Thousands of residents from the City of Carson and nearby areas in Southern California made their way to the Veterans Park in Carson for the 120th Anniversary Celebration of Philippine Independence.
It was a spectacular Saturday that started with the flag-raising, followed by an ecumenical service led by Rev. Emmanuel Orendain, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church, and then a community mass celebrated by Rev. Father Albert Avenido of St. Philomena Catholic Church. This was followed by the presentation of colors and parade led by City of Carson Mayor Albert Robles.
The rest of the day was packed with fun and entertainment for the whole family. Vendor booths spread throughout the park provided arts and crafts, food, and various engagement activities. Philippine Independence Day Foundation Chairman Alex Cainglet pointed out that “There were around 100 plus booths this year versus the average of 70 from previous years. More local businesses bought in with the drawing power of TFC and the quality of entertainment it is known for world-wide.”
Myx TV, the only English-language multicultural Asian American entertainment network in the United States, showcased their various talents during the Myx TV Hour hosted by social media phenomenon Jessica Lesaca, Host of “Week Sauce.” Gracing the stage were singers Rocky Sandoval, Jeserey, Jules Aurora, and Leanne Tessa of Club Mickey Mouse.
Special guests Myx Host Joshua Manansala, Jamal McClerkin, host of Myx Digital’s “What’s in the Bag?” and Audrey Elizabeth, Myx Digital host were also there to spice up the Myx TV Hour.
Myx TV Virtual Casting Project Manager Allen Palos noted that audience engagement was very good. He says that “We saw a lot of second generation Filipinos in attendance, and organizers told me they had an influx of second gen attendees.”
The much-awaited TFC Hour opened with SoCal locals- Adobo Nation’s LA Chika Reporter Anna Diaz and BA Correspondent Steve Angeles taking to the stage for some fun banter with the audience before introducing the main acts of the Philippines’ Soul Princess Jona and Rockoustic Heartthrob Sam Milby.
Councilmember Elito Santarina was all praises, saying that “The City feels fortunate to have such great talents from TFC for our Philippine Independence Day Celebration. This annual celebration is Carson’s biggest event so we want only the best for the community. That is why I thank TFC for bringing two of their best talents, Sam and Jona, to Carson.”
Jona and Sam enjoyed themselves as they performed for the SoCal community. Both artists went down from the stage and joined the crowd on the ground, as they continued singing, wanting to be with, and reach out up close to the lively audience.
It is endearing to see how the ABS-CBN/TFC artists connect with the festival participants. PIDF Trustee and City Council Deputy Riezl Locsin-Pe Benito noticed that “they (Sam and Jona) are both sincere in their intention to bring happiness to the community as expressed in their interactions toward the audience. The hosts, Anna and Steve, were great too, in addition to the fact that the community knows them already.”
Cainglet said that, “people from Santa Barbara (70 miles away) and San Diego (90 miles away) drove all the way to see them perform. Several dignitaries, namely state and city officials, who were non-Filipinos, stayed on to watch and be entertained.” He also added that “Sam and Jona gave world-class quality entertainment. The organizers felt so right and blessed to get TFC for this year’s celebration.”
Santarina echoes the sentiment when he revealed that “the attendance this year broke all records. This has the biggest turn out so far. In fact, Carson has been the talk of the town since Saturday. The community now looks forward to next year’s celebration.”
Jona, Sam, and ABS-CBN/TFC were presented with Certificates of Congressional Recognition by Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan (California’s 44th District) Commendation and Plaques of Appreciation, and plaques of appreciation from the City of Carson.
After the Carson event, Jona and Sam proceeded to the Hilton Hotel in Universal City to appear at the dinner gala event of Kalayaan Incorporated of Southern California at the Hilton Hotel in Universal City, celebrating the 120th anniversary of Philippine Independence.