In light of the 40th Anniversary of the “Fall of the International (I -) Hotel”, LEAD Filipino Educational Programs Organizer – Jay Page – issued the following solidarity statement on behalf of our organization to commemorate and honor the strength and dignity of our Filipino forebears.
Friday, August 4, 2017
The International Hotel (I-Hotel) is a manifestation of the Filipino/a American spirit.
To say that the I-Hotel is alive again after it was taken away from its residents shows the resilience of our community — that even if the man tries to pay us unlivable wages on a farm, as a caregiver, or as a server; falls back on his promise for citizenship and honor in exchange for serving the country; or corners us into the least profitable and least appealing parts of the City, only to turn around decades later and push us out to steal those same communities because now they look “unique,” the Filipino/a will come back swinging to reclaim their story, their community, and their power.
What inspires me about the folks who fought for the I-Hotel is their forethought of future generations. They didn’t live just to survive; they planted seeds. With already unsustainable wages, the Manongs chose to sacrifice their well-being to ensure that other Filipinos/as who would arrive later would never have to endure the injustices that they did. I think that’s the definition of bayanihan, and bayanihan is the reason for the survival of every generation of Filipino/a Americans.
LEAD Filipino is a volunteer-run grassroots organization of students, volunteers, and families based in San Jose, CA. Through cultural education and leadership programs, civic projects, and research initiatives, we seek to increase the representation and visibility of our Filipino/a American community today.
Head Organizer, Educational Programs