With Fil Am History Month a mere 5 days away, we’re so proud to be collaborating with numerous San Jose/South Bay Fil Am nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and community groups in presenting FAHM JAM a uniquely-San Jose gathering of Fil performers, musicians, instrumentalists, artists, makers, vendors, foodies, and more!

Saturday, October 19th
Garden at the Flea
1590 Berryessa Road
San Jose, CA

FAHM JAM is a re-presentation of “Street Jam” a public, community-based music showcase and festival that took place in San Jose from 1994 to 2001. Street Jam would gather emcees, turntablists, B-Girls and B-Boys, and performers from across the Northern California region in music and rhythm.

Inspired to continue this rich tradition, with somewhat of a new flair, FAHM JAM is purposely being held during October, Fil Am History Month, and will feature emerging and seasoned Fil Am artists alike.

FAHM JAM 2019 Collaborators: LEAD Filipino, Filipino American National Historical Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter, Filipino Youth Coalition, PAWIS, Malaya Movement, and the Public Space Authority

To read more: www.fahmjam.com

Recap: Fil Am Heritage Day x San Jose Giants

On Sunday, September 1st, we — alongside the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS), the Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC), UGAT Clothing, VST Customs, Akbayan SJSU, and Kawayan Folk Arts — were delighted to co-host a Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants!

For the first ninety-minutes of the event, all Giants patrons and attendees could hear the stringed harmonies of Kawayan’s live Rondalla, witness Akbayan’s cultural dance performances of “Bulaklan” and “Tinolabong”, and enjoy the talents of acclaimed R&B Singer, Tracy Cruz, and Lyshia Mangulabnan, who sang the Philippines and U.S. national anthems, respectively.

9.1.19 | UGAT Clothing at the Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants.

Our team stood at the entrance gate, alongside DJ Mark Macala on the 1s and 2s, and helped distribute t-shirts and programs to supporting community members.

9.1.19 | Akbayan SJSU at the Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants.

On the field, we were pleased to celebrate the first game’s pitches being thrown by community leaders with PAWIS and Uncle Ben Menor. (They threw some mean curveballs and change-ups.)

9.1.19 | Members of our team with Uncle Ben and community members, holding the game’s first pitch ball!

Shout outs to everyone that contributed, supported, and participated at our first Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants!

9.1.19 | Kawayan Folk Arts’ live Rondalla at the Fil Am Heritage Day.

In Community,

LEAD Filipino

Recap: 4th Annual Salamat at Paalam Party!

Last Friday, we had the delight of celebrating the culmination and completion of our East and South Bae Awareness in Action Program (AAP) summer cohorts.

Our cohorts were comprised of students, young adults, and families from across the greater South and East Bay Areas, with some attendees traveling from cities such as Pinole and Hercules to laugh and learn with us all summer!

A four-year tradition, our “Salamat at Paalam” has become a treasured practice within LEAD Filipino.

Our “Salamat at Paalam” holds great symbolism for our organization. First, our inaugural celebration was hosted back in 2016 and served as not only a place to debut our AAP, but to also recognize the end of summer!

Our Salamat at Paalam program featured Dr. Jennifer Briscoe, on our Board of Directors, as our keynote speaker and welcoming words from Carla Bernal with the Hewlett Foundation, an active mentor in our Fly Pinays program.

Four years later, our Salamat at Paalam continues to grow in festivity and conviviality, as we use the time and space to acknowledge the completion of our AAP graduates, but to also reflect on our intentions for the remainder of the year.

To our East and South Baes, congratulations on completing our 8-week AAP. We’ve been so honored and privileged to have gotten to know each of you these past two months.

To serve our students, adults, and families from universities such as SJSU, CSUEB, De Anza, and more, is a true achievement in our eyes, and we thank each of you for trusting us with such a noble responsibility!

We hope that you each found your own connection to the AAP message, and that you all continue to carry your Awareness into Action!


LEAD Filipino

Recap: AAP in Stockton’s Little Manila (7.27.19)

Composed By: Karen Manalac, LEAD Filipino

Awareness in Action is an eight-week educational program that teaches participants the Filipino culture, identity, history, and the importance of civic engagement. Through this program, participants learn through presentations, videos, articles, and interactive activities that also challenges their beliefs and learn how to exercise their rights through class discussions. AAP also provides participants an opportunity to learn about the past by giving them an opportunity to visit historical sites such as Little Manila. 

On July 27th, both the East and South Bay cohorts gathered together and visited Little Manila in Stockton where we were accompanied by Little Manila Rising Executive Director, Dillon Delvo, a civic leader who helped the Filipino community alongside Manang Dawn Mabalon. During the tour, we went to the streets that were an important site that had Filipino influence. We learned the stories about the Manongs who came to America at a young age and how Stockton was an important landmark to Filipino/as. 

In this tour, we also visited the Little Manila Center, where we further learned about the Manongs and also had the opportunity to see artifacts from the past that the Manongs had.

Overall, we learned about the importance of understanding our history and what we could do to change it. Through Manang Dawn and Dillion, we learned how they helped strengthen the Filipino community by providing the resources and through fighting for our place here in America. Along that, we visited the FANHS museum, where we learned more about the different waves of migrations and the impact that Filipinos had in different professions such as business and in public health.

Fil Am Heritage Night with the SJ Quakes

Back at it again!

Filipino Heritage Night at the San Jose Earthquakes is back! 

Join the fun and come out and support the San Jose Earthquakes, us, the Filipino American National Historical Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter (FANHS-SCV), Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC), and the Bay Area’s Fil Am Community! 

