‘Cultural of Color’ shines light on local Philippine life

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VIRGINIA BEACH — Hampton Roads ranks in the top 20 high concentrations of Filipino-Americans in the country — nearly 40,000 people — according to the 2010 census.

About four percent of the population in Virginia Beach is Filipino, the highest concentration in Virginia.

For that reason, the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia is located in Virginia Beach, and acts as a hub of Philippine cultural activity.

One such activity is known as “Taste of Art,” an event that will spotlight local Filipino-American artists. This year’s theme, Kultura ng Kulay, translates in Tagalog, the Filipino dialect, as “Culture of Color.” Talents ranging from visual art, musical and culinary creations will be highlighted. 

“While growing up, my family and I were always involved in Filipino activities in the area,” said Alan Fontanares, event chairman of Taste of Art. “The core committee and I wanted to create an event that would appeal to multiple generations from youth to seniors as everyone enjoys art, music and food. At the same time, we hope the event raises awareness to people who may be new to the area and may not be familiar with what the Philippine Cultural Center has to offer.”

Local culinary experts Kevin Ordonez of Alkaline restaurant and Stella Pomianek of Cafe Stella, will offer delicious food, desserts, and coffee tastings. Alkaline serves ramen and Asian-inspired street food and has been featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive Ins and Dives  on the Food Network.

“I’m excited to participate in the event because it’s an amazing opportunity to open the doors to Filipino food and culture,” Ordonez said. “The world as we know it is constantly changing and Filipino food is no different. This event will highlight a few of the best things about Filipino culture and how adaptable it can be in a constantly evolving world.”

Representatives from Roanoke Valley Wine Company and Monsieur Touton Selections will be on site for wine tastings wines as well.

A nonprofit organization Legacy Committee from the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater produced the event. The Legacy Committee celebrates “Filipino culture through art, music and food in order to unite generations, honor our legacy, and preserve the integrity of the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia,” according to a news release from the organization.

Contributions will also help with improvements and expansion of the PCC.

The tickets include admission and refreshments. Cost is $20 for college students and senior citizens and $25 for adults. Additional tickets can be purchased for beer and wine for $10, which includes a commemorative Taste of Art wine glass. The event is slated to run May 19 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The proceeds will be applied toward programs to promote and preserve Filipino culture including senior and youth programs.

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