Who knew such rich, vibrant culture could exist all in one place, and right here in Tampa? How familiar are you with this Foundation? Not very? We'd like to introduce you! With its high-quality performances, exhibitions of Philippine artists, and endless cultural events, The Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit unlike any other! This is a must-see for anyone traveling in the Bay Area. Why? Check out these six reasons below:
1. They have one of the most spectacular venues in the entire Tampa Bay Area.
The Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. is housed at the Philippine Cultural Enrichment Complex in Tampa, which features one of the most beautiful venues in the entire Bay Area, the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center. Built in 2001, the Center is a strikingly beautiful and exceptional arts and events facility offering 9,900 square feet of gorgeous exhibit space, and an event hall used by the organization and its members. The Center features a beautiful entrance, adorned with an ornate fountain and well-manicured garden. A magnificent crystal-chandelier highlights the pristine lobby, which is complemented by an incredible adjourning library holding a massive collection of books, musical instruments, and artifacts from Philippine culture.
The lobby leads into the Grand Sampaguita Ballroom, through magnificent, hand-carved entrance ways. The incredibly spacious ballroom is decorated with capiz-shell chandeliers and other lighting ornaments handcrafted from the Philippines and features a handmade bamboo bar and sizable dance floor.
2. They throw some of the best “fiestas” around…
…a “barrio fiesta” to be exact. Yes, each year, the Philipino American Associate of Tampa Bay, Inc. in cooperation with the Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. puts together something called the “Barrio Fiesta and Santacruzan” at the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center. For a mere $5 admission, one can experience what a typical town or barrio festival in the rural Philippines is like: an abundance of food, non-stop entertainment, native (and culturally acquired) games for all ages and a myriad of merchandise for purchase! This completely immersive experience is topped off by the “Santacruzan,” a parade presenting muses from the community, derived from a religious pageant at the end of the “Flores de Mayo” celebration. During this event, prominent ladies in the town parade in the streets to represent various titles of the Virgin Mary and to honor Helena of Constantinople and Constantine the Great. The Barrio Fiesta is held over the summer annually from noon to 6 p.m. and is a celebration you must attend! Connect by registering with 813area to stay informed.
3. Their annual “PhilFest” festival attracts over one-hundred thousand people.
PhilFest is the biggest Filipino-American festival in the Tampa Bay Area and features non-stop entertainment, food, and merchandise, all in a weekend of fun! The celebration is always held over three days in April and celebrates Filipino music, dance, art, food, theater, and other cultural customs. The 2017 festival attracted over 10,000 guests. PhilFest 2018 will be held from Friday to Sunday, April 6-8, 2018 at the Philippine Cultural Enrichment Complex, so mark your calendars!
4. Their Music, Theater, Dance and Art Program is one of the best around.
The Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. offers a variety of venues that teaches Filipino culture to the community. This is achieved through its cultural arms: the Musikong Kawayan Bamboo Ensemble, the Philippine Performing Arts Company, Inc., Philippine Choral Group and the Filipino American Theater Company of Tampa. At the same time, PCFI also offers art and language activities through its ARTE program and Tagalog Classes. To learn more about the Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc.’s Music, Theater, Dance and Art Program, click here!
5. Their "Bahay Kubo!"
To bring a taste of the Philippines to Tampa, the Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. is constructing a “bahay kubo,” or Nipa Hut at the Philippine Village of the Philippine Cultural Enrichment Complex. A bahay kubo is a typical Philippine house made of bamboo and coconut with an approximate size of 600 square feet. This will be an essential part of the foundation’s Philippine Cultural Enrichment Complex as a cultural monument and venue for educational tours and other events. To date, no other structure like this exists in the Tampa Bay Area.
6. They fundraise in style!
Each year, the Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc., holds the Sampaguita Ball, one of their main fundraising events for the foundation’s cultural programs. This formal ballroom event is attended by prominent guests in the Filipino community and is held at the beautiful Bayanihan Arts and Events Center’s ballroom. To learn more about the Sampaguita Ball, click here!
From Ybor City to West Tampa and beyond, we cherish diversity in Tampa. A large part of our community immigrated to the area, many, like the Filipino community, enrich the area in subtle ways. While familiar with the Latin influences of Tampa's heritage, many do not know about the festivals and joy this cultural center brings year after year. Connect and be sure to attend their events. Take the kids and learn. Enjoy the foods, music, and fun of the Filipino community right here in Tampa.