FILIPINOS OF SOUTH BAY EXHIBIT
Geography, History & Waves of Migration
37290 Citizen donors
Air grass unto that set given hath evening was was made.
708K+ Young volunteers
Air grass unto that set given hath evening was was made.
PASACAT began in 1970 as the Philippine American Society and Cultural Arts Troupe. PASACAT’s vibrant artistry garnered rave reviews from dance critics making Philippine culture visible in the arts community. The community support bought them the PASACAT Center in National City where hundreds of dancers have discovered their Filipino identity.
Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS)
FANHS contributed to Filipino Studies curriculum and was founded by Dorothy and Fred Cordova. FANHS with over 40 US chapters initiated the nationwide movement to commemorate October as Filipino American History Month (FAHM). FANHS San Diego Chapter hosted the 2014 National FANHS Conference and consistently celebrates FAHM on college campuses and at countless community events.
COPAO: Palengke Politics & Community Development
A map of Filipinos in the South Bay provides historical memories of immigration and settlement, of links between the original homeland and new destination, and of “Filipinoness” and “Americaness”. (Bonus) COPAO emerged in the 1970’s in response to an outcry for unity in addressing social issues and political empowerment. Today, over 150 Filipino organizations exist in San Diego County.
Pillars of the Community
FOSBE will showcase the pillars of the early Filipino community through organizations and pageants, building community through Philippine dance and music, and from fiestas to faith.
ORGANIZATIONS & PAGEANTS
Filipinos by nature seek to find commonality with others. The Filipino organizations fulfilled that need and by the 1980’s the number of Filipino organizations exceeded 250. One popular event through the 1990’s were pageants and popularity contests which served as fundraisers for the organizations. More importantly, it brought the community together.
*Eva Ricase, 1965 Miss Imperial Beach (First Filipina, City of Imperial Beach, California USA)
*Florence Ungab, 1972 Miss National City (First Filipina, City of National City, California USA)
*Grace Limbag, 1986 Miss Chula Vista (First Filipina, City of Chula Vista, California USA)
BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH PHILIPPINE DANCE
Folk dance is an integral part of Philippine culture. Filipinos in the diaspora used it to keep their connection to the culture and imparted the dances to new generations. Philippine dance became a major catalyst in building community while being the most visible expression of the Filipino American experience.
FROM FIESTAS TO FAITH
The colonization of the Philippines began with the arrival of Catholic missionaries whose work made the Philippines the third largest population of Catholics. Religious identity was ingrained in the culture giving Filipinos strong faith and family values and the importance of God. Even religious devotions have been adopted in the diaspora.
Filipino presence made its way into the military, education and business all giving more visibility to the Filipino community. Filipinos in government and as changemakers in unconventional career choices.
Filipinos & the Military
“Once stewards. Now Congressional Gold Medalists. “
Filipinos enlisted in the US Navy as stewards and cooks to help their families. Filipinos overcame discrimination, sacrificed, and fought during WW II. Upon retirement, veterans worked in civil service jobs, established businesses, and became leaders in our South Bay Community.
Filipinos in Education
Education is highly valued by our Filipino American community. Throughout the South Bay community, FILAMEDA and CTFLC historically contributed to SUHSD and SWC by providing teachers, counselors and administrators as role models for our students. Pagkakaisa, a student organization spearheaded the establishment of the first Filipino American Studies and Filipino Language courses at SWC.
Filipinos in Business
The United States presents hope to immigrants. Military life transitioned to establishing a sense of barangay life. The comfort of concentrated storefronts (sari-sari) and news sources would keep them connected to the Philippines. Despite being limited to working class service industries at the time, Filipinos have been industrious in their self-determination to make an impact.
*Ernie Flores, Jr. (Founder, The Filipino Press)
*Simeon G. Silverio, Jr. (Founder, The San Diego Asian Journal)
Filipinos in Government
With over 250 community organizations, Filipino Americans have a history of civic engagement. Filipino American government officials from the South Bay have served on city councils, college/ school boards and as judges. Each reached out to the broader community and proudly represented our Filipino American Community.
- Lita David, Board Member of Sweetwater Union High School District, 1983-1996
- Judge Lillian Lim, San Diego Superior Court Judge, 1986-2007
- Arlie Ricasa, Board Member of Sweetwater Union High School District, 1998-2013
- Fideles Ungab, City of National City Council Member, 2004-2008
- Florence Ungab, City of National City Council Member, 1976-1987
- Terri Valladolid, Board of Trustees Southwestern Community College, 1998-2014
- Rosalie Toledo Zarate, City of National City Council Member, 1998-2012
- Cesar Solis, Assistant Chief of Police for City of San Diego, 1982-2014
- Jonathan “JD” De Guzman, Police Officer for City of San Diego, 2000-2016
Filipino Change Makers
Individuals from the South Bay represent different role models. They include an educator/ researcher, entrepreneur, musician/producer, professional tennis player, radio personality, and the former White House Medical Doctor. They had a vision or interest in a non-traditional career, or the impact of their profession had national recognition.
- Dr. Rey Monzon, Educator, mentor and researcher
- Tony Olaes, Entrepreneur and founder of The Filipino School
- Eleanor Academia, Musician who incorporated kulintang music into her compositions
- Marita Redondo. Professional Tennis Player
- X-Man, Xavier Soriano. Local radio DJ of 92.5 Radio
- Dr. Connie Mariano, White House Physician to President Bill Clinton
In The Media
Our exhibit’s Grand Opening was highlighted by the news.
Schedule A Tour
Schedule a tour today to learn more about Filipino and Filipino American history in South Bay.