LA’s Historic Filipinotown to unveil $587,000 entrance arch paying tribute to frontline healthcare workers

Los Angeles Historic Filipinotown
  • The Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles will unveil a 30-foot high, eastern entrance arch this coming May.
  • The gateway, which was designed by artist Eliseo Silva, features symbols of Filipino culture, including the parol, the gumamela flower and the sarimanok.
  • Jessica Caloza, the first Filipina American on the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, led the development of the landmark as a way to “uplift underrepresented communities.”
  • Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell committed a budget of $587,000 for the project.

The Historic Filipinotown in the city of Los Angeles will welcome residents and visitors with an eastern entrance arch this coming May.

The Eastern Gateway Project, officially named “Talang Gabay: Our Guiding Star,” will arch over Beverly Boulevard near the 1st Street Bridge and measure 30 feet high and 82 feet wide, according to Asian Journal.

The gateway, which was designed by artist Eliseo Silva, features symbols of Filipino culture including the parol, a Christmas lantern associated with love and hope; the gumamela flower, to pay tribute to frontline workers; and the sarimanok, a mythological bird of the Maranao people in the Philippines.

Silva is known for having created the country’s largest Filipino American mural, named “Gintong Kasaysayan,” which depicts Filipino American history and is located in HiFi’s Unidad Park, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It’s a fitting tribute to the many courageous men and women on the frontlines – brave warriors such as our numerous Filipino healthcare workers,” Silva said, according to Los Angeles Daily News. “The Gateway not only signals that Filipino Americans have finally arrived — it also symbolizes the valor of the frontliners in our city.”

While Historic Filipinotown’s population is now majority Latino, there are an estimated 10,000 Filipino Americans who continue to reside in the neighborhood, while hundreds of thousands more live in the surrounding area, according to Asian Journal. With more than half a million just in the Greater Los Angeles area, Filipino Americans are one of the largest Asian American populations in California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jessica Caloza, the first Filipina American on the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, said she is leading the development of the forthcoming landmark as a way to “uplift underrepresented communities,” according to Asian Journal. Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has committed a budget of $587,000 for the project.

“This project has been a labor of love by so many people in Historic Filipinotown. This beautiful, historic landmark will be a source of pride for the Filipino community, and will rightfully celebrate this vibrant neighborhood and the incredible contributions Filipino Americans make to the City of Los Angeles,” O’Farrell stated.

Featured Image via Department of Public Works

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