CARSON, California – A wreath-laying at the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal and a Filipino breakfast of food donated by local vendors signaled the start of Filipino American History Month in this city.
Keynote speaker Edgar Dormitorio, assistant vice chancellor & chief of staff for academic affairs at University of California Irvine, headlined the in-door event following the wreath-laying. Dormitorio is highest ranking Filipino American in the University of California system. He grew up in Carson, attended local schools and even worked at the City’s Veterans Park.
Dormitorio highlighted the common Filipino cultural trait of striving for education as a way to success giving back to the community.
City councilman Elito Santarina acknowledged Carson as the first U.S. city to hold Larry Itliong Day (Oct. 25th) back in 2010. This 8th annual event will be celebrated October 21, 2017 with a parade and program at Carson’s Veterans Park.
A variety show completed the Filipino American History Month kickoff, including a comedian, special guest singer Geneva Cruz, a capella group Filharmonic and the Junior New System hip-hop dancers. A “Carson’s Got Talent” youth competition was also held.
The same afternoon an educational program “Talk Story” was hosted by the Carson Library with co-sponsors, INQUIRER.net, Filipino American Library, Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) – LA Chapter, Friends of the Carson Library and Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). The library event highlighted the local editions of Arcadia Books’ editions of works on Filipino communities, including Carson and the South Bay, Ventura, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Historic Filipinotown.
Former Carson councilwoman, Lorelie Olaes, featured in the Carson edition and a co-author in the “Hawaiians in LA” book, spoke to the mostly youthful audience about her challenges as a young Filipina adult in politics and encouraged the audience to strive and always remember their roots.
Dr. Ron Bunaventura of FANHS highlighted the significance of celebrating October as Filipino American History Month when the first “Luzones Indios” (Filipinos) stepped foot in North America from a Spanish Manila galleon on October 18, 1587 at Moro Bay, California.
Following slides of the community history of early to present Filipinos from Carson and the South Bay the documentary films, “Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers Movement” and “American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawaii” were screened as the audience enjoyed various delicious flavors of hopia.
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