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The month of October is known as Filipino American History Month. The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco attended several events celebrating the history, culture and heritage of the Philippines, emphasizing the Filipino-American Community’s contribution to community-building in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Director Jay Xu of the Asian Art Museum and Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. officially kicked off Filipino American History Month at the Asian Art Museum on Saturday, 02 October 2016.  On its fifth year, the event allowed San Francisco residents and visitors an opportunity to enter the Museum for free and be immersed in Philippine culture and heritage.

In collaboration with the Philippine Consulate General,  California Academy of Sciences, the Philippine American Writers and Artists, Pusod Foundation and the SEA Institute, author Almira Astudillo Gilles launched a book that brings awareness to the Philippines’ biodiversity. Dr. Terrence Gosliner of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) presented the findings of their team in their last expedition to the Verde Island Passage.  CAS works with Pusod Foundation and SEA Institute, organizations based in the Philippines, to reach out to communities along the coast and educate them about how to preserve biodiversity in our seas and oceans.

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. and Daly City Councilman Ray Buenaventura were handed a Proclamation from Assemby Member Phil Ting, recognizing October as Filipino-American History Month.

Bataan Legacy Historical Society (BLHS) and Memorare Manila 1945 launched an exhibit on World War II at the San Francisco War Memorial.  The exhibit is part of the collection of Mr. Robert Capistrano, which includes photos of Filipino American war veterans.

Agents of Change is a documentary featuring how college and university-level ethnic minorities fought for equal rights in the 1960s.  Co-produced and co-directed by Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg, the film documented student protests at SF State University and Cornell University.  Filipino-American Juanita Tamayo Lott (far right) was one of the student protesters demanding for wider representation and strengthening ethnic studies in universities and colleges across the United States.

To commemorate the 72nd anniversary of Leyte Landing, and and the fourth year of the passing of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 20 Chapter 87, which underscores the significance of the landing of American forces on Red Beach in Palo, Leyte, the Alvarado Project, sponsored by the Philippine Consulate General, Senator Mark Leno and Chairwoman Fiona Ma, held a parade of colors and an exhibit that honors the memories of the first generation of Filipino Americans who paved the way and opened doors for our Community to thrive.

The Consulate’s Tourism Office held Hooked on the Philippines at the Kalayaan Hall, the first event hosted by the Philippine Center that focuses on millennials.  About 200 millennials were able to interact with Filipino chefs and award-winning Filipino-Amercan DJs, as well as listen to Hollywood actor Dante Basco recount his travels to the Philippines.

In honor and celebration of Larry Itliong Day, Consul General Bensurto was invited to be part of a panel composed of Assembly Member Rob Bonta of District 18; Ms. Lillian Galedo, Executive Director of Filipinos Advocates for Justice; and Ms. April Veneracion Ang, Policy Director of the Office of Supervisor Jane Kim, for a dialogue exploring the importance of voting and civic engagement in the face of a growing Filipino-American population.

Philippine Folklife Museum partnered with the Consulate in presenting a  reading of the work of Roger P. Olivares, as acted out by actors from the Filipino-American Community.  The Social Hall was filled to capacity while the cast enacted the final scenes of Noli Me Tangere.

To coincide with Filipino American History Month, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FAHNS) opened a museum in Stockton.  The Museum seeks to tell the rich, diverse story of Filipino-Americans throughout the United States. FAHNS co-founder Dr. Dorothy Cordova led the opening ceremonies.

Bataan Legacy Historical Society (BLHS) and Memorare Manila 1945 hosted a Conference on World War II at the Koret Auditorium.  The whole-day event included a historical account of the events during World War II, the experiences of the Philippine Scouts, as well as a call to action to implement the curriculum approved by the California School Board, not just in the United States, but the Philippines and Japan as well. END