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Kentucky Arts and Culture

New Louisville food and music festival created to uplift Filipino culture and businesses

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Courtesy Shaira Braden
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Shaira Braden said people “better come hungry” to the first-ever Filipino Fiesta: Pinoy Street Food and Music Event in Louisville Saturday.

“Because there’s gonna be a lot of food and also there’s going to be performers… So it will be really cool for everyone to see, like part of our culture and traditions,” she said.

Braden, who runs Ate Shai’s Homecooking catering service in Louisville, will have a food stall at the event, serving dishes authentic to the northern region of the Philippines she’s originally from.

“Which is like the culinary capital of the Philippines,” she said of the region. “Everyone in my family knows how to cook… that’s how we were raised.”

Her favorite thing about cooking, and what she’s hoping her dishes and soups on Saturday will do, is that food can invoke memories for the people who eat it.

“Like sometimes when I serve them this certain food that they’re gonna remember, ‘Oh, I ate that with my family on Christmas last year’,” Braden said. “Or ‘we had that when my daughter was born,’ something like that. That’s what fulfills me, is that when I serve them my food [it] brings them happiness and good memories.”

Saturday’s Filipino Fiesta: Pinoy Street Food and Music Event will feature authentic cuisine and snacks, games with prizes, and performances from a dance troupe performing traditional Filipino dances and musical acts, including a guest appearance from a finalist on a reality show that airs in the Philippines.

Organizers created the new festival to uplift Filipino culture and businesses.

Jeramie Cabanban, who runs the Filipino grocery store My Tindahan in Louisville with her husband, is one of the organizers behind the event.

She said the idea came from a friend who owns Misawa Hibachi & Sushi Bar in Fern Creek.

“My husband and I were definitely on board with the idea, especially offering it to our Filipino community here,” Cabanban said, adding that they had never heard of anything like it done before in Louisville. “We know for sure, though, it was going to be a lot of work.”

While Cabanban is excited for the live entertainment, she said the star of the event is probably the food.

“I love all this entertainment that we put together. The program is fully packed,” she said. “But definitely, I’m still most excited about food, like there’s this soup that I can eat almost everyday if I’m given a chance to…. I’ve just been thinking about this.”

The Filipino Fiesta: Pinoy Street Food and Music Event is Saturday at John Paul II Academy in Louisville.

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