Go to the Filipino Fest on June 16 to Celebrate Filipino Independence Day

Filipino Festival poster

Oops. I completely forgot to tell you guys that yesterday was Filipino Independence Day. Well, in case you feel bad for missing out on all the Filipino festivities in Dallas, lucky for you there hasn’t really been any big DFW celebrations yet. But this Ssaturday, the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market is hosting a Filipino Fest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 2800 Block of Main Street. Once again, Deep Ellum is blocking off part of the street for a cool outdoor party, and hopefully it won’t piss off any restaurant owners this time.

But DEOM’s Director Brandon Castillo, a Filipino-American, feels certain that the festival is going to bring more traffic to Main Street, which could then trickle into more business for Main Street’s stores. Castillo partnered up with Zen Bistro‘s Chonney Richie (also of Filipino descent) to spearhead this celebration of Filipino art, music, and food, hoping to draw out some of the 30,000 Filipinos that live in the DFW area.

The event promises live music by Filipino artists like the Backwater Opera, June Marleezy, and the Tony Q Project. There’s also going to be a Filipino Cuisine Competition with four different categories people can enter: appetizer, entree, dessert, and cuisine. If you’re not sure what kind of food to expect, here’s what Castillo has to say about dishes from the Philippines:

“The Philipinnes is a really interesting combination of Asian and Spanish. It’s located in Southeast Asia, so there’s a heavy influence of Asia, but when the Spanish came in, that introduced a whole new set of values.We eat adobo and empanadas and polvarone. A lot of Spanish recipes are combined with Asian recipes to give you a really, really unique combo of food.”


Castillo’s own father is bringing pancit (a noodle dish) and adobo (beef stew) to compete in the competition. Most importantly, purple yams are making a big showing at the Filipino Fest on Saturday. Chonney Richie of Zen Bistro promises purple yam cake balls (only a limited amount) and purple yam cupcakes – both of which get my heart racing. She’s also serving purple yam fries alongside a drunken BBQ pork slider with the bread and barbecue sauce made in-house out of San Miguel beer. All of that is bound to taste pretty well with a cold glass of halo halo, a drink made out of ice and evaporated milk with sweet mung bean, jack fruit, and purple yam on top of that. There’s even a dollop of vanilla ice cream to round it off.

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