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Eat & Drink

First ever Filipino street festival in Toronto this weekend

Posted by Derek Flack / August 22, 2014

Taste of Manila TorontoTaste of Manila, the first ever Filipino street festival in Toronto, goes down this weekend at Bathurst and Wilson. Organized by the Philippine Cultural Community Centre, the two-day fest will showcase a broad array of Filipino culture, including street food, live music, and folk dancing. Oh, and perhaps most intriguing of all, the event promises to feature the world's largest boodle fight. Better bring an empty stomach.

This event has flown a bit under the radar leading up to its first run, but should prove a unique addition to Toronto's roster of summer street festivals. Organizers are predicting upwards of 10,000 in attendance at the inaugural event, which will close down Bathurst between Wilson and Allingham Street. Running from 10am to midnight on Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sunday, the idea is to appeal to families by day and operate as a more boisterous night market in the late hours on Saturday.



Ryan / August 22, 2014 at 03:24 pm
Time to get some sigsig!
Cheryl / August 22, 2014 at 04:19 pm
Finally, a chance to try Filipino cuisine!
I think it's the next up-coming "trend". Especially the kamayan way of eating. Lamesa brought a great twist but Cusina Lounge has the most authentic in my opinion. Their night chef is really great.
Steven / August 22, 2014 at 05:29 pm
Free Sunday. Looks like a nice outing there.
Bobbikins / August 22, 2014 at 06:43 pm
I know where to go this weekend. I wanna TASTE OF MANILA! This is the FIRST so I should not miss this EVENT.
Mark / August 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm
Sounds good. Hopefully it's managed better than PND. They should change whoever is organizing that event since it appeals to mostly old people.
Michele / August 23, 2014 at 12:46 am
Can't wait to taste the food and see some culture. Don't forget to stop by booth 67 preregister for Marquette Urban Towns from $299,900 coming soon to Bathurst & Wilson area!
Sarsi fan / August 23, 2014 at 12:52 am
This is going to be great! I want my Sarsi soda! Sarsi is a lot like Pepsi but with a licorice taste thrown in. Pepsi should try copying something like this. It would do well here.
wish I could go / August 23, 2014 at 02:08 am
I would have gone but it is practically up in the Arctic Circle. :(
shenobee replying to a comment from Ryan / August 23, 2014 at 02:54 pm
Sisig is my favourite too!
Daniel Freedman / August 23, 2014 at 03:15 pm
Umm.. where exactly is this?

Bathurst and Wilson is vague and cryptic.

How about a Google Map?

Do I need a passport?

More seriously, how do I get there via public transit?

You really need to include info like this in each and every blog spit.
cathie / August 23, 2014 at 05:02 pm
Looks like a really nice turnout today, I live just up the street. Lots of families w/ kids. Hope everyone had a great time. At least it didn't rain
MJOY / August 23, 2014 at 07:51 pm
It was a disappontment. I was expecting to see street foods that we normally eat backhome not resto food that we order in filipino restaurants. And they jacked up the prices with small portion and heavy line ups. Nothing else to see then ad agents.
Lyn / August 23, 2014 at 07:58 pm
Just came from taste of Manila and I had an ok time. Food was great! There was great energy and the people were friendly. The only drawback is that the area was very dirty. I had the impression that people just left their food containers, left overs and plastic bags everywhere! This is not acceptable because the garbage cans are not even full. With all the garbage everywhere, it is hard to enjoy my fave Filipino dishes. I hope that we Filipinos should be mindful of our ways especially that this is our first major street festival. We don't want festival goers to leave with a "bad taste" in their mouths.
Randy / August 23, 2014 at 09:08 pm
We are residents at Bathurst and Wilson and we had no notice of this. The filipino organizers have shown a total disregard for the residents in this area. We have filed complaints with the police and city over this.

Next year, show more respect for others, by having this in a park, were it is safe and fun for everyone.

This is not the way to show your culture.

