A Message From Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell

Dear Friends, 

Welcome to the virtual home of Los Angeles’ latest cultural marker – the Historic Filipinotown Eastern Gateway! 

As the representative of Historic Filipinotown on the Los Angeles City Council, I’m proud to represent Los Angeles’ Filipino-American community and to have played a leading role in bringing the HiFi Eastern Gateway to fruition – the largest monument of its kind in our country.

On this page, you will learn about the history of the HiFi Eastern Gateway, in addition to other sites of historical interest in Historic Filipinotown, a community that has not only served as the entry point for many Filipino-Americans immigrating to the United States but continues to be a cultural center for Filipino Americans across Southern California. 

I’m grateful to the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the thousands of community members who saw this decades-long vision through to its end. 

By building this monument, we are sending a message far and wide – that our cultural history matters; that the immigrant experience matters; and that the immense contributions of Filipino-Americans matter. 

Mabuhay!

Mitch O’Farrell
Councilmember, 13th District
City of Los Angeles


City of L.A. / Public Works Projects

HiFi Eastern Gateway Landmark
Location: Corner of Beverly Boulevard and Belmont Loma Drive
“Talang Gabay – Our Guiding Star”
Artists: Eliseo Art Silva with Celestino Geronimo Jr.
The design elements include: the Parol, the Gumamela flower also known as hibiscus, and the Sarimanok, all symbols with deep roots in Filipino culture. The Eastern Gateway was commissioned by the City of Los Angeles and spans the width of Beverly Boulevard, welcoming visitors to this historic neighborhood. Built by the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering, the Eastern Gateway was unveiled in Spring 2022 by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Commissioner Jessica Caloza, and countless community leaders and organizations.

HiFi Western Gateway Landmark
Location: Corner of Temple Street and Silverlake Boulevard
The HiFi Western Gateway landmark was unveiled in 2002 by then-City Councilmember Eric Garcetti and commissioned by the City of Los Angeles. The facade welcomes visitors and honors the inception of Historic Filipinotown. It was designed with vine and floral motifs known as “callado” embroidery culled from the traditional attire of Filipinos (known as the Maria Clara for women and the Barong Tagalog for men).

HiFi Highlights Bus Shelter Lights
Location: Temple Street between Hoover Street and Union Avenue

Historic Filipinotown has lamp posts adorned with Filipino cultural medallions, which highlight the Filipino values of “kapwa,” “lakbay,” and “kapayapaan.” The streetlight art serves as an educational opportunity to share Filipino culture and history, as well as a way to improve pedestrian safety. Designed by Roel Punzaland, these pedestrian lights were placed at 17 different bus stops, totaling 54 lamp posts. The lights were commissioned by the City of Los Angeles  and Metro and unveiled by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell during Filipino American History Month in October 2016.

Filipino WWII Veterans Monument
Location: Lake Street Park – 227 N. Lake Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026

One of the few monuments dedicated to Filipino World War II veterans, the Filipino World War II Veterans Monument was unveiled on Veterans Day, November 11, 2006.  Commissioned by then-Councilmember Eric Garcetti, the monument consists of five granite pieces, each detailing the history of Filipinos’ involvement in World War II.  The last granite piece details Filipino WWII veterans’ continuing battle for veterans benefits promised by the U.S. government during the war, but later rescinded in 1946.  The artist of the monument is Cheryl Gaulke.


Art / Murals

Unidad Park and Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana Mural
Location: 1644 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Established in 2007, Unidad Park is home to the nation’s largest Filipino American mural, “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana.” The mural, painted by Eliseo Art Silva in 1995, displays the rich history of Filipino Americans and highlights their pioneering involvement in the founding of the United Farm Workers movement. The mural also includes apl.de.ap, a hip hop performer, rapper, producer, and composer. Unidad Park, also designed by Silva with community input following a comprehensive public engagement process, has Filipino cultural design features such as the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras and a Dap-ay space in order to reclaim Filipino Americans as one of the founding families or pobladores of L.A. 

Rideback Ranch “Welcome to HiFi” Mural and Larry Itliong Utility Box
Address: 1660 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Since first calling Historic Filipinotown home in 2018, Rideback Ranch has been a thoughtful and engaging neighbor.  One of their contributions to the neighborhood was the painting of the “Welcome to HiFi” mural on the western side of their campus.  The mural, filled with a beautiful array of colors, lego characters, and designs using Baybayin, the pre-colonial script of the Philippines, was a collaborative project headed by artist James Ame with contributions by Filipino American artist Kristian Kabuay.  Along Beverly Boulevard also sits a utility box with a painting of Filipino American labor leader, Larry Itliong.