Early Bird ticket prices start at $28, which includes a commemorative Filipino American Quakes Flag and access to participate in one of our on-field experiences during the national anthem! A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the organizations involved, to support their local programs catering to the South Bay Fil Am community. 

For any questions please contact Rohan Dorairaj at rdorairaj@sjearthquakes.com.

To purchase go to: https://fevo.me/filipinoquakes19

Fil Am Heritage Day x San Jose Giants

July 22, 2019

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be co-hosting the first Fil Am Heritage Day with the San Jose Giants on Sunday, September 1st from 12pm-4pm!

In a newly minted partnership with the San Jose Giants, LEAD Filipino, the Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC), and PAWIS are teaming up to present the first Fil Am Heritage event with San Jose’s minor league baseball team — the Giants.

Sponsored by San Miguel Beer, with all proceeds directly benefitting the San Jose/South Bay Area’s network of Fil Am education, health, and human services providers, we hope that you will join us for a day of food, fun, and entertainment!

Buy your tickets today: Angelica@LEADFilipino.org

Seasonal Position! Census Engagement Organizer

July 12, 2019

We’re delighted to share that we have a seasonal Engagement Organizer position open with our small and growing organization!

This position, will run from mid-September through mid-December 2019 and will be instrumental in building LEAD Filipino’s San Jose/South Bay field presence on engaging the Fil Am community in the 2020 Census!

The Engagement Organizer will be the organization’s primary community liaison with student groups and college campuses across the San Jose/South Bay Area region.

Read more about the position here: Engagement Organizer.

We will be accepting applications till August 5th!


LEAD Filipino

2019 Fil Advocacy Day: Community Updates & Wins!

July 8, 2019

For those that have been following our organization’s journey alongside other formidable Fil Am CBOs, nonprofit agencies, small businesses, and student groups this past year, we have produced no shortage of articles and posts on the privilege we had in co-leading this past April’s 2019 Fil Advocacy Day.

With 12 other organizations on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, we spent the day in California’s Capitol meeting with 25 legislators and staff on the three legislative items:

  • Assembly Bill (AB) 331 which would authorize an Ethnic Studies pilot program in 11 school districts, with the intention of mandating Ethnic Studies as a CA public high school graduation requirement in the 2024-25 academic year.
  • $5M to found a Domestic Workers Outreach & Education Fund for CA’s 300,000 domestic workers that are pushed to the margins daily with respect to much-needed resources, services, and support.
  • Tenant Protections & Anti Rent-Gouging Bills (ABs 1481 and 1482).

During the time (April 30th) that we were in the Capitol, all of our advocacy items were either facing definitive votes in committees, jumping significant political hurdles, or being suspended by other procedural barriers. Our advocacy and presence of ~60 students, seniors, adults, and families made the difference in directly speaking with legislators.

We’re proud to share some critical updates and outcomes from this past year’s 2019 Fil Advocacy Day platform. Since April 30th…

  • The Governor signed into the 2019-20 budget the granting of $5M to establish a Domestic Workers Outreach and Education fund! See the full press release from the California Domestic Workers’ Coalition (CDWC) here. We couldn’t be happier for such a victory for our community! Thank you to Megan and the CDWC team for helping educate our network on the urgency of forming a fund for our workers!
  • A $1 million budget request was made by Assemblyman Rob Bonta to support the Carlos Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies at UC Davis! Thank you to Assemblyman Rob Bonta for your support.
  • AB 331 passed out of the Assembly and Senate Education Committee. The bill currently awaits its second hearing date in the Senate’s Fiscal Committee, which is another substantial hurdle to clear.
  • AB 1481 (merged with 1482) cleared the Assembly and is currently awaiting its hearing date in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. More updates to come. Thank you to Christian Ollano with PICO CA for providing our network with valuable legislative updates.

We truly could not have done this work, nor made this statement, without our 2019 Fil Advocacy Day partners — and for all of you being so down for this work, we thank you.

July 12th is a critical deadline for ABs 331 and 1482, as the Legislature has till July 12th to hear and report bills during this legislative session.

We will share updates as they come.


LEAD Filipino

Ethnic Studies IS Civic Engagement

June 28, 2019

Summer has officially begun for our small – and mighty – vessel!

We know this because the start of our summer Awareness in Action Program (AAP) happened this past week and we’re still reeling from meeting our participants, witnessing the successful first classes of both sites, and lastly, seeing our program grow to now be offered in Union City.

Our summer Awareness in Action Program (AAP) is an eight-week community-based course that combines Filipino Studies and Civic Engagement through weekly sessions, assigned projects, and immersion tours focused on our unique Fil history in California. Through discourse and dialogue, AAP touches upon issues of Fil Identity, Psychology, Generational Dynamics, and our shared Political History [and Future] – from the perspectives of our immigration stories, workplace/career, and community activism.

The program opened this past week with framing our next two months together with the openness to learn about ourselves, our families, and with this knowledge – answering for how we can continue to serve the public good, both responsibly and ethically.

With our AAP in San Jose meeting on Monday evenings and our AAP East Bay Cohort meeting on Thursdays, our organization is sure to have a full summer with weekly classes and community exposure tours in-between.

AAP fuses an Ethnic Studies pedagogy with actionable steps for our participants to engage, talk-through, and invoke an increased Fil Am presence in local civic issues, public service, and public policy change!


Angelica “Gel” Cortez
LEAD Filipino