SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Asian Pacific Islander otherwise known as API Initiative presented its inaugural Filipino American Friendship Festival to celebrate unity.
People from all walks of life are celebrating Filipino cultural dances, food, art and games at festival at the Port Pavilion on the Broadway Pier.
Advocacy groups have reported many hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in San Diego, especially during the pandemic, but people that came to the event Saturday say it’s all about positivity.
This event comes after President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. It aims to combat hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Filipino mother, Marie Umayam, hopes this this free event shows her children its better to spread love versus hate.
"We're all one people and I don't agree with the hate crimes that are going on, whether you are Asian, black, Hispanic, white, it doesn't matter your color or where you come from. This brings the community together," says Umayam. "I want to introduce my culture to my children."
"Like how there are so many fun games, a lot of people and so many people having fun right now," said Umayam's 10-year-old daughter, Malia Umayam.
The group Jam Diego showed up to promote positivity and, of course, dancing!
"We are here to support friendships and support unity. We want to come together as one. We are a wide-range and from all over the world. This is what brings us together: dancing, movement, and just happiness and that is why it is so important we are here. I am so thankful we have such a blessed and amazing community to come together," said Jerrose Pugoy with Jam Diego.
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