And as Lyn said, clean up your garbaged!!

cathie / August 23, 2014 at 09:43 pm
Randy above is correct in that I don't think the local homeowners were given any notice of this. I live 1 min. up the street and just found out about it yesterday. Most of the attendees have not littered (yet) but we'll see what my street looks like tomorrow morning. Unfortunately the corner of B & W is never especially clean at any time so I do hope the organizers have made arrangements for post-party clean up. Nice to see everyone come out but I do think that they should have held this at Earl Bales, which has a huge number of Filipinos go there every weekend anyways. - adequate parking, lots of space, etc. is already in place so it would have been a better choice.
brad / August 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm
Lighten up people...there is obviously going to be a garbage issue as with any public event. As Cathie mentioned, B&W isn't exactly spotless on any day. I live at the corner of it all and don't mind seeing some kind of life come to the area even if once a year, it's B&W after all.

Good for them, well done. Hopefully they have made arrangements for cleanup nonetheless, but Earl Bales would have been a better choice (ample parking, better stage setting, better setup of food venues, wider array of movement of people, etc). But for a first year, it was great. I can understand the complaints, but for a first time around it was a learning experience for the festival organizers (being a festival organizer myself) and they know they can fill more space at the park next year. Great music and energy and most of all fun! That's important.
Jane / August 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm
there is no such thing as perfect event. As you know this is the first time I am sure that next time it will be a very great event and even bigger. For the neighbors of bathurst and wilson you should not expect the organizers come knock to your doors to inform you for the event. It's been published in social media as well as in radios. I wish that you will show your support as well. Remember we are all immigrants to this country anyway. I had a great time and we will come again next year.
Nina / August 23, 2014 at 10:33 pm
Yes, I like Cathy's idea of using Earl Bale park. We have had to listen to this all day, and the noise
level is too much. There are people that have to work in the morning, and there doesn't to be any consideration from the filipino community, since people can't really go to bed until midnight.

Unfortunately, the filipino community will not win any support from the residents of this area. I will be speaking to my city councillor, to escalate this issue.

Bahg Ome / August 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm
Great food -- I loved the schnauzer!!
Maya / August 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm
This is taking place in the midst of a residential area until midnight?!? There are elderly people and toddlers who want peace and quiet including me. Why can't this take place at Earl Bales park??? How can the City permit such a ludicrous festival to take place right infront of residences? this is the utmost disrespect by the entire Filipino community! I will be speaking to the police, the mayor and my city councillor. This cannot happen again.
Jeff / August 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm
All the food was excellent -- good times!!
Zaharia / August 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm
Politics = votes

A major Filipino community equals a large amount of those votes in that area. Have a politician wave at your event to the crowd and you're fine.
Randy / August 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm
Thank you Maya.

It was a total disregard for the residents of this area, by the filipino community!!
Andrew / August 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm
Sounds like Randy & Maya are not evident of the city's demographics. C'mon lighten up, yes this may be a nuisance for you but it is the weekend and this helps reinforce the city's aspect of multiculturalism. If you're not happy about it, remember that not everyone is satisfied with what the city approves and disapproves. It's only for 2 days. Suck it up like adults and don't be so ignorant on of the largest visible minorities of Toronto. Rob Ford would applaud your comments.
Randy / August 24, 2014 at 12:11 am

Suck it up? How canadian that sounds, eh?

Multiculturalism has many levels and one of the most important is, respect for all people. You don't promote harmony by inconveniencing others, since when you do, it defeats the purpose. There are plenty of large parks that were available for this event.

You don't demand respect. You earn it. Far too many decisions are being made, by people who do not have to put up with those decisions. When you have loud speakers blaring that idiotic neatherthal noise into your living room, "2 days" is an eternity.

Next year, make sure the speakers are outside your living room.

And bringing Rob Ford's name into this, shows your level of intelligence as well as your own ignorance.
Randy / August 24, 2014 at 12:17 am
Thank you Andrew,

You've shown your own ignorance by bring Rob Ford into it.
Mike / August 24, 2014 at 12:24 am
The first ever Taste of Manila was a huge success! Much similar to Taste of the Danforth but very different cuisines. Glad to have participated on this historic, cultural occasion! As for the noise complaints and dirty streets, give the organizers a break! The hosts even asked everyone to pick up one garbage from the ground and throw it out after the event was just about to wrap up. They are not careless.
Sean / August 24, 2014 at 12:39 am
Can we not put up with one noisy event in a year, in the middle of the summer, on the weekend no less? Shouldn't we rather be supportive of events that bring people together, and offer constructive criticism rather than general threats and insults? The suggestion to move the event to Earl Bales is a good one but do we really need to be slagging the Filipino community over this as well? A "ludicrous festival?" It's really sad to me to see this kind of reaction, even more so considering this is a first time event. We don't know how good we have it in this country if we can complain about something like this. I had a good time and I certainly hope to see this event return next year. Kudos to the organizers for putting this together.
Sean / August 24, 2014 at 01:00 am
Randy, your attitude is not welcome here. People have to "earn" respect? Who do they have to earn it from, you? Could you be more patronizing? But then what would one expect from somebody who refers to another culture's music as "idiotic Neanderthal noise"? Your comments discredit your position thoroughly.
Andrew / August 24, 2014 at 01:58 am
Whatever you say Randy, I mean the city could be much worse if it were you running it. If respect has to be earned, then it seems you haven't earned any from fellow Torontonians. Rob Ford is simply just an analogy to your behaviour if you could ever understand. Don't hate, appreciate.
Ehjay / August 24, 2014 at 03:19 am
A ton of filipino's gathering at B&W?! Who's looking after all the kids this weekend?
Jess / August 24, 2014 at 04:34 am
In this case, ignorance is NOT bliss. It's their first time hosting a festival; it's expected to have flaws. However, I do not agree with the littering, level of noise at midnight, etc. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, hence the expectations that the residents will be sending in their feedbacks. I just find it extremely inappropriate for one to bash on a community and culture just from one experience - especially when they have worked hard. If you have a problem, address it to the city in a respectful manner. If you are going to present your issues publicly, address it with the same manner.
Besides, I am pretty sure the PCCC presented the festival idea to the city, but ultimately, it was the city counsellors that approved it. The city permitted and finalized this event - the time and the location too. People are so quick to set blame and so quick to fill with anger. If anything questions and comments should be directed at our city counsellors. Think about it, their reasons to choosing their location could be perhaps because it is their first time organizing a festival a residential area is used for a trial-run. The city has the upper hand. They want to show diversity and equality by granting the festival, but how much are they willing to accommodate these cultural communities? Maybe the PCCC got the short end of the stick for this event and had to settle for the location they were offered. Who knows..

So please, I encourage people to keep an open mind.
andrew1 / August 24, 2014 at 08:54 am
Keep an open mind everyone. Enjoy what's happening in your area. To me I think it's great. If Randy is not happy with the way this was organized then he is welcome. But for now why don't you all go out and experience what this culture offers instead of complaining on a blog
Randy / August 24, 2014 at 10:31 am
Like I said, next time have this event and others like it, in a park. When you inconvenience anyone, it creates an atmosphere of discontent.

There is enough road closures going on in this city. We don't need more.

Any group that puts events like this on in residential areas, has no regard for others.

Typical of small minded individuals to bring Rob Ford into.

And if I were running the city, there would be no complaints about noise, since I would have directed that this event take place in a park!!

Randy / August 24, 2014 at 11:33 am
I apologize to those who are offended by my remarks.

So please, allow me to qualify what I said:

When I said neanderthal music, I meant nothing by that accept that it is music I don't like. Most of the music played at this festival was by the Beatles. The Beatles are half Irish. So they represent part of my heritage since I too and Irish. I just don't like popular music in general. I think it's all crap.

I'm all for this Manila festival as I am for any culture expressing themselves. But again, to reiterate my point, it should have been held in a proper venue, like a park. That goes for all cultural festivals.

When even just one person is inconvenienced, and there are many in this area, the whole point of this cultural event looses its point.

And in truth, this festival looks more like an advertising for business, than anything else.

cathie / August 24, 2014 at 01:01 pm
As I posted above, I live 1 min. from the corner of B & W. While I support it and am happy to see it occur this location was not the place to hold this event. There is simply not enough space or parking. There is a small park on the opposite corner that would have been better but again there's no parking. Earl Bales Park, a mere 5 min. up the road, with all the necessary services already in place, and with a huge Filipino contingent that goes there every weekend anyways, would have been so much better. For that reason, I don't know why the city okayed this. Regarding the noise, anyone living close by would not have been able to sleep until midnight last night, yes its only one night but if you had to go to work or have small kids, you were out of luck. The people living in the 3 condos beside the venue are pissed, big time. Also, the organizers should have pre-distributed a few flyers to those of us that live close by, advance notice would have been the good-neighbour thing to do, and, had someone come out and clean up the garbage left behind (incl. on people's lawns and driveways). I do hope everyone enjoyed themselves and it was successful and that they have it next year, but not here. Off I go to pick up all the crap left behind on my lawn by a fortunately small, but inconsiderate few.
Michele / August 24, 2014 at 01:28 pm
I for one commend all the organizers and volunteers for their great efforts!

Being your first year there will always be bugs to work out thats how we learn and improve. I am not of Filipino origin however I had a great time!I love to see the multi culture in our great city being able to taste new foods, watching special culture events, the dancing, the band etc.

I did notice that there were garbage and recycling cans at every single vendor's table so any garbage littered is definitely not through the lack of foresight on the organizers.

I found all the info I required on which is my goto sight to find out what is happening all over our city so I can participate in the fun!

Thank you again to Taste Of Manila for sharing your culture with us............ Only in Canada are we blessed to have such diversity!!

Randy / August 24, 2014 at 01:59 pm
And I'm sure you live in a nice quite area Michele.
sue day / August 24, 2014 at 04:33 pm
why was olivia chow campaigning?
Andrew / August 24, 2014 at 05:23 pm
More disruptive road closures again. No thanks for detouring bus route 7. People have to work on Sundays in this city you know.
Melissa / August 24, 2014 at 06:12 pm
Went today with my family to show our fellow Filipinos our support. Asked my kids what they thought and they gave it a thumbs down:( it was so disorganized but since it's the first ever they can learn from it. Might have been better in a park with a bunch of booths where all GTA restaurants can participate. The restaurant /food line were super long and we opted to head home to the East end to get our Halo-halo.
Melissa / August 24, 2014 at 06:16 pm
One more thing. Music blasting at the corner of Bathurst and Wilson should have Filipino tunes not dance club music with the "f" bomb going off. I thought it was a time to show off our culture.
Randy / August 24, 2014 at 06:35 pm
Thankfully, it's over!!

It has been a stressful 2 days for the residents of Bathurst and Wilson. We'll be gathering signatures for a petition from residents of the 3 buildings most affected by this event, to prevent this from happening again.

To the organizers of this festival: from now on, do what everyone else does, and hold your festival in a park, or a business district, and don't be so inconsiderate to others.

You didn't win much support here!!
Gabe replying to a comment from Maya / August 24, 2014 at 07:12 pm
Elders and Toddler will sleep through anything. Trust me I live with both. Quit trying to make this about someone else.
Josh / August 24, 2014 at 07:19 pm
Do what everyone else does?
Taste ot the Danforth, held on Danforth ave NOT a park.
Taste of Little Italy, held on College St NOT a park.
Salsa on St Clair, held on St. Clair Avenue NOT a park.
Bloor West Ukraninian festival, held on Bloor St. West NOT a park.
Roncesvalles Polish Festival, held on Roncesvalles Avenue NOT a park.
etc. etc. etc.

TOO BAD the organizers tried to do something good for the area but instead the residents are complaining. That area of the city already has a bad rap, as its trashy, there's crack heads all over the place, and the rest of the city only hears about it in the news when theres a stabbing or shooting. The Organizers tried to do something positive BUT in an area where everyone is soo negative it will remain a dump.
Randy / August 24, 2014 at 08:45 pm
Where do you live Josh?

Every area you mentioned, is predominately a business area.

Residents in any area, have a right to complain when it affects their neighbourhood. Please everyone, or don't bother with the event.
cathie / August 24, 2014 at 09:14 pm
So Josh, I'm not quite sure, how an event like this will help this neighbourhood move away from being a "dump". If anything, it made things worse. Again, I'm happy they had this, wrong location, but good idea. Hopefully next year the organizers will be more up front with their plans (I think they purposely tried to keep this under the radar from the local homeowners), and, they will ask the attendees not to use my lawn as a garbage can and a toilet.
Randy / August 24, 2014 at 10:15 pm
Lets be clear about this Josh. When you force something on people, it is never good. As for us living in a dump, thank you, that's nice to know. All the more reason for you to take your festival somewhere else next year.

I will add, none of us residents were criticizing the actual event. That came from Melissa, a filipino, when she mention the use of the F bomb by people on stage.

We are only asking that we as residents have a say in what goes on in our own area.

Please refrain from personal attacks on the residents and the area in which they live. It is their home.

Josh / August 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm
I do apologize. I didn't mean to refer to this area of the city as a dump. I'm Sorry, Did not mean to offend. I was reading alot of complaining from area residents and I thought I looked like an attack on the organizers with a petition going around etc. without discussion.

Why not hold an open forum meeting between area residents and the event organizers and work to find a solution instead of jumping straight to a petition to shut the event down in the location.
Randy / August 25, 2014 at 12:02 am
Thank you Josh, we appreciate your apology, and your idea of meeting with organizers, is a good one. Our point all along was, that we were not consulted.

I am going to meet with councillor Pasternak to discuss the situation. But, I do not want to see the Manila festival shut down. I'm just looking for some kind of compromise. I will present your idea to Mr. Pasternak and try to work something out.
Poor Traffic management! Dangerous Incidents! / August 25, 2014 at 11:06 am
Personally saw 6 near misses. No cops, no one directing traffic, no warning signs. VERY POORLY MANAGED! Presume the people running it dropped the ball, but WTF PEOPLE!!!
Poor Traffic management! Dangerous Incidents! / August 25, 2014 at 11:13 am
Been to many street festivals, never saw such a disregard for safety' Was there Saturday around six...pedestrians jaywalking, motorcycles crashing intersections @ high speeds...need a new group organizing next year, different site...DO SOMETHING!
Randy / August 25, 2014 at 02:08 pm
We live in one of the 3 buildings on the West side of Bathurst St., so we were directly affected by this festival. I've read comments on this blog about how we should basically, shut-up and put-up, which is easy to say when you don't live here.

Most people attending these festivals come for 2, maybe 3 hours, then leave. We residents had to put up with the noise level for 14 hours Saturday, and 8 hours Sunday, including a very loud 3 hour concert on both days. The building next to us was right next to the stage, and everyone knows how loud those speakers are. Those poor people must stressed beyond belief.

This morning, we all felt shell-shocked, so we have no choice but to put a stop to this. We just met with building management and they too were dismayed and have had their lawyers sent a letter to City Council. And councillor Pasternak is not going to get away with this. We are going to make sure that as many people as possible, do not vote for this man in the next election.

We don't like having to complain like this, but there is a lesson to be learned here by the organizers of this event. Next time, don't just seek approval. You need to consult with the residents of this area. All you succeeded in doing was, angering people. Instead of ingratiating the filipino community to other residents of this area, you caused nothing but animosity.

Seems to me, the whole purpose of the organizer's actions, had the opposite effect instead.

Not very smart folks!
RC / August 25, 2014 at 04:29 pm
Randy I also live in one of the 3 buildings. I could not hear (or barely) the noise when I have my windows and sliding door closed; the buildings are fairly new, so the door and windows seals are still good.

I don't mind 2 days of festivities before the fall and winter season starts again; stuck in my room waiting for the next summer to arrive. We live in a city, wherever we choose to held these festivals,even in a park, someone will be inconvenienced and dissatisfied. It's hard to please everyone no matter how we try. The stress and negativities in your heart right now is more harmful to yourself than the small nuisance that the festival have created. It would be nice if we could all practice being accommodating, accepting and tolerant of others; the world would be a better place to live on.

Peace Randy, peace .....
Area Resident / August 25, 2014 at 04:57 pm
I was excited when I heard about the festival but safety can't be ignored like it was. You must warn people about music/noise/disruption IN ADVANCE so that people can leave the area if they wish to do so. I know I won't be there next year until the organizers show they know what they are doing and at least try to minimize disruptions for residents.
Randy / August 25, 2014 at 06:49 pm
Hello RC,

I don't need a lesson on peace from you or anyone. This is canada, the most apathetic, passive country in the world. We canadians sit back and watch, while our military fires missiles at innocent people around the world. So if you would like to talk about peace and geo-politics in general, we can pick another forum for that.

Back to the festival: the reason why you can't please everyone, is because decisions are made without consulting people who are directly affected by these events. Any attempt by city council to consult with us first, might have brought about a compromise.

You are entitled to your opinion. But there are some of us that like to speak out. Our soldiers were killed in war based on lies, to protect that very right of free speech.
RC / August 25, 2014 at 10:42 pm
Hi Randy,

My saying Peace to you has nothing to do with geo-politics. I don't need to explain, as what you have said, you don't need lessons from anyone; go figure out what I meant by peace. Read the context and hopefully you will understand.

Consulting everyone doesn't work all the times. Sometimes notification as a courtesy is more than enough. We can't make everyone agree specially people who doesn't have an open mind and heart.

Please be reminded that we(migrants) are Canadians too, we have been and will always be Canadians since we decided/chose to live in this beautiful country.

Randy / August 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm
Hi RC,

For the record, I too am an immigrant. So lets keep our discussion constructive, as it pertains to the Manila festival.

I spoke this evening with Councillor Pasternak and he agreed that there was a breakdown in communication, and that the residents in this area should have been notified. He has promised to look into this, and get back to us.

Now, as regards to my comments about him earlier, I'll reserve judgment. If Mr. Pasternak comes through for us, I'll re-think my support for him. But he is a politician, and we will need to see action on his part.

I made the point too, that this isn't just about the residents in our area. It is about residents everywhere. All people want, is to be consulted and have their voices heard.

I support the Manila festival and the enormous contribution to this country from the Filipino community. All I'm asking is, that the next time this festival is to take place, that we are consulted first and that we come to a compromise.

And yes, this is a beautiful country. But it can be even more beautiful when everyone's voice is heard and everyone is given a chance to speak. Not easy to do I agree, but it is imperative for the true meaning of our democratic system.

That's what the Charter Of Rights in this country is really about.
RC / August 26, 2014 at 12:06 am
I don't need lessons on Charter of Rights .... just kidding :)
Randy / August 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Point taken...not kidding :(
Spike replying to a comment from Randy / August 28, 2014 at 12:51 am
Once again, people like Randy prove that Toronto can be a 'No Fun City' due to the way they are street festivals.
Ro / January 25, 2015 at 09:25 pm

Your comments are very offensive and demeaning and should not be taken lightly. The matter of fact, they are subtle comments of prejudice and racism evidenced by your lack of support and respect for a minority community. Would encourage you to recognize that.
Shelly / August 7, 2015 at 10:48 pm
the festival is coming tomorrow 2015 . I live in the area and yes I will enjoy it for a few hours by taken part and then I plan on leaving so I don't feel the negative effort of any festival hitting any area in Toronto. Enjoy everyone and plan according to you liking
maria / August 18, 2015 at 11:17 am
Get the best SISIG at Booth 37
Jason / August 22, 2015 at 04:24 pm
If there ain't no purefoods hotdogs barbecuing on the grill then this isn't a Filipino street festival, lol, I want to see Max, Barrio Fiesta represent in some form we need major domestic filipino chains to succeed here in Toronto otherwise the Filipino cuisine will remain just alocal niche taste, still waiting for Jollibee to come here, the wait is too long.
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