The Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington (FCHSW) presents Pagdiriwang, commemorating the anniversary of Philippine Independence. • Courtesy Photo

Seattle Center Festál’s Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Seattle Center Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. The event celebrates Filipino Independence. The festival theme this year, Philippines: Land of Food and Festivals, is expressed extensively throughout the two days of the celebration through arts, artifacts, photography, and film as well as traditional foods for purchase.

Pagdiriwang Festival has evolved and expanded over the decades. When it began in 1987, the festival focused on traditional songs and dances. Thirty-one years later, it presents fashion, martial arts demonstrations, cultural games, craft activities and contemporary music, art and literature.

Several ethnic dance ensembles representing Filipino organizations across the state will perform: Filipinas Performing Arts of Washington State, University of Washington’s Filipino American Students Association, St. Matthew’s School children’s dance group, Filipino American Civic Employees of Seattle (FACES), AJAE Dance Group and Kalahi Dance Company. Mural Amphitheatre features a line-up of Filipino American rock bands including: Chemistrange, Halo-Halo band, Rigor Coloma, Ihaw-Ihaw Project, The Barriotiques, Cynthia Alexander, Strong Sun Moon and more.

Festival-goers will also find a Filipinas fashion show presented by Filipinas Performing Arts of Washington State and a festival of short films collected by Adrian Alarilla. Art exhibits feature pieces by six visiting Philippine artists, and photography exhibits showcase works by Leia Maminta-Smith, John Paredes,  Iris Dumuk and Ken Daffon.

Las Vegas artist Lane Wilcken will explain the traditional art of hand-tapped tattooing. Rhode Island musician Annie Lynn Pucking demonstrates use of various indigenous bamboo instruments, and Seattle local Titania Buckholdt shows how to wear a Malong or Sarong. There also will be a back-strap weaving demonstration, drama workshop and interactive dances.

The Festival marketplace houses vendors selling indigenous hand-woven backpacks, traditional Filipino Malongs, tribal accessories and garments, formal wear called Barong Tagalog made of Jusi cloth or pineapple fabric and Philippine artifacts. Food-for-purchase includes lumpia, broiled chicken, pork and chicken barbecues, Pancit (Filipino noodles), halo-halo (Filipino dessert with shaved ice) and various sticky rice desserts.

Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, visit To learn more about this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit or call 206-684-7200.

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