Kalayaan SF - June 12, 2016

Kalayaan SF: A Philippine Independence Day Celebration
Union Square, San Francisco, California
June 12, 2016
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
FREE Admission

Be sure to stop by the Kalesa Traveler booth. DW has donated some gift certificates.


This is my first FilAm (Filipino American) focused post! Well, not exactly, there were a couple (The Learning in 2011 and a post to fundraise after the typhoon in 2013, Praying for the Philippines.) After a meeting with Geli of Kalesa, I realized just how out of touch I am with my own heritage. I had no idea about the Kalayaan event that was taking place this coming weekend, I don't know the language, I don't really eat the food very often and I don't have that many Filipino friends. However, I work with a handful of Pinays. My Pastry Chef, my new Office Manager, one of my Servers is, and Courtney, also a Server of mine, has some Pacific Islander blood in her.

I get asked by the older generation as to whether or not I am Filipino. I get a lot of different nationality guesses but when they guess correctly, "Opo" is the response. It really depends on how my hair is done. However, I have never sought out to date, be friends or interact with Filipinos solely because we both have family from a country I wasn't even born in.  I am a first-generation Filipino American so I can understand how previous generations sought after bonds with people that are just like themselves, dealing with the same struggles in a new country. It is a bit different for my generation of Filipino Americans. We don't really know what poverty is. The last time I did, I was six-years-old. I had to bathe in a metal tub that people today use as a cooler filled with ice at picnics. I only wanted McDonald's and I came home with mosquito bites all over my body. I hated it there. I haven't been back since.

I am realizing that I should make an effort and be more knowledgeable about who I am, where my family came from, its history and the struggles Filipinos in the Bay Area are currently dealing with.  I was going to escort my Lola, grandmother in Tagalog, to the Philippines early last year but DW was scheduled to open, which eventually got pushed back. Up to my eye balls in work and Italy planned this year, possibly Bordeaux next year, I haven't made it a priority to go back to the Philippines as an adult.

Attending this event this weekend is an attempt to get more involved and around 'my people.' Let's figure out what I'll learn. Stay tuned for updates.


I checked out the event at a bit after noon. I took Bart down from Civic Center and there were noticeably more Filipinos on the train. I know where they were headed.

Below is the stage where the performances were going to take place. People already staked their place in the shade to get a glimpse.

I went down to the Kalesa Traveler's table to drop off the DW gift certificates. My contact wasn't there but David and Irwin were. Pick up the magazine! We will be listed. 

I thought these were great. Makulit is a kind hearted way of saying annoying, repetitive and stubborn. My mother called me this all the time. I would have bought these but I don't wear t-shirts.

Can't go wrong with jewelry! I didn't buy anything but they were all handmade. I believe the designer lived in Castro Valley in the East Bay near me. 

I had to try their food. I bought the sisig plate with rice and a bottled water for $9. It was very oily and I didn't finish it. Filipino food typically has a lot of fat and oil. Not the healthiest. I wanted lumpia shanghai but I refrained. I really should have gotten the BBQ skewars but I wanted to try something different. 

Other Filipino events that were promoted here included:


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