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Sister City Committee Reaches Tenth Year Milestone

Media Contact:  

Capt. John Warren, President, Daly City – Quezon City Sister City Committee (650) 991-8188
Virgilio Talao, Vice President, Daly City – Quezon City Sister City Committee (415) 661-3463
Rollie Lavarias, Event Chairperson (415) 601-1085
Daly City’s Sister City Committee Reaches 10th Year Milestone

Fil-Am Friendship Celebration on June 19 - 20
Expected To Draw Over 10,000 at Westlake Mall

Members of the Daly City - Quezon City Sister City Committee take a brief break from a pre-event meeting.
(Seated - left to right) Perla Ibarrientos, Committee President John Warren, Vice President Virgilion Talao, Daly City Vice Mayor Carol Klatt
(Standing - left to right) Denise Kelly, Myra Alcalde, Joey Camins, Dennis Broughton, Committee Secretary Maria Alcalde, and Andre Belarmino

Daly City – Daly City, home of the largest Filipino-American community in the United States, will host the 10th Annual Filipino-American (Fil-Am) Friendship celebration this Saturday and Sunday, on June 19 and 20, at Westlake Shopping Center. City officials will be joined by Philippine dignitaries and invited guests at the opening ceremonies, which start at noon on Saturday.

“This two-day fiesta attracts families and fun-seekers throughout the Bay Area,” noted Daly City Mayor Sal Torres. “It is an event that commemorates the historical alliance between two nations. It is also an opportune time to enjoy the Filipino culture – its colorful dances and music, great delicacies, native arts and crafts. As Mayor, I am particularly proud of being part of the festival’s 10th anniversary. This milestone further proves that Daly City is a true center of diversity, a community that embraces and thrives on learning about new cultures,” he added.

“Great entertainment plus fantastic food, and yet after 10 years, still no admission charge! The Daly City festival remains to be the longest-running Fil-Am event in the Bay Area that offers free admission,” explained DCPD Capt. John Warren. He currently serves as the president of the Daly City-Quezon City Sister City Committee (DCQCSCC), the event organizers.

Headlining the long list of performers this weekend are two Daly City Police Officers, Robert Lira and Doug Wilson. The two, who sang at last year’s event for the first time, are making an encore appearance. Lira, a 20-year DCPD veteran and a karaoke enthusiast, recently competed in a talent show in San Francisco. Since moving to the Bay Area from Minnesota in 1995, Wilson has performed at local theaters, including the Peninsula’s Civic Light Opera and Foothill College.

The program will also showcase popular singers from the Bay Area, as well as traditional Filipino music and dance from various provinces throughout the Philippines. Live entertainment will be non-stop during festival hours, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

Vendors and Exhibitors
The aroma of the famed Filipino barbeque and other delicacies will fill the air during the two-day event. “It will be the perfect place to sample an array of popular Filipino foods prepared by local restaurants,” Capt. Warren stated.

Shoppers will be able to purchase a variety of arts and crafts depicting the Filipino culture.
Attendees may also stop by the exhibit booths of Kaiser and Seton Hospitals, where they can get pertinent health information from medical professionals.

Event Sponsors
Major sponsors of this year’s event are Safeway, Seton Medical Center, Western Union, LBC, Lucky Chances Casino, Comcast, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Pinoy Patok, Heald College, Mon Cargo Services International, Wells Fargo, KTSF-26, AIG-American General, Cache Creek Casino Resort.

The DC-QC Sister City Committee also recognizes the contribution and support of the host site, Westlake Shopping Center, and the City of Daly City.

Sister City Committee
The DCQC Sister City Committee was founded in 1994, under the auspices of the City of Daly City’s Economic and Community Development (ECD). Primary objectives were to promote local Filipino-American businesses and to encourage other commercial ventures to bring additional business. Daly City’s population in the early 1990s also showed a sharp increase of Filipino-Americans.

Subsequently, Daly City officials envisioned potential trade and commercial ventures across the Pacific Ocean, and sought to become a Sister City for Quezon City, the capital of the Philippines. In 2000, Albuquerque, a town in the Bohol Province, became a Friendship City. San Luis, Pampanga, followed suit in 2004.

Held on the third weekend in June, the festival coincides with the Philippine independence from the Spanish rule, and consequently, the country’s declaration as a sovereign republic.

Scholarships and Charitable Projects
Proceeds from the festival fund educational scholarships to deserving students in Daly City, its sister city of Quezon City, as well as its Friendship City of Albuquerque (Bohol Province). This year’s scholarship winners will be announced at the opening ceremony on Saturday, June 19.

Additionally, the DCQC Sister City Committee allocates monies for charitable projects and awards them year-round. Past recipients included the Philippine National Red Cross, the Children’s Learning Center in Bohol, the Library Exchange Program, the Natural Disaster Fund, the Daly City Emergency Food Pantry, Bayshore District’s Futures program, Daly City Police Explorers and the Daly City Police Athletic League (PAL).

Capt. Warren, who is serving a second year as committee president, acknowledged “the hard work and countless hours that are expended” by the Sister City Committee towards the annual event. “What makes it all worth the effort is the fact that last year alone, we connected with 10,000 people at the event. The Fil-Am festival provides Daly City the appropriate venue to celebrate its diverse community. I am very fortunate to be a part of its 10-year anniversary,” he remarked.

For more information about the Daly City Fil-Am Festival, call (650) 991-8188.