07/10/2010: PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL JOINS SAN FRANCISCO IN CELEBRATING FILIPINO AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
The Philippine Consulate General and the City of San Francisco together with the Filipino American Community on the Bay Area launched the first of a series of events to commemorate Filipino American History Month starting with a celebration at the prestigious Asian Art Museum last Sunday, 3 October 2010.
The Asian Art Museum event celebrated the period with a theme “ Filipino Journeys through American History and Art celebrating the early sea trade connections between the Philippines and California, which gave root to Filipino American communities,and shaped artistic production in Asia and the Americas “
On this day Museum visitors explored Philippine Art and Filipino American History through an array of musical, artistic, scholarly presentations and performances, exhibits, readings, film showings, lectures, by local Filipino American artists, performers, writers, special guest scholars, educators and community groups.
The Museum also featured a newly acquired piece to add to the showcased Philippine collection. The Museum celebration ended with the free shuttle of museum visitors to an ongoing exhibit at the University of San Francisco Thacher Gallery called Galleons and Globalization featuring exhibits of artificacts and artworks resulting from the Manila – Acapulo Galleon trade and how it influenced California Mission Arts.
The permanent celebration of October as Filipino American History Month had its beginnings with the passage in September 25, 2009 of California Senate Resolution No. 48 sponsored by Senator Leland Yee establishing October 2009 and every October thereafter as Filipino American History Month. Up intil then, proclamations were issued by the California Senate but did not have a permancy to it.
The 2009 Resolution was based on the historical recognition of the centuries-old historical presence of Filipinos in California when the “ Luzones Indios “ first set foot in Morro Bay on 18 October 1587. From the historical perspective it moves to give recognition to the large presence of Filipino Americans in the United States particularly in California and the economic, cultural, social and other notable contributions they have made in countless ways toward the development of the history of the United States.
It also recognizes the importance of efforts to continue promoting the study of Filipino American history and culture and give the Filipino American youth positive role models, to instill in them the importance of education, complemented with the richness of their ethnicity and the value of their legacy.
For the whole month of October, various performances and presentations by cultural / folkloric, musical, artistic and even historical groups will be held in San Francisco and the Bay area, including a Filipino American Jazz Festival and a game of the Oakland Raiders football team.
The large turnout of museum visitors from the Filipino American community and the mainstream public highlighted the growing importance being attached to Filipino American History celebration.
As Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. mentioned in his opening remarks at the Asian Art Museum “ Indeed, what started out as an ode to remember the Filipino’s early historical links to the Americas, Filipino American History Month is now an evolving realization and celebration of Filipino American interconnectivity in its varied manifestations from the purely historical to the cultural and the artistic “ . END