DEBATE TO SETTLE OCTOBER AS FIL AM MONTH SET
By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
((©) 2017 Journal GlobaLinks)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (JGL) – A number of NaFFAA Region 3 West officers who double as officers of the Filipino American National Historical Society-Midwest Chapter
(FANHS-Midwest) will host the 17th Biennial National Conference in Chicago, Illinois on July 11-15, 2018, according to NaFFAA National Director of Special Projects, Angeles "Jelly" Carandang.
Ms. Carandang, who will also act as overall chair of the four-day event, announced in her yearend report that the convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel in Chicago, Illinois' northwest suburb of Rosemont.
“OCTOBER IS FILIPINO AMERICAN MONTH”:
FANHS-MIDWEST ACCEPTS TO DEBATE OCTOBER AS FIL AM MONTH
In an interview a day after the Gala Night of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations last October 21 in Washington, D. C., Ms. Carandang signed on to the suggestion of this reporter to turn the upcoming FANHS convention into a venue for a debate that will settle the controversial question if the recommendation to declare Filipino American Month by the U.S. Congress was properly vetted.
Filipino American critics from Los Angeles, California led by Filipino community activist and writer Bobby M. Reyes believe that the basis of the declaration of the Filipino American Month in October rests on shaky, if not rocky, ground since the narrative of a Portuguese frigate (Nuestra Señora de Buen Esperanza) pilot, Pedro de Unamuno, carrying the first eight Filipino sailors from Cavite called "Luzon Indians" to ever set foot in America on October 18, 1587 did not mention in his diary of ever sighting a large geological formation called a morro located a few hundred feet off the shore of Morro Bay in California. During that alleged arrival at Morro Bay in the Central Coast of California, one of the Luzon Indians was killed by local Native Americans while scouting the dry land.
MAYOR GEORGE VAN DUSEN of Skokie, Illinois (third from right) has a photo opportunity after reading his proclamation declaring October as Filipino American Month being displayed by Angeles “Jelly”Carandang (to the Mayor's right) of the Filipino American National Historical Society-Midwest Chapter (FANHS-Midwest) in Skokie last September 18. Also in photo are Victor Miller (extreme right) and Abbey Eusebio (to Mr. Miller's left). (FANHS-MIDWEST Photo)
MORRO ROCK FORMED 23-M YEARS AGO
Called “Morro Rock,” the iconic peak was formed 23 million years ago from the plugs of long-extinct volcanoes. According to Wikipedia, Morro Rock was probably seen by Spanish maritime explorers as early as 1542 under Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, but its current name was given during the first European land exploration of Alta California.
When Spanish Portolá expedition came down Los Osos Valley and camped near today's Morro Bay on September 8, 1769, Franciscan missionary and expedition member Juan Crespí noted in his diary that "we saw a great rock in the form of a round morro".
SEVERAL FILIPINO AMERICAN artists pose before a mural during their exhibit sponsored by the Filipino American National Historical Society-Midwest in this photo recently at the Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg, Illinois. Among those in photo are from left Paul Cainto Balan, Susan Alforque-Silvano, Fred de Asis, Philippine Consulate's Cultural officer Liezl Alcantara, Ruben Salazar, Almira Astudillo Gilles and Jelly Carandang. (FANHS-MIDWEST)
Mr. Reyes believes that when Pedro de Unamuno failed to mention sighting of the iconic, 576 feet tall Morro Rock, Unamuno must have been talking about another Bay, not the Morro Bay, casting a shadow of doubt that the Luzon Indians were the first Asians to set foot on American soil.
SKOKIE PROCLAIMS OCTOBER FIL AM MONTH
As in the past several years, Ms. Carandang said, the Village of Skokie, Illinois has proclaimed October as Filipino American History Month. The official proclamation was handed to her by Mayor George Van Dusen in her capacity as President of the Filipino American National Historical Society-Midwest Chapter (FANHS-Midwest) during the Village Board Meeting last September 18.
WHITE HOUSE TOUR:
PROMINENT Filipino Americans led by incumbent NaFFAA national chair, Brendan Flores (eighth from right) and Atty. Billy Dec (extreme right), former member of Obama's President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Brunswick, Ohio Mayor Ron Falconi (to Brendan Flores' right) are shown during a tour of the White House on Oct. 21, 2017. (FANHS-MIDWEST Photo)
FANHS-Midwest and NaFFAA Illinois celebrated Filipino American History Month (FAHM) locally, by jointly co-sponsoring the Mural and Art Exhibits at the Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg, Illinois. The Mural, created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was donated by the Field Museum of Natural History to FANHS-Midwest.
The Mural is titled "Deconstructing Filipino". The exhibit ran from September 16, 2017, kicking off this year's celebration, to October 29, 2017. Entertainments and refreshments were shared with those present at the opening and ribbon cutting.
MORE VISITORS AT THE White House come together as FANHS-MIDWEST and NaFFAA leaders pose for posterity on Oct. 21, 2017. (FANHS-MIDWEST Photo)
ATTEND NaFFAA GALA & VISIT WHITE HOUSE
In addition to the local celebrations, NaFFAA officers/members also joined other officers of various organizations throughout the U.S. at the White House on October 21 to celebrate FANHS. NaFFAA Region 3 West was well represented at both the White House celebration and NaFFAA's 20th Anniversary Gala.
At the White House meeting, R3W representatives consist of Jelly Carandang, Emraida Kiram, and Billy Dec. Ely & Evelyn Natividad joined the White House Tour.