festival was founded in 1994 and has been consistently held in the oval gardens of the Yerba Buena Center. The Filipino American Arts Exposition, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that contributes to the artistic and cultural pride of the Filipino community, organizes the annual event. http://pistahan.net/