In 2002, Los Angeles' Historic Filipinotown became the United States' first official “historic Filipinotown,” a well-deserved designation: L.A. is home to the largest population of Filipino-Americans in the country. The southwest enclave of Echo Park, bounded by Hoover, Glendale, Beverly and Temple, has historic origins dating back to the 1940s, when Filipinos began buying houses and developing a solid community structure in that area. But local Filipino history spreads beyond just those streets. Neighborhoods all over the city (Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, Eagle Rock) have communities with deep Filipino roots — no other U.S. city has a better availability per square mile of sweet halo-halo (a dessert of shaved ice, evaporated milk, fruit and rice) or the savory egg rolls called lumpia. On Saturday and Sunday, Grand Park hosts the 23rd annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture, and delicious food offerings are just the beginning. The festival is organized by FilAm ARTS (the Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture), which has lined up artists, live bands, martial artists, the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (based in SoCal, naturally), a poetry slam, bamboo dancers and even a vegetable competition. You can't eat at Jollibee once and say you understand Filipino culture, correct? Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., Oct. 4, noon-8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (213) 972-8080,

Sat., Oct. 4, 12-8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 10/05/14)

LA Weekly