Thousands attend first-ever Lapu-Lapu Day in South Vancouver

Click to play video: 'B.C. celebrates Lapu-Lapu Day'
B.C. celebrates Lapu-Lapu Day
It is a project that has been decades in the making and is taking big step forward for B.C.'s Filipino community. A partnership agreement on a new community centre has been announced on a special day for the more than 170,000 Filipinio-Canadians who call B.C. home. Safeeya Pirani has more. – Apr 27, 2024

Thousands of people gathered in South Vancouver’s Sunset neighbourhood for the first-ever Lapu-Lapu Day block party in the city on Saturday.

A little bit of rain did not stop the event from being vibrant and loud.

“Twenty years ago, when I moved here, this is exactly what I was looking for,” Natasha Acuba Bailey said.

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The day pays tribute to the legacy of Indigenous warrior Lapu-Lapu.

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“He was the first Filipino chieftain that everybody here recognizes as the first hero,” Jeremy Guia Sulit said.

B.C. officially declared April 27 as Lapu-Lapu Day in the province last year.

The event is also an opportunity to honour the long-running contributions of Filipino people across the province.

“I wanted to showcase what Filipino cuisine is and what our heritage is all about,” Acuba Bailey said.

“This (recipe) has been passed onto me by my mom, which was passed down to her from her mom. It’s a three-generation recipe that I’m bringing into Vancouver.”

Amidst the backdrop of the festivities,  Filipino BC Has announced a partnership with real estate firm Hungerford Properties to explore bringing a Filipino community centre to life.

Public engagement efforts are set to begin in the coming months for the centre.

The timeline is still unknown but it’s being called a “big step forward.”

“We’re really excited about the prospect of it being here in the city of Vancouver. The city council and mayor have already expressed unanimous support for having it here,” Rj Aquino said, with Filipino BC.

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With all the enthusiasm surrounding the inaugural celebration, community members are hoping to keep this momentum going so that Filipino culture and traditions can continue to be shared with everyone — hopefully at a new community centre.

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