Long Beach is not only one of the most diverse cities in California, but a community where different cultures are celebrated and allowed to thrive. Along with the rich backgrounds of its people, Long Beach is blessed with individuals who are passionate about sharing their cultures with the public, people like Anthony Formoso, the creator and curator of the Filipino Festival that takes place annually in the heart of the city.
Now in its second year, the Filipino Festival comes to Long Beach on August 30 at Silverado Park in downtown. As planned by Formoso, the festival offers the opportunity for those of Filipino heritage to bring their rich culture to the Long Beach community, and will boast food, music, art and much more. A 15-year resident of Long Beach, Formoso observes, “It’s important to be the voice of your own history or culture, especially as a young person. If you don’t represent who you are and where you’ve come from, it could easily be forgotten.” Having worked hard to create and find financial support for the festival, Formoso hopes to see the festival continue to take place for years to come, creating a lasting impact on the community of Long Beach. Aside from the festival, Formoso is a grant writer for non-profit companies including Pools of Hope, Long Beach Community Table, and Little Free Library. The $20,000 in grants he obtained for Little Free Library will go toward the placement of small, birdhouse-like structures in parks throughout Long Beach, so that free books can be placed inside for people throughout the community to enjoy. Formoo has also worked to gain political sponsorship for the causes that he is passionate about. For example, he’s gained the support of Long Beach council member Robert Uranga to host events such as the Filipino festival in his district. The events that Formoso has either contributed to greatly or created himself often host thousands of attendants and harbor a focus of improving the community. “One of my main goals is to bridge gaps in the community and connect people through out Long Beach,” Formoso said. “I not only want to promote culture but the business and passions of any individual who has something worthwhile to contribute.”