This is a press release from Philippine Fiesta USA.
Fiesta In America, the biggest indoor trade and culture exposition in the US East Coast, will mark its 26th anniversary at Court A of American Dream (the 2nd largest mall in the USA), East Rutherford, New Jersey on Saturday, August 19, 2023.
Over 10,000 Filipino-Americans and 50,000 additional mall visitors are expected to attend.
“If you’re thinking of capitalizing on the growing Philippine market and the strong household income of Filipinos in the United States, this is the event to go to,” said Fernando Mendez, founder and CEO of not-for-profit Fiesta In America.
Founded by couple Fernando and Mila Mendez in 1996 (Mila passed in 2012), the indoor festival, popularly known as Philippine Fiesta, has been attended by more than 250,000 consumers, primarily Filipinos, since its inception.
The festival is also supported by hundreds of brands from the Philippines, the US, and other countries eager to tap into the lucrative Filipino-American market in the New York-New Jersey area.
“Stewarding Fiesta in America is my little way of promoting our culture, our products, and the beauty of our land as Fil-Ams’ beacon of pride,” said Mendez.
“Our mission has always been to connect Filipino entrepreneurs with mainstream business and Fil-Am consumers through a festival that highlights immigrant-centered services, Filipino products, heritage, and talent,” he added.
Fiesta in America brings together big-name brands in the US and the Philippines, along with local small businesses, all under one roof. The event has grown so much that it has become one of the most effective platforms to promote micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as Philippine tourism. Over the years, it has evolved into a melting pot for Filipino and multicultural engagement.
Mendez and his partner, Laura Garcia, are also organizing the People’s Ball Gala on Aug. 13 at the Marriott Newark International Airport, New Jersey. The gala will be attended by over 400 influential leaders, movers, and shakers in the Fil-Am community in the US East Coast.
“Fiesta is uniquely located at the junction of Filipino culture and U.S. diversity marketing,” said Mendez,
He explained that concerts by Philippine artists and young talents from the New York metro area “actually comprise only half of what Fiesta In America is all about.”
The consumer expo segment commands equal attention, Mendez asserted. “Nostalgic immigrants and non-Filipinos intrigued by what the Philippines can offer pack the Trade Pavilion to load up on products not available in U.S. stores. Many are on the lookout for hot spots in less-touristy Philippine towns and provinces. Motivated by the dollar’s strength, they look out for real estate to invest in or for retirement, as well as medical, dental and eye-care services whose rates are a fraction of comparable US healthcare services. Beyond the product showcase, attendees avail themselves of free health screenings and free workshops on various subjects from small business to start-ups to healthy food preparation. They dine on Philippine regional specialties in the food court, and enjoy artistic as well as fun activities for all age groups throughout the venue.”
For his civic engagement, Mendez received the 2016 Phoenix Award from the JCI Philippine-New York (Jaycees) in recognition of Exemplary Community Leadership. He has also been profiled several times in the Fil-Am Who’s Who. In 2021, he received the 5th Dr. Jose Rizal Circle of Excellence Awards for his ability to get people to work together through the annual Fiesta in America. He was also “knighted” in 2022, with the Order of the Knights of Rizal, Long Island, Chapter (KORLI).
Speaking from his midtown-Manhattan office, two blocks from Grand Central Station and Pershing Square, Mendez, CEO and President, says he did not come from nowhere or just about anywhere. He had just finished a four-year stint as Art Director in an advertising agency in Billings, Montana, when the urge to move to the biggest city of them all nagged at him like the heckling sound of a hundred chickens at his grandfather’s backyard poultry farm in Caloocan, where he grew up.
In Billings, he established himself as an award-winning graphic artist, with a portfolio that boasts the rare distinction of having won a competition to design the logo of the city of Montana in 1984. It’s an unimaginable feat that a Filipino designed the seal of Billings.
Mendez also designed the winning logo of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) in 2003 upon incorporation from being a Committee. Winning art contests is nothing new to Mendez, who started his apprenticeship and future career in design as art editor of The Varsitarian, the student newspaper of the University of Santo Tomas, where he graduated with a Fine Arts degree, majoring in Advertising.
Back then, Mendez won a number of in-and-out-of-campus art competitions that served as his passport to key positions in Manila’s advertising industry upon graduation in 1974. Notable among these was his last position as art director at Philippine Advertising Counselor (PAC), a leading ad agency in the Philippines, prior to moving to the United States.
He became the youngest art director at the agency, where he worked on blue-chip accounts, including San Miguel Beer, Marlboro, Singer, and Scott Paper. Among the many logos he designed were those for Insular Bank of Asia & America. He also won awards as art director of these multinational accounts on top of many other distinctions won in numerous art competitions in illustration, painting, graphic design, and print advertising.
‘Fiesta in America’ organizers are inviting sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers, and attendees to participate in the 2023 Fiesta In America and the People’s Ball Gala.
For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.fiestainamerica.com. – Rappler.com
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