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Are the Filipinos Really United?

by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 6:14 AM 213-241-0906 1610 Beverly Blvd. Suite No. 2 , Los Angeles, CA 90026

This year, the 4th year commemoration of the Historic Filipinotown district on August 5, 2006 will take the form of the traditional Pilipino “Pistahan “(Community Feast ) in a common Filipino town. Different community as well as private entities have lined-up different program of activities. They will be the sites of the different events that will last the whole day.


Unity Among Filipinos: Are the Filipinos Really United?

Arturo P. Garcia

Los Angeles – In the American community, we Filipinos and Filipino Americans had been the butt of jokes that we are disunited. Even among us, many of our writers and social scientist would like to have a round of self-flagellation and point out this phenomenon. But they fail to notice as time goes by; Filipino disunity is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

On August 5, on the 4th anniversary of the designation of the Los Angeles city of the Historic Filipinotown district in the Beverly-Temple corridor, the Filipino community will come out in full force, united as one. On this day, the Historic Filipinotown Festival will showcase the official unveiling of the $ 12, 000 worth of the Historic Filipinotown sign on US 101 Freeway with government officials in attendance and the whole Filipino American community in tow.

The Filipino American community worked collectively to bring this $ 12,000 freeway sign into a reality. The community asked the State and the other officials to bring out the sign but as usual, they sat on the request and play deaf on the community needs. But the Filipinos contributed to bring this endeavor into a reality.

We should just look at the organizations supporting this event and we can conclude that everybody is on the line. Every one is doing their share in this year’s celebration. Nobody feels left –out. Thus, kudos to Ms. Cecille Ramos. Acting as the traditional “Hermana Mayor “ ( Big Sister ) and PANA will lead the event this year. PANA is taking the lead, their activism is a welcome relief to the community.

The first celebration of the Historic Filipino town Day was marred with controversy with a group trying to attack other groups who hosted the affair in August 2003. That time, the newly formed Historic Filipinotown Chamber of Commerce led the celebrations. There was no celebration during the 3rd year of the Historic Filipinotown last year.

Cultural Renaissance in Historic Filipinotown

This year, the commemoration of the Historic Filipinotown district will take the form of the traditional Pilipino “Pistahan “(Community Feast ) in a common Filipino town. Different community as well as private entities have lined-up different program of activities. They will be the sites of the different events that will last the whole day.

The day will start with an ecumenical service at 9;00 AM at the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles early in the morning. There will be street dancing led by the Sining Kambayoka, a bus tour of the community and a museum exhibition by the Filipino American Library, a summer celebration for the youth in SIPA, a community exhibit at Remy’s at Temple.

In the afternoon, the famous group-- The Native Guns/Hip Hop Event for the youth supported by People’s CORE, the EPCC and the GEPENC District 5 will be held at the corner of Burlington St and Temple. We might not have marching bands, but the hip-hop event for the youth is just the same but a different flavor of the merry and noisy local bands.

One strength of the Filipino community is its cultural prowess. Filipinos are well-known entertainers or cultural workers all over the world. This we will prove again in the 4th Historic Filipino town celebrations. We might not have a commercial town that we can be proud of like Little Tokyo, Chinatown complete with its dragon gate, Korea town and other commercial area that highlights its distinct ethnic character.

But now, we have a cultural renaissance with the cultural exhibits, different active cultural activities, cafes, libraries and cultural/traditional arts enhancement centers Maybe next year, when the seven foot tall Dr. Jose Rizal monument proudly stands in Historic Filipinotown, we can certainly claim, we are a community really united. Tunay na isang bansa, isang diwa ( Truly one nation, one goal).

Then, now pray tell me, are the Filipinos not united?


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