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Arts and Entertainment

Historic Filipinotown Tour Launches Tomorrow

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Jeepney in the Phillipines/Photo by Kudumomo via Flickr

By Eddie North-Hager/Special to LAist

Don’t be ashamed if when you hear the term Hi Fi you still think of a 1980s stereo playing R.E.O. Speedwagon. But it’s a new millennium and going forward Hi Fi is now short for Historic Filipinotown.

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In August of 2002, Los Angeles designated the neighborhood south of the 101 Freeway and north of Beverly Boulevard, between Glendale Boulevard and Virgil Avenue, as Historic Filipinotown. It’s Echo Park adjacent.

But what makes Historic Filipinotown Filipino? Four groups - Pilipino Workers’ Center, Public Matters, UCLA’s Center for Remap and HyperCities, have partnered on PDUBProductions to tell the story.

They have created a time-travel like experience that mixes historical maps, personal narratives, GPS and mobile technology to create walking tours. And the youth, many of them first-generation Filipinos, have produced touching movies on what it means to live in the area, what they appreciate about Los Angeles and what they miss about their homeland.

For good measure, they have imported a Jeepney from the Phillipines. A Jeepney is a reclaimed World War II era U.S. Army transportation vehicle that is a popular and colorful mode of public transit in the island nation. Council President Eric Garcetti, who was key in getting the Hi Fi designation, will lead a tour Saturday on the World War II Jeepney for the Mobile Hi Fi Tour Launch + Pilipino Workers’ Center Fundraiser
“Historic Filipinotown: Yesterday, Today + Tomorrow”.

Unveiling of PWC Jeepney will take place between 12:30 - 1:00pm Saturday, with Mobile Hi Fi Walking Tours + Jeepney Tours between 1:00 - 6:00pm. From 6:30 - 9:30pm the event will end with a "Barrio Fiesta", outdoor screening, and musical entertainment. Tickets for the Barrio Fiesta Fundraiser to benefit PWC are $50 (including food + screening + guaranteed spot on Walking Tour); Mobile Hi Fi Walking Tours are free, but space is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. Jeepney Tours are $20. It's all happening at the Pilipino Workers Center 153 Glendale Blvd., 2nd Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90026