Barrio Fiesta 2017 Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contacts:
Tony Robles 415-374-5344
Veterans Equity Center 415-255-2347

 Filipino Barrio Fiesta 2017 in SOMA to Celebrate Culture & Community Resilience with message: The People United, Will Never Be Divided! Ang Tao, Ang Bayan, Ngayon ay Lumalaban!

Annual celebration to Honor Barrio Fiesta Founder, the Late Russell Robles and a Call for Unity Against Racism, Discrimination 

San Francisco—South of Market’s (SOMA) Filipino community presents Barrio Fiesta 2017, a celebration of community highlighting the city’s Filipino community in the South of Market with music, activities for children and seniors, food and performances. The Fiesta is also a statement of resolve by the Filipino community in overcoming the climate of fear and discrimination towards immigrants by bringing the community together in unity.

The Filipino Barrio Fiesta will be honoring the late Russell Robles—founder of the Fiesta in the South of Market Area as a neighborhood organizer with the San Francisco Arts Commission. Robles died on March 21st, 2017 and the fiesta will be dedicated to his memory. “Russell organized all-day Barrio Fiestas in the 90s where the community had a chance to see performances by Sugar Pie DeSanto and big bands like Joseph “Flip” Nunez. We are still far from what Barrio Fiesta used to be, but reviving it is a big step,” comments Luisa Antonio who is instrumental in reviving the Barrio Fiesta 3 years ago.  Supervisor Jane Kim will issue a commendation for Robles’ contributions to the SOMA community at the event.

The Filipino Community in the South of Market is a close knit community made up of youth, elders and organizations serving their needs. Efforts to highlight and stabilize the neighborhood—housing, community organizations, businesses, schools and public areas—have been initiated in response to gentrification that has hit the neighborhood. The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution for the establishment of a Filipino Heritage District in the South of Market. “SOMA Pilipinas” is the name of the heritage district that is being planned by stakeholders in the South of Market Filipino community.

Barrio Fiesta 2017 will take place at the Gene Friend SOMA Recreation Center on Saturday May 20th from 11am to 4pm. Admission is free. There will be food, activities for youth, children and seniors. Barrio Fiesta 2017 sponsors include the San Francisco Rec and Park Department, Veterans Equity Center, Senior and Disability Action, SOMCAN, Manilatown Heritage Foundation (partial list).

For information, call Veterans Equity Center at 415-255-2347 or Tony Robles at 415-374-5344

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