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At Lumpia Lands, Filipino Flavor Is the Star of the Show

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A cardboard try with five golden-brown lumpia, with dipping sauce on the side.
A sample of the crispy, golden-brown goodness that will be on display at District Six's Lumpia Lands Filipino food festival. (Courtesy of Barya Kitchen)

In the Philippines, a “palengke” is a one-stop outdoor market where everything can be found—from food and alcohol to furniture, jewelry and even cockfights. These are crucial outposts where locals gather to share news, exchange ideas and connect.

That’s the concept that inspired Anthony Schlander (aka Anthony Presents), the local Filipino American entrepreneur and creative director at San Francisco’s District Six, to launch Lumpia Lands.

District Six’s Aug. 21 event will feature no fewer than 10 vendors—all Filipino-owned—who will be on hand at the open-air entertainment venue to celebrate Filipino flavors, culture and unity.

“It’s a festival with Filipino talent from all over the country,” Schlander says. “A lot of us don’t have the knowledge or bridges to grow. We don’t all know how to market. But if we can all be in the same area together, we can buy food from our vendors, we can support our small businesses. If they win, we all win.”

The festival is part of a bigger series of events at District Six—including Ube Fest earlier this year—that promote “family friendly” experiences centered on various diasporic cultures with Bay Area roots.

A crowd of festival attendees, many of them holding beer cans, on a beautiful sunny day.
A crowd of happy festival-goers at a previous District Six event. (Courtesy of Carla Jay)

Lumpia Lands is the perfect example of this. It’s a spoof on Outside Lands (the massive annual music festival whose famous acts and concert-goers take over Golden Gate Park each summer), but with a significantly smaller, hyper-local and food-centric vibe that features live performances from Filipino artists like VRO and DJ Marcus Lee.

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Of course, there will be hella lumpia, too. From traditional pork lumpia to vegetarian versions, there will be more than enough options for any connoisseur of the Filipino egg rolls.

“My favorite is shrimp lumpia from Lumpia Company, but don’t tell my mom,” Schlander says. 

The lineup for the day will include food pop-ups from Drae’s Lemonade (fresh lemonade and cocktails), Iries Bites (sweet items like madeleines dipped in ube as well as chocolate-covered mangoes), Made By Grace (BBQ skewers) and Lil Alijo (crab lumpia), among others. (The aforementioned District Six regular Lumpia Company—which is co-owned by hip-hip entrepreneur E-40 and his business partner, Alex Retodo—won’t be able to make it this time due to scheduling conflicts.) Each vendor is planning an exclusive Lumpia Lands item. 

Schlander is emphatic that the event is not solely for Filipino patrons, nor is it lumpia exclusive. There will be candle makers. There will be clothing brands. There will be essential oils. There will be entertainers. And at the center of it all: Filipino flavor. Because that’s what a “palengke” is all about.

“We can impact the economy [with these events],” he says. “A lot of these folks are small business owners. With Lumpia Lands, as a Filipino, I’m fortunate enough to help lead a part of this larger Filipino renaissance.”

Lumpia Lands takes place at District Six (428 11th St., San Francisco) on Sunday, Aug. 21, from noon–5pm (it had previously been scheduled for Sat., Aug 20). Individual tickets are $5; group table reservations are $50. Buying tickets in advance is highly recommended.

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