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This week in civics: Learn about the history of abortion rights, attend a Filipino cultural festival

Demonstrations of Filipino Martial Arts and an ube ice cream-eating competition are all part of the fun at the 29th Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival this weekend. | Courtesy Photo

29th Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival

Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Howard St.
August 13 & 14 | Free

Have you ever wanted to learn about Filipino martial arts? Or have you ever craved to eat an insane amount of ube ice cream as a competition? Well now you can! Celebrate the Filipino Culture at the 29th Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival this weekend. The parade will happen in the heart of Downtown San Francisco on Saturday at 11 a.m. and the festival will occur both Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the first Pistahan Festival back since the pandemic and organizer, Al Perez, wants this year to represent a homecoming for the Filipino community.

“In our world, we’ve sort of started emerging from two pandemics. The pandemic of COVID-19 and the pandemic of Asian hate. We need to be more visible now more than ever to show the pride in our culture and our community. To support each other,” says Perez.

Saturday’s parade will start at Civic Center Plaza and end at Yerba Buena Gardens. 

This festival will feature 7 different pavilions, highlighting different parts of the Filipino culture, including dance, art, innovation, health, sports, heritage and the Pistahan Tavern, where different cocktails and drinks will be sold. Each of these pavilions will be highlighting people of the Filipino community from all over the world, not just the Bay Area.

Demonstrations of Filipino martial arts and an ube ice cream-eating competition are all part of the fun at the 29th Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival this weekend. | Photo Courtesy of Pistahan Parade and Festival

Perez hopes to show that his community is more than what can be seen at the surface, that they are capable of making change and innovation. He also hopes to inspire future generations to pass their culture down for years to come. 

“A lot of our Asian culture in general is not taught in textbooks, unfortunately. We are not shown in mainstream films or the music industry. We’re not as appreciated in the mainstream in general,” says Perez. “So this is the only place where our community can come and relearn and rediscover our traditions, our culture, especially for the next generation to pass it on. And just to find our community and find synergies with other organizations that will be there, so that we can empower each other and uplift each other.”

The Pistahan Festival invites all people from all walks of life to join them in a celebration of culture and community. Perez wants people to know that the Filipino community is thriving and very much alive and welcoming to everyone. And that if you love to dance, eat and have fun, this festival will fill those needs!

“We have a very rich and diverse culture, and we are very welcoming. We’re fun, we like to eat, we love music, just like everybody else.” says Perez.

—Ximena Loeza

UP in ARMS Exhibit 

Drawing Room SF, 780 Valencia St.
July 30 – Sept. 4 | Free

Enraged with Roe v. Wade? Then the Up in ARMS art exhibit may just provide some visual relief for your fury with the Supreme Court. The sculpted, painted and contemporary works on display show the artist’s raw feelings on the slashing of women’s rights at a federal level. 

The free exhibition began with an open call for artist’s work on the controversial ruling. 

The Drawing Room is closed Mondays and the event runs until Sep. 4. (JB)

Hidden Stairways of San Francisco

St. Anne of the Sunset, 850 Judah St.
Monday, Aug. 8, 1 – 3 p.m. | $28

Take a tour of San Francisco's beautifully mosaiced staircases. | Courtesy Photo

If the stepper in the gym hasn’t been your thing lately, perhaps climbing these stunning stairways of San Francisco will give your glutes the motivation they need to move. 

This two mile walking tour covers some of the most beautifully mosaic tiled staircases in the city (or perhaps the world).

Hear the tales behind the tiles and take in breathtaking 360 degree views, featuring the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park and downtown San Francisco—while traversing coveted neighborhoods tourists often miss. (JB)

Defending Choice: Roe v. Wade and the Battle to Preserve Women’s Rights

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 6 p.m. | Free

With the reversal of Roe vs. Wade and its dire consequences threatening women’s rights and healthcare, City Lights and Mother Jones Magazine bring together four of the most well-versed writers on the subject for an immersive exploration. 

Beginning with how we got here, the talk will explore the historical, legal, medical, and activist-related aspects of Roe vs. Wade. A special focus will be placed on the political and economic issues at the heart of the battle for women’s rights. The talk offers a barometer for where the situation stands and how you can best fight to protect women’s rights – and it’s free! (JB)

Isabel Allende & Michael Krasny

Isabel Allende. | Frankfurter Buchmesse

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 7 p.m. | Free

When Isabel Allende fled Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile in 1975, she left with a trove of stories that would turn her into one of the most celebrated writers in the world. In conversation with KQED’s Michael Krasny, Allende will discuss topics ranging from human rights to contemporary femminist movements in South America. While tickets for the event are already sold out, additional attendees are welcome to participate virtually. (BF)

Redefining Student Success: Higher Education in the 21st Century

Manny’s, 3092 16th St. 
Wednesday, Aug. 10, 6 – 7 p.m. | $5 – $10

What does it mean to be a successful young person? Education costs have been skyrocketing for years across the country. Sadly, for most students in 2022 to pursue things like college they must make the decision to take on loans that will follow them for years—or possibly for a lifetime.  This talk seeks to redefine ‘student success’ and improve higher education so students will no longer have to go bankrupt for a college degree? Join as San Francisco State University President Lynn Mahoney discusses these hard and complex questions about higher education in the 21st century. Pssst! Current students can email the word “caffeine” and the title of this event to for a complimentary ticket. Otherwise it’s between $5 and $10 via Eventbrite. (JB)

Mobile MakeArt Van

Potrero Branch, San Francisco Public Library, 1616 20th St. 
Thursday, Aug. 11, 4 – 6 p.m. | Free

The San Francisco Public Library is hosting the The Museum of Craft and Design’s Mobile MakeArt Van on Thursday to bring some live art making experience to everyone. The colorful sprinter van is well equipped to unleash your inner artist. It is the perfect place to bring kids to tap into their creativity and who knows the adults may feel called to do so as well. (YM)

Shatter the Glass

Reclaim Foundation, 2125 Lombard St.
Thursday, Aug. 11, 5 – 9 p.m. | $25-$320

If cocktails, games, and a silent auction all in aid of a good cause sounds like a fun night out for you, then the Reclaim Foundation’s second event of the year is where you’ll want to be on Thursday night. The foundation aims to motivate people to reclaim their life after trauma and break through the barriers – or Shatter the Glass – holding people back from their dreams, goals or normal lives. If you want to help people get back on their feet but can’t make the event, you can bid in the silent auction from anywhere with a half decent internet connection here. (JB)

Not Your Masi’s Generation 

Medicine for Nightmares Bookstore and Gallery, 3036 24th St.
Friday, Aug. 12, 7 – 10 p.m. | Free 

In 1972, President Idi Amin of Uganda expelled 3 million residents of South Asian descent from the country, leading to the Indian Diaspora in Southeast Africa. Poet and visual artist Asha Sudra is a child of the East African Desi diaspora and uses her family’s lived experience in her powerful exhibition “Not Your Masi’s Generation.” The event will be hosted in the gallery space of Medicine for Nightmares Bookstore in the Mission. (BF)

BVHP Back-to-School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway 

NOW Hunters Point, 155 Jennings St. 
Saturday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Free

Backpacks, school supplies and a bike raffle are all on the docket at the 19th annual Bayview Magic back-to-school backpack giveaway. | Courtesy Photo

Bayview Magic is holding their 19th annual backpack giveaway for students in elementary to high school that live in the 94214 zip code.  But it doesn’t just stop at backpacks, they will be filled with school supplies, an opportunity to win a bike raffle, strut the runway of a fashion show and participate in a resource fair. Attend this event to prepare for this upcoming school year and connect with the Bayview Hunters Point community. (YM)

Gardeneur Plant Market

San Francisco Ferry Building, One Ferry Building
Sunday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free

The iconic Ferry Building is set to boast ‘the largest plant market in the bay area’ on Sunday, Aug. 14. Give your green fingers a flex and pick out some new flora for your home, or get stocked up with the latest in plant-parent care equipment. The event will be chocked full of knowledgeable plant experts to help with your budding love for plants. (JB)

Blue Fay, Ximena Loeza, Yeily Mendez and Joe Burn contributed additional reporting for this story.

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