Seattle Center Festál presents Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival in partnership with the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington (FCHSW). The festival celebrates Philippine culture, arts, and history through food, exhibits, performing arts, fashion show, martial arts, and more.
The Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington (FCHSW) is a non-profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers. It is committed to nurturing and proudly expressing the finest and all that is beautiful and enduring in the Filipino culture. Its primary objective is to perpetuate, educate and share Filipino culture and heritage with the people of Washington through music, dance, arts, history, literature, and crafts.
The FCHSW logo is a stylized symbolic rendering of the Sarimanok, one of the greatest mythical symbols in Philippine folk culture. In the southern Philippines, only royalty can use the Sarimanok in their banners or family emblems. The Sarimanok symbolizes prestige, wealth and honor.
In 1987, FCHSW presented its first festival at the Seattle Center. It was a showcase of Filipino culture timed to coincide with the celebration of Philippine Independence.
In 1997, Pagdiriwang became one of five ethnic festivals to join Festál, a series of events celebrating the city's various cultures.
In 1998, the festival and worldwide Filipinos celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.
In 2011, the festival reached a milestone of 25 years.
Since its first festival in 1987, Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival has continuously been held at the Seattle Center.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Philippines, comprising more than 7,100 islands, was a commercial and cosmopolitan hub during pre-colonial times through trade with Asian and Pacific Islander peoples, and had local village governments in place called Balangay.
- Some significant events in its history are the 333 years of Spanish colonial rule, the 50 years of American occupation and introduction of public education, and 4 major wars - the Filipino-American War, World War 2, Korean War, and Vietnam War.
- Geographically located as a gateway to the East and mainland Asia, the Philippines adapted to globalization and technology through outsourcing and shipping sectors. With about 460,000 seamen worldwide, Filipinos man the world’s ships more than any other nationality, making the Philippines the main supplier of seamen since 1987.
- Filipinos speak more than 182 languages, erroneously described as dialects, that are linguistically unique, with four languages officially classified as extinct: Dicamay Agta, Katabaga, Tayabas Ayta and Villaviciosa Agta. The official languages are Filipino, which is Tagalog-based, and English. The Philippine Constitution and laws are in English. There are also major regional languages that include Aklanon, Central Bikol, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Iranun, Pangasinan, Sambal, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray, Yakan. There is an indigenous system of writing or scripts called Baybayin.
- Filipino martial arts are a unique form of practical stick fighting called ‘arnis’. Its most famous practitioner was Bruce Lee.
- By population, the Philippines is the largest Roman Catholic country in the world and for centuries, prior to the establishment of the country of East Timor, the only Catholic country in Southeast Asia.
- One creative Filipino invention is the first lunar buggy.
- One toy with Filipino roots is the yoyo. Pedro Flores started the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara in the late 1920’s before selling the company and trademark to Donald Duncan who marketed it as the Duncan line.