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08/11/2017: MAYOR’S FILAM HISTORY MONTH RECEPTION HONORS FILAM ARTIST AND WORLD WAR II VETERANS

The City Hall was lit up in the Philippine flag colors for Filipino-American History Month, which culminated with the annual Mayor’s Reception held at the San Francisco City Hall on Monday, 30 October 2017.

Mayor Edwin M. Lee, together with the Honorary Host Committee composed of elected and appointed Filipino American officials in California, welcomed an estimated 200 Filipino-Americans at the City Hall’s Rotunda to close Filipino-American History Month, and to honor Alleluia Panis, the first-ever recipient of the Artistic Legacy Grant by the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Filipino World War II veterans, who were recently conferred the Congressional Gold Medal by US Congress.

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the honorary host committee of the Mayor’s reception present a proclamation to Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr.in celebration of Filipino-American History Month.

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. thanked the Honorable Mayor for his support and  trust of the Community, which “has given [the Filipino American Community] the means to push for greater representation for Americans of Filipino descent, strengthening our Community and empowering us to live with the confidence that we will not only be welcomed, but supported by the larger Community.”  He mentioned the City’s support for SOMA Pilipinas which has led to Undiscovered SF, a monthly night market at San Francisco’s Old Mint that features Filipino history, food, culture, and artists and entrepreneurs, as well as the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the more than 250,000 Filipinos who fought alongside American forces during World War II.

Consul General Bensurto addresses over 200 attendees to the Reception, where he thanked Mayor Lee and the Filipino-American appointed and elected leaders for supporting the Community.

The Consul General informed the Mayor of the Consulate’s movement to Spark*Connect*Empower* the Filipino-American Community, paying particular attention to the youth, many of whom have never visited the Philippines, but should be made aware of their heritage and culture.  He thanked the Honorary Host Committee for representing Filipino-Americans in various ways and platforms throughout California, allowing greater recognition and visibility of our Community, stating that they pave the way for the next generation of Filipino American leaders who will take the helm in pushing forward the Filipino American agenda.

The ceremony was made more meaningful when a number of World War II veterans were called to the stage and were presented a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal, a recognition that took place over 70 years after World War II.

Honored during the event were Alleluia Panis, the first-ever recipient of the Artistic Legacy Grant by the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Filipino World War II veterans, who were recently conferred the Congressional Gold Medal by US Congress.

To close the event, Parangal Dance Company and LIKHA Pilipino Folk Ensemble presented dances from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, followed by refreshments catered by Filipino-Mexican fusion restaurant Mestiza. END

Westbay kids sang the Philippine and American national anthems at the opening ceremony.