Sept. 29, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A number of community-based organizations are coming together to host a block party in Woodside Saturday to celebrate Filipino American culture and history.
The event will take place along 70th Street—between Roosevelt Avenue and 38th Avenue—with the gathering scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. The event’s location is situated within “Little Manila,” an area in Woodside known for its large Filipino population.
The block party will feature dancers, food, workshops and activities aimed at highlighting the skills and traditions of the local Filipino population. The event is expected to finish at around 4 p.m.
The block party is being organized by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns-Northeast, the Diverse Streets Initiative, the Filipino American National Historical Society-Metro New York, Little Manila Queens Bayanihan Arts and Woodside on the Move.
The groups will be on hand to provide attendees with information about the services they offer. A number of other organizations specializing in immigration, human rights and legal services will also be present.
Jaclyn Reyes, the co-founder of Little Manila Queens Bayanihan Arts, said the organizations came up with the idea for the event after learning that the Filipino community in Woodside used to host block parties in the area in the 1980s and 1990s.
“People shared many wonderful memories of neighbors coming together, eating good food, and having a good time,” Reyes said. “Because October is Filipino American History Month, we thought this would be a great time to celebrate in Little Manila with our neighbors.”
Filipino American artists, dance groups and drag performers will take to the street to showcase their heritage and talents. For instance, members of the dance company Kinding Sindaw – known for telling ancestral stories about the southern Philippines through dance – will perform at the block party.
Attendees will get a chance to experience Filipino culture too during workshops with weaver Cynthia Alberto and martial artist Francis Estrada.
There will also be a food tasting competition where a number of chefs will be serving various types of adobo, a vinegar-infused stew that is a popular Filipino dish, organizers said. The public will get to vote on which is best.
Reyes said that a number of Filipino-operated restaurants in the surrounding area will also offer food at discounted rates during the day to mark the occasion.
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