Smiles, Laughter and Pride of the Filipino #MyPistahan

The Pistahan Parade and Festival attracts an impressive 60,000+ spectators and attendees each day of Pistahan weekend. With a 100+ contingent parade, seven pavilions, two performance stages and hundreds of artists, musicians and exhibitors simultaneously producing delight and surprise for everyone, capturing all the important moments and displays of pride is a formidable task.

A small army of resolute photographers—all volunteers—manage to do just that. They strategize, map vantage points, crawl, climb and run to get the perfect shot—the shot that memorably captures each year's celebration.

We asked Neil Enriquez, a four-year volunteer photographer, to share a few of his memorable photos.   —Eds.


"Motorsiklo" by Neil Enriquez

This photo to me captures the pride of the Filipino. In the Philippines motorcycles are a common mode of transportation. Compared to cars, they are less expensive to acquire and maintain. Growing up I saw the motorcycle as the quintessential Filipino vehicle for work and play. Plus they can impressively maneuver through the notoriously chaotic (and sometimes dangerous!) Manila traffic with ease.  


"Filipina" by Neil Enriquez

This photo reminds me of the simplicity of life back home where a big smile is the only clothing accessory you need. It also reminds me of the cultural dances from tinikling to manlalatik, where, as in this photo, they dance with light. And the main thing that captured my eye in taking this photo is their bright and tireless smiles even after a long summer day.


"Komediante" by Neil Enriquez

This photo reminds me of the comedians back home and the laughter and joy they shared as antidotes to the hard times. This photo shows the legendary Elizabeth Ramsey performing on stage at Pistahan. I still remember her when I was kid, showing her craft through TV and often performing with the late Dolphy, the King of Comedy.


Neil Enriquez is an event photographer, specializing in people and corporate photography. On the leisure side, he spends time shooting concerts featuring his Filipino heritage. For the last four years, he has volunteered for the biggest Filipino celebration in the Bay Area—the Pistahan Parade and Festival. He is based in Santa Clara. Check out his website at