Intersections of Interests

Historic Filipinotown Freeway Sign
To heighten awareness of the neighborhood, local community members worked with then-Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg and raised funds to erect a sign off the 101 Freeway leading passer-bys to Historic Filipinotown.  The sign was officially unveiled in August 2006 and can be seen towards the Alvarado Street exit.

Remedios “Remy” Geaga Square
Address: Temple Street and Alvarado Street

On November 2, 2010, the intersection at Temple Street and Alvarado Boulevard was named “Remedios ‘Remy’ V. Geaga Square” with a permanent ceremonial sign erected at the location. A resident of Historic Filipinotown, Geaga dedicated her life to end discrimination in employment, education, and housing


Churches

Filipino Christian Church
Location:  301 North Union Avenue
The church was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 651 in 1998, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.

Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church
Location:  250 N. Union Avenue

Iglesia Ni Cristo
Location:  141 N. Union Avenue

Saint Columban Church
Location:  125 Loma Drive


Longtime Non-profit Organizations

Filipino American Services Group, Inc. (FASGI)
Address: 135 N Park View St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Website: fasgi.org

Search To Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA)
Address: 3200 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Website: sipacares.org

Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA)
Address: 1740 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Facebook Page (no website): facebook.com/FilAmCommLA

Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and the Larry Itliong Village
Address: 153 Glendale Blvd 1st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Website: pwcsc.org


Businesses

Little Ongpin
Address: 1700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
One of the oldest Filipino and Asian restaurants in HiFi, theythe building once housed the Morong Café.  Today the restaurant specializes in Filipino fastfood and catering.

Dollar Hits
Address: 2422 W Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026 
The original Pinoy street food from the streets of Manila to the streets of Los Angeles!
Serving exotic Filipino food to try — balut, intestines, pigs  blood, chicken feet, turon, melon and more.

HiFi Kitchen
Address: 1667 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
HiFi Kitchen tests the boundaries of classic Filipino Angeleno dishes while strengthening Filipino American representation in Historic Filipinotown. The HiFi menu is the product of years of taste testing and remixing, spanning a variety of dietary lifestyles with vegan & gluten free options.

Genever
Address: 3123 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057
Genever is a friendly and intimate lounge located in Historic Filipinotown. Inspired by world travels and driven by local bounty. It serves fresh libations with an emphasis on local produce and house-made syrups and shrubs. Genever is proud to be one of the growing number of women-owned and operated bars in the nation, made up of Roselma, Christine and Patricia, aka Red Capiz Partners (RCP).

Thunderbolt
Address: 1263 W Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026
A neighborhood cocktail bar with great food inspired by the American South.

Park’s Finest
Address: 1267 W Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026
In 2009,  it started as a local catering company. The food served is the product of a group of friends’ adventures growing up and cooking in the hood they call their party food. Famous for their Mama Leah’s Coconut Beef, Ann’s Cornbread Bibingka, Big Tony’s hood famous sauce mixes cane, pineapple, simmered soy sauce, peppers, and spices, and is the soundtrack to it all. “Meat is the canvas. Smoking is the art. The Park’s Finest is the love. Smoke Meat Every Day.”

Temple Seafood Market/Temple Plaza
Address: 2422 W Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026
The oldest Filipino market in Historic Fiipinotown.

Tribal Cafe
Address: 1651 W Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026
Healthy Food for the masses. In the 1960s, it became a cultural hub for artists, activists, writers (Beat poets) and musicians hosting open-mic nights and art shows. The space was previously “Traveler’s Café” during the post-World War II years where Filipino Manongs gathered.

KUBO Restaurant
Address: 2330 W Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026
A casual Filipino homestyle cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner with an outdoor patio.

SISIG Restaurant
Address: 1714 W Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026
A new Filipino barbeque restaurant offering deep-fried vegetables and several barbecue options. 

My MOM’s Bakeshop
Address: 2434 W Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026
A cozy bakery offering Filipino desserts and bakes goodies, plus traditional savory dishes. Famous for the  freshly baked hot pan de sal, sansrival, hopiang monggo at baboy.


HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN MAP

Thank you to the Bureau of Engineering for their assistance in putting this together.


Download a Map of City of L.A. / Public Works Projects, Murals and Arts in Historic Filipinotown

From Spectrum News:

New $580,000 archway celebrates Historic Filipinotown

Read it here


Resources:

Los Angeles City Department of City Planning, Asian American Historic Context Statement
https://planning.lacity.org/preservation-design/historic-resources/ethnic-cultural-contexts

Los Angeles Public Library, Shades of L.A.:  The Filipino American Experience
https://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/filipino-american-history-month

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