October officially marks Filipino American History Month in the United States. October’s significance as Filipino American History Month is due to the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States when on October 18, 1587, “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esparanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California.
In November of 2009, both the United States House of Representatives and Senate passed laws – House Resolution 780 and Senate Resolution 298 respectively, officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in the United States.
Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and Livermore Fil-Am will celebrate Filipino American History Month with Filipino Barrio Fiesta on Sunday, October 7th. This free three-hour community event will begin at 11:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 pm. Throughout the event, there will be performances by the Livermore Fil-Am Dance Troupe, Fil Am Veterans Rondalla, Joseph Galang, Kali Association of America, Pallen’s Martial Arts, Nita Nowakowski’s Dance Troupe, K Fresh, DJ Bitesize, and Arthur Barinque and Denise Bridges. The keynote speaker this year will be Robyn Rodriguez, Professor and Department Chair of Asian American Studies at UC Davis. An altar will be made as a place to pay respect to those Fil-Am that came before. It is encouraged to bring roses, fruits, photos of loved ones, coins, and other objects of affection to display on the altar. Majong, a popular Chinese game in the Philippines, will be setup for all to play. Throughout the day there will be Filipino food available for sale by Adobolicious and Papaya Grill. An historical exhibit area will showcase Filipino historical artifacts, the WELGA Project featuring Filipino American Stories of the Great Grape Strike of 1965, and an interview documenting the story of a Livermore Filipino family and their contributions to local farming and roses. For those with a sweet tooth, Bunso Breads and Stacked Cookies will be selling Filipino bread, cookies, and desserts. Bayani Art, a vendor at Filipino Barrio Fiesta, promotes Filipino history through its apparel. Kristian Kabuay, also a vendor at the event, is an artist and the leading authority of Philippine script, Baybayin. Kristian will present a live demonstration and have worksheets available for people to mimic writing the script. There will be a community map project which will allow people to trace their family’s immigration from parts of the world to America.
Join us to learn more about Filipino American culture. All activities will take place on the plaza in front of the Bankhead Theater at 2400 First Street in downtown Livermore.
This is the third year Filipino Barrio Fiesta has been held on the plaza and is one of many free family-oriented cultural events the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center sponsors throughout the year. Among the events are the Native American Day in September, the upcoming Diwali: Festival of the Lights at the beginning of November, a Chinese New Year celebration in February, and Hispanic Heritage Day in May.