A week after the close of Filipino American History Month (FAHM), we sit with deep gratitude and reflection on the past month’s activities, excitement, and unity that we experienced with our community. It is widely known across FilAm community circles – regionally, state- and nation-wide that October is “off limits” for everyone’s social calendars because of the sheer fact that we’re all producing community events and public celebrations for FAHM.
Not to be conflated with “Heritage”, Filipino American History Month purposefully and intentionally calls out the historic triumphs, struggles, and contributions of Filipinas/xs/os in America. With a history spanning over 400+ years, one could easily understand why we have much to celebrate and honor. To be sure, one month is certainly not enough, but we use the time to engage our communities in education, discussions, and information that reminds ourselves of the legacies that our FilAm forebears left to guide us and future generations.
For the first time in recent history, we committed to hosting a month-long series of community events to bring FAHM celebrations to San Jose and surrounding communities. Through a local collaboration known as Filipino American Communities Together San Jose (FACT-SJ) we combined our resources, relationships, and expertise with several key organizations to produce, what we believe will become a mainstay in the City of San Jose’s public FAHM celebration!
We couldn’t have done this work without our key partners in community: Filipino American National Historical Society – Santa Clara Valley, Filipino Youth Coalition, Bayani ng Kabataan Filipino American School of San Jose, Kawayan Folk Arts, Pinoytown SJ Historical Tours, Filipino Community Center, and Akbayan SJSU.
Check out our recap below to read more about our FAHM activities throughout October 2021.
DELANO MANONGS FILM SCREENING & FUNDRAISER
On Saturday, October 23, 2021 we joined FANHS-Santa Clara Valley and our Delano Manongs Park Committee members in hosting a community event focused on raising awareness and funds for the continued artistic development of Delano Manongs Park in Eastside San Jose.
Hosted at Camino Brewery in San Jose, the community event brought nearly 75 guests out in a variety of engaging and learning activities, including a silent auction of local FilAm art and goods, Filipino food, and a showing of the award-winning “Delano Manongs” documentary. We were fortunate to have many community members attend from across the region (and even the country, with community leaders attending from Houston and Queens). A timely community gathering, our event was hosted right before Manong Larry’s Birthday, which is October 25th.
To join our efforts in fundraising and working toward further visual activation and representation at San Jose’s Delano Manongs Park, read more about the Delano Manongs Park Committee here.
CITY HALL FLAG RAISING & LIGHTING CEREMONY
On Thursday, October 28, 2021 made possible through a partnership with San Jose Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco and her fabulous team, the FACT-SJ Collaborative hosted a festive, vibrant, and jubilant Flag Raising and Lighting Ceremony at San Jose City Hall. Many hands touched the success of this special community event. We can’t describe the appreciation and reward we felt to see over 100 guests join us for the Flag Raising and Lighting Ceremony at San Jose City Hall.
A special thank you to all of the contributors and speakers that made the Flag Raising & City Hall Lighting Ceremony a complete community success:
- Philippines Consul General Neil R. Ferrer
- Vice Consul General Vanessa
- Vice Consul General Adrian Baca
- Dr. Melissa Ann Nievera-Lozano, FANHS-SCV
- Camille Valerio, LEAD Filipino
- Manong Robert Ragsac, Pinoytown SJ Tours
- Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Sapigao
- FAHM Poet Laureate Keana Aguila Labra
- Anna Versoza, Akbayan SJSU
- Philippine cultural dances from the Filipino Community Center
- Barya Kitchen Food Truck
- Kawayan Folks Arts
- Ann Reginio, singer of “Lupang Hinirang”, Bayani ng Kabataan Filipino American School of San Jose
- Ava Mallo, singer of “Star Spangled Banner”, Bayani ng Kabataan Filipino American School of San Jose
A huge thank you to Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco and her team – we couldn’t have pulled off such a beautiful and wondrous event without your partnership. Thank you to Wendy Ho of Supervisor Otto Lee’s Office, Assemblymembers Ash Kalra and Evan Low, and Senator Dave Cortese for the commendations and celebrating Filipino American History Month with our community.
CITY OF SAN JOSE ISSUES FAHM PROCLAMATION
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 wasn’t a normal Council Meeting in San Jose – it was a special one! At the start of the Council Meeting, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco led the rest of the Council in honoring the historic contributions of Filipina/x/o Americans in San Jose and the United States and issued a proclamation to our local FilAm community.
Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco proudly spoke about the shared and strong histories between Chicano and Filipino communities and how the two groups fought for worker’s rights and influenced many of the modern labor laws that modern society benefits from today. Delano Manongs Park is located in Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco’s District (5) and we look forward to continuing our partnership with her and her office when the Park officially opens in early 2022.