Filipino-Americans Celebrate 100 Years in Bay Area with Symposium in Vallejo

May. 10, 2007

10 May 2007 Acting Head of Post Wilfredo C. Santos of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, USA reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program in collaboration with the Bay Area Filipino Centennial Committee and the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) held a symposium on Filipino American history to herald the remarkable experiences of Filipino people and families who lived in America since the first sustained migration of Filipinos in the country.

The symposium with the theme, One Hundred Years of Challenge and Change: The Filipino American Story, took place on 5 May at the Rizza Auditorium of California State University, Maritime Academy in Vallejo.

Speakers presented personal and first-hand stories that demonstrated the courage and wisdom of the Filipino migrants who bravely faced the challenges and the unknown in their quest for adventure, fulfillment and economic prosperity.

Distinguished Filipino-American lecturers spoke about the past 100 years of Filipino Americans in the United States, the contributions they made to the United States and their beloved homeland, the Philippines. The keynote speaker, Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova, founder of the Filipino American National Historical Society, provided a true picture of the lives of early Filipinos in America through her vast knowledge of community history.

Other speakers included Larry Asera, retired CSU, Maritime Academy professor and Solano County Board of Education Trustee, who looked back at his familys journey from Hawaiian sugarcane plantations to the boardrooms of corporate America. Vangie Canonizado Buell, author of Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride and Seven Card Stud with Seven Manangs Wild talked on the US-Philippine War and the Buffalo soldiers, Ms. Buell being a direct descendant of a Buffalo soldier. Dawn Mabalon, SFSU Professor and Founder of Stocktons Little Manilatown Foundation discussed the preservation of Manilatown in Stockton and its transformation into a historic landmark

Other speakers were Toni Spencer, the first WWII War bride in Vallejo; Associate Professor and registered nurse Noree Martin; Abe Ignacio, co-author of the Forbidden Book; Dennis Calloway, musician and Ben Mendoza, Liz Megino, Baylan Megino and Marie Yip, all co-authors of the book Seven Card Stud with Seven Manangs Wild.

Professor Mel Orpilla, Director of FANHS, Vallejo Chapter, hosted the program. END

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