Taste of Manila, Inc. and SPARC launch the 2023 Taste of Manila Street Festival

Taste of Manila, Inc. and SPARC launch the 2023 Taste of Manila Street Festival

In a concerted preparation for the 2023 holding of the ever-popular “Taste of Manila Street Festival” in Toronto, Canada, the Society of Philippine Artists, Recreation, and Community( SPARC) and the Taste of Manila, Inc.(TOM, Inc.) jointly held a soft launching event on October 16, 2022, at the Republika RestoGrill & Bar, Wilson Avenue & Bathurst St., North York, Toronto, Canada.


At the afternoon gathering, it was announced that the Taste of Manila Street Festival would be organized and delivered by the Society of Philippine Artists, Recreation, and Community in association with T.O.M, Inc. The event is tentatively slated on August 19 & 20, 2023, along Bathurst Street & Wilson Avenue in the Little Manila district, North York. Toronto.


The dignitaries who attended the event were Honourable Michael Kerzner, M.P.P. and Ontario Solicitor General, Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak of Ward 6, York Centre and Philippine Consul Rodney Jonas L. Sumague. Also in attendance were Filipino Canadian community leaders, the T.O.M.Inc. officers, & SPARC executive board members, media publishers, and other special guests. Among the Fil-Can newspaper publishers and reporters were Tess Cusipag & Baby K. Jimenez of Balita, Joy Sarmiento D’Aoust of Pinoy News, Mr. & Mrs. De Jesus of Far West Herald, Joey Baking of Little Manila Confidential, Mark Sibul- a YouTube blogger, and Tony A. San Juan – a volunteer writerThe special guests were Monina Serrano, Michele Serrano, Jocelyn A. San Juan, and Francis Yecla.


SPARC, a Federally registered Canadian not-for-profit corporation, is headed by Danilo “Sani” Baluyot- Executive Director, and Board Directors Rosemarie Ami Seaborn, Lita Mendigoria, Janelle Arcayos-Bascon and Terry Barker. Founder Rolando Mangante leads taste of Manila, Inc. as its President and C.E.O. with Nieves Mangante and Jacqueline Mangante as Directors. The T.O.M. Inc. executives are Pepito Toralba- chief coordinator; Ricardo Dumlao- contingency officer; and Lovely Danna Luna- communications director; and serving as T.O.M. Inc. consultants are Joseph Redoblado, Lorelei Redoblado, and Tony A. San Juan

The program, aptly emceed by Lovely Danna Luna, started with an introduction of the special guests and the officers and directors of T.O.M. Inc. and SPARC, then a brief prayer by Jackie Mangante, and followed by a welcome address by T.O.M, Inc. Founder and President Rolando “Rolly” Mangante. A video of the short history of the Taste of Manila Festival events from 2014 to 2022 was intermittently shown.


Addressing the attendees, York Centre Councillor J. Pasternak expressed his full support for the 2023 Taste of Manila Festival. He pledged to continue helping the Festival organizers and supporters by all means, appropriate and necessary “to cut the bureaucratic red tape practice” on securing city permits. On the one hand, M.P.P. and Solicitor General M. Kerzner congratulated the T.O.M. Inc. and the SPARC leaders for getting the Festival moving early in “placing Toronto and Ontario as the destination for festival celebrations in Canada and the world”. He cited that “the Ford government is completely encouraging the conduct of multicultural celebrations” such as the past Taste of Manila summer events. Consul R. J. L. Sumague representing the Philippine Consul General of Toronto encouraged them to continue pursuing “cultural endeavours”, like the T.O.M. festival, and as a part of the bilateral relations between Canada and the Philippines, as well. The endorsements given were well-received and gratefully applauded.

Introduced by Rosemarie Ami Seaborn, SPARC Executive Director Sani Baluyot stressed meaningfully the mantra: “ToM provides the spark, and SPARC provides the flame for the Taste of Manila 2023!”  Sani Baluyot added that the Festival shall be a Mas Pinalakas, Mas Pinasaya, Mas Pinalaking Taste of Manila 2023. Isang Dekada Na!” Further, he enthusiastically shared the initial plan, nature, structure, and features of holding the “largest Filipino street festival in Canada and North America” next summer. Media bulletins will be shared as the planning and preparations progress.


Together with M.P.P. Michael Kerzner and Councillor James Pasternak, Consul R.J.L. Sumague, SPARC Executive Director Sani Baluyot, and  T.O.M., Inc. Chairman Rolly Mangante proudly unveiled the official logo of the 2023 Taste of Manila Festival displaying its purposeful message: “Isang Dekada Na!, Celebrating 10 years of Philippine Culture and Cuisine” to the appreciative guests and attendees. Thence, within 10 months, Filipino Canadians and their families, relatives,  friends and guests should expect the biggest and much anticipated Filipino heritage-focused Festival and celebration ever. (T.San Juan)