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This free festival celebrating Filipino Heritage Month in Burnaby will be 'epic'

Panahon na para magsaya: This is a time to be happy! Pinoy Festival is coming to Swangard Stadium this month to celebrate all things Filipino.

Get ready for the second annual Pinoy Festival, folks, as it’s shaping up to be a jam-packed day full of Filipino food, cultural performances, a Pinoy rock concert and more.

“It’s going to be epic,” festival co-chair Sammie Jo Rumbaua told the Burnaby NOW, adding it will be one of the largest local Filipino gatherings this year to celebrate Filipino Heritage Month.

The festival on June 22 is moving locations this year, heading to Swangard Stadium with a host of new features after its first year at Burnaby’s Civic Square.

The larger location means a ton of new events during the day, Rumbaua said.

A beer garden named after the Ibaloi word for “coming together and having fun,” Adivay, will serve up beer, barbecue and music for the 19-plus crowd, organized by the Benguet Society of BC.

International artist Martin Nievera, the Concert King, is coming from the Philippines to host a type of popular game show at 5 p.m.

Cultural performances will blend tradition with modern art forms through both a community street dance and a rock concert.

Celebrated Filipinx hip-hop artist Kimmortal will take the stage at Pinoy Festival this June in Burnaby. Kimmortal

A massive Zumba class, co-organized by Pinoy Pride, will celebrate culture through movement at the beginning of the day at 8:30 a.m. (you can register here), and swag bags will be given out to early attendees.

The Grand Tianggehan (marketplace) will showcase local creators and small businesses, and a street dance parade will feature a diverse array of Filipino traditions.

Don’t miss the family fun park, complete with a bouncy castle, or the art exhibition hosted by INARTE which will display paintings by local Filipino artists.

Last year’s favourite, the Grand Santacruzan pageant, will be back with even more queens and princesses.

“It’s really just amazing how the community and the families really get together to do this traditional Filipino cultural heritage gesture,” Rumbaua said.

Rumbaua became passionate when she spoke about what event she’s most excited for: the cultural presentations.

“That just shows the heart and the soul … of how we are keeping our heritage and culture alive in Canada,” she said.

“All the youth, the Canadian-born youth, Filipino-Canadians can see it, and then the people (from the Philippines) can kind of feel it and remember it from back home,” she added.

The United Masskara Association at last year's Pinoy Festival in Burnaby. Pinoy Festival/Contributed

She noted the event’s name, the Tagalog phrase “Panahon na para magsaya,” means “This is a time to be happy.”

“The event is much more than just a festival. It’s bringing a piece of home to our community to share, basically, our joy.”

For more information, check out the event website.

Pinoy Festival celebrating Filipino Heritage Month in Burnaby

When: Saturday, June 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Swangard Stadium (6100 Boundary Rd.)
Cost: Free