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October Fest for Germans, October History Month for Filipinos


By: Veronica Leighton


“Prost” is what the Germans would say whether you’re in a bar or off bar for Octoberfest and for German greeting, and “Mabuhay” is what the Filipinos would be exclaiming for the celebration of our History Month this October, and, of course, for the rest of the year in their salutary greetings.

Kicking off last October 3 at Alliance Francais on Chicago Avenue, the Filipino American History Month (FAHM) has exciting events for the commemoration of our history in this country since its passage in the U.S. Congress in 2009, and the calendar of events of all kinds of activities are filled up, to be culminated by the gala awards night of the Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary & Grand Reunion on November 9, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Rosemont.

As you can glean from our cover this month, we have 22 outstanding and distinguished Filipino Americans and Friends from around U.S. that we are saluting on our 25th annual dinner gala celebration on Nov. 9, 2019 at Hyatt Regency O’Hare Rosemont. We are proud to announce that our keynote speaker (and HOF awardee) is the Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Honorable Jose Manuel Romualdez. Read Veronica’s Vibes on page 5. Please follow up the inductees’ fascinating bios in inside pages 36 to 38.

Re-energized patriotism can be noticed in this historical celebration of our Filipino history that dates back as early as 1500’s. If someone would take a look at our history earnestly and trace our first ancestors’ landing in North America during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, and the first continental settlement of Filipinos (or Luzones Indios), in Morro Bay, California, we start imagining and feel thankful to our ancestors. This historical look-back made me seriously think, did our Filipino sailor ancestors “jumped ship” and were considered “illegal aliens” just like their modern counterparts these days? Please enjoy reading our Editorial (on this page) about our history written by Joe Mauricio and his column “Objectively Harsh” about the future of Filipino professionals in the U.S. on page 22. All in all, kudos to the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) for researching, producing and disseminating a credible Filipino history, touching on their contributions and impacts in this country. Also, congratulations to the hardworking members of Philip-pine American Cultural Foundation (PACF) headed by Ruben Salazar and Adeline Fajardo and Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), composed of young Filipino leaders who want to advance the Philippines and the Filipino people. Though generations apart, they see eye-toeye when it comes to serving and improving the communities that they live in.

I am personally thankful for being recognized as one of the three Visionary Women in the Chicago community, together with Ms. Estrella Alamar of FAHS and Ms. Adeline Fajