The crowd focuses on the FCS Kalahi Dance Company performance

PHOTO ESSAY | Local Filipino Community Celebrates at The Palengke

by Ronnie Estoque


On Friday, Sept. 30, the reception hall of the Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) filled up quickly with local community members eager to celebrate at “The Palengke,” which translates to “marketplace.” The event featured various performances, including dance from the FCS Kalahi Dance Company, drag by Atasha Manila, a karaoke contest, and line dancing to cap off the joyous occasion. Food and drinks were provided by FCS Specialty Cocktails, and food by Francis Franco, Grayseas Pies, and Beats & Eats. Retail vendors also sold their products during the event, which was filled with laughter, music, and plenty of smiles. 

Atasha Manila performs her drag routine while people watch from behind and in front of her
Atasha Manila performs her drag routine as the crowd eagerly records with their phones. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

“An event like The Palengke at FCS is important to the local Filipino community, because firstly, it shows Filipino small businesses and non-Filipino businesses alike that we have a lot more resources in our community than we think,” said Gracie Santos Guce, co-founder of The Palengke National and co-organizer for the event. “I draw inspiration from long-standing events, such as Pista sa Nayon and Pagdiriwang, but also newer events, such as the Foodie Fest at Stonehouse.”

Irene Lim (right) poses with event attendees behind her booth of handcrafted items
Irene Lim (right) poses with event attendees during the event. She sold handcrafted items from Cebu, Philippines. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Nicole Lorenzo of Tita Bun Collective speaks with a customer about her products
Nicole Lorenzo of Tita Bun Collective speaks with a customer about her products. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Guce helped organize The Palengke at Stonehouse in June with co-founder Jennifer Johnson, and was approached by FCS board member Francis Franco about the opportunity to host one at the FCS later in summer. They quickly began to organize to make the event a reality with the assistance of Bennyroyce Royon, who curated the art and entertainment component of the evening. 

“We started planning this event 10 weeks ago, about the last week of July. We gave ourselves 10 weeks to plan and organize an event that usually takes four to six months to plan. We met twice a week for about 10 weeks to make this happen,” Santos Guce said. “This event shows to the Filipino community, in an intergenerational way, that we can support our Filipino and non-Filipino small businesses at gatherings like this, making it fun, accessible, and beneficial not only to the Filipino Community Center, but the whole Filipino business community as a whole.” 

The crowd applauds following one one of the karaoke performances
The crowd applauds following one one of the karaoke performances. The Filipino Community of Seattle reception hall was filled for the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

The following day, additional local food and retail vendors were invited for an indoor-outdoor market that also saw a strong crowd of attendees. Proceeds raised from the event will assist the FCS in expanding its programming capacity through the Small Business Resiliency Network.

Event attendees pose for a group photo at an iPad photo booth
Event attendees pose for a group photo at an iPad photo booth. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Michael Alcantara strikes a pose during his karaoke performance
Michael Alcantara strikes a pose during his karaoke performance. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
The karaoke contestants pose for a photo following their performances
The karaoke contestants pose for a photo following their performances. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Event attendees dance and clap on the dance floor at the event
Event attendees get their groove on to end the evening with celebration. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Event attendees dance on the dance floor during the event
Event attendees get their groove on to end the evening with celebration. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Ronnie Estoque is a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.

📸 Featured Image: The crowd focuses on the FCS Kalahi Dance Company performance. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 900 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us get to 1,100 Rainmakers by the end of the year and keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!