Educational experiences and pop ups every week in October. 2 community events. 3 educational tours. 1 festival. 11 food trucks. 55 vendors and makers. And 3,000+ attendees brought to San José to celebrate Filipino American History Month, learn about our culture and contributions, and enjoy our delicious food and delicacies?
Sounds like the FAHM San José Series.
FAHM 2022 observed many significant milestones for the FilAm community. One (isa), it marked 30 years of celebrating FilAm history. Two (dalawa), the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) turned 40. Three (tatlo), we honored 50 years of Filipino American Studies being taught in higher education institutions.
For the past 30 years, Filipino American History Month (FAHM) has been celebrated across local communities nationwide. Did you know that it wasn’t till 2009 that Congress officially recognized October as FAHM?
October honors Filipina/x/o American (FilAm) historic contributions and experiences to commemorate the first known Filipinos to set foot on North America on October 18, 1587.*
Planning for FAHM starts several months before October. Since 2019, LEAD Filipino has been involved in grassroots efforts as a founding member of the Filipino Americans Coming Together (FACTsj) Coalition to reignite local events that showcase FilAm arts, culture, retail, and food and beverage.
As a nonprofit organization concerned with preserving our culture and building power, we believe that to increase civic engagement and participation, FilAms must be grounded in understanding our history and current contributions as a community. For these reasons and so much more, we continue to be a proud member of FACTsj, the grassroots coalition that produces Filipina/x/o arts and cultural events with and for San José.
Philippines Flag Raising & Lighting Ceremony at San José City Hall
October 14, 2022
For nearly 15 years, the City of San José has partnered with local FilAm community-based and grassroots groups to host an annual flag raising ceremony. Usually twice a year, we host events to commemorate Philippines Independence Day (June 12) and FAHM (October). We collaborate with FACTsj to bring a festive and jubilant Philippines Flag Raising & Lighting Ceremony to San José City Hall.
This year’s event was emceed by Rowbot of 106.1 KMEL and engaged over 150 attendees in cultural performances and music by Akbayan SJSU, Anna Macan, Chris Locsin, and DJ Chrstvn, and keynote speeches by Dr. Melissa-Ann Nievera Lozano with FANHS SCV, Dr. Angelica Cortez with LEAD Filipino, Manang Cora Tomalinas, and Deputy Consul General of the Philippines Consulate Raquel Solano.
Following the Flag Raising, City Hall is lit ablaze in the colors of the Philippines flag for San José residents to see up to 7 days after. A huge thank you to Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco for partnering with us to bring this beautiful event together.
Filipino American History Month (FAHM) JAM at Garden at the Flea
October 21, 2022
Every year, FAHM JAM far exceeds our Coalition’s expectations. In what was an effort that started during a plane ride back home, FAHM JAM is our modern attempts to reignite San José’s Street Jam, a street and community festival that took place in DTSJ from 1994-2001 and featured some of the flyest FilAm DJs, MCs, BBoys & BGirls, Singers and Performers coming out of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. FAHM JAM is our re-production of showcasing the talents, contributions, and stories of FilAms as a growing community with rich histories and innovations to be highlighted. It personifies our community-defined approaches to building our representation as leaders, civic innovators, artists, makers and creators.
It felt like the whole FilAm Bay was in the AREA at this year’s FAHM JAM! With over 2,500 attendees, this year’s FAHM JAM was nearly at capacity! We had 10 FilAm and AAPI inspired food trucks and over 50+ craft and artisan vendors from near and far (one of our vendors flew in from Brooklyn, New York) helping us celebrate FAHM in San José.
This year’s lineup featured the musical and artistic talents of: Kai, Pinay Voltron, Relative Key, Ver5e, DJ Jazzy, Silicon Valley Kali, Mia Rios, Versoul, Dante and Mateo Lozano, Kathleen Damian, and Leslie Legacion. So so much gratitude to the performers and artists that made memories with us at FAHM JAM.
Pinoytown SJ Walking Tours
Throughout October 2022
Every weekend throughout October, walking educational and historical tours about San José’s Pinoytown were offered to the general public as part of our larger FAHM SJ Series. Led by FANHS-SCV and Manong Robert Ragsac in partnership with History San José, these free tours encompass interesting trivia, unknown facts, and visual maps that capture where Filipino owned and operated businesses once stood.
For the past four years, the Pinoytown SJ Tours have attracted hundreds of youth, families, educators, seniors and policymakers from across the region to learn about the once thriving Pinoytown in San José.
Be sure to visit @pinoytownsj for updates on their 2023 tour schedule.
FAHM Open Mic & Poetry Night at My Gypsy Soul
October 28, 2022
Cultivating spaces that are emotionally and psychologically safe to relate, emote, and invoke are – what we believe – the very purpose of creating community-based organizations. Having discourse and engaging in topics that we wouldn’t otherwise speak on in other settings is what we pursued in hosting a FAHM Open Mic & Poetry Night to close this year’s FAHM.
Produced by Mar Abat, our Local Organizer, we partnered with My Gypsy Soul in mid-town to host an intimate event. Many thanks to My Gypsy Soul for continuing to partner with us in our local arts and cultural efforts!
Are you interested in getting involved with our FAHM SJ initiatives? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or @leadfilpino on Instagram to receive more information.
Maraming salamat to all the partners, contributors, supporters and community members that made our 2022 FAHM San José Series the success it was:
Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)
Asian American Recovery Services (AARS)
BNK Filipino School of San José
Consul General Rowena Pangilinan-Daquipil, Philippines Consulate of San Francisco
Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco & Her Team
Delano Manongs Park (DMP) Committee
Deputy Consul General Raquel Solano, Philippines Consulate of San Francisco
Garden at the Flea
Filipino Youth Coalition
Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Santa Clara Valley
Malaya South Bay
Manang Cora Tomalinas
Manong Robert Ragsac
Rowbot of 106.1 KMEL
All FAHM JAM Performers & Vendors
*We recognize that observing October 18, 1587 as a commemorative date of Filipinos first arriving to North America is problematic on many fronts. Categorizing this date as the “first” eclipses the circumstances in which Filipinos were held captive by the Spanish and invisibilizes a long history of subjugation and oppression. As these national observances pre-dated our organization and are not defined singularly, but rather through a tapestry of FilAm voices and experiences, we support working toward collective understanding and awareness to define terms that are more inclusive of the fuller and nuanced history of Filipinos in America in relation to our colonial past.