Filipinos of Kings County are preparing for their first-ever “Maligayang Pasko” celebration for the Christmas season.

According to Jules R. Amores of the FOKC, Christmas is one of the most important times of the year in the Philippines. It’s not just a time for festivities, but also a time of reunion and peace, and a reprieve from the day-to-day stresses of life. The preparations for the season, Amores noted, start as soon as the months ending in “ber” start and last until the day of Epiphany on Jan. 6 — an important day on the Catholic Church calendar.

“It’s one of those times where you kind of like forget what’s going on around you,” Amores said. “And even though you have some issues at home, issues financially, issues at work, or something like that, Christmas is kind of like the one that brings everybody back together.”

It’s with that tradition back home in mind that Amores and company are hosting the event. The celebration will be done with low-income families and the less fortunate in mind, making sure they have a fun, fulfilling and inclusive Christmas event to both remind them of their old home — and to feel accepted and comfortable in their adopted one.

It’s the second get together that’s been hosted by the FOKC after their first-ever Filipino Picnic & Sports Event, which was held in July. Amores stated that this turned into a big hit with extensive participation in terms of people bringing traditional Filipino dishes and participating and mingling.

Like that event, Amores says Maligayang Pasko will be held at Heritage Park in Lemoore, starting with sports at 9 a.m. Dec. 4 and ending at 8 p.m. Traditional Filipino food will be part of the celebration, along with Filipino dances, music and their traditional Filipino Christmas spirit. The event is free to attend and bringing a dish is encouraged.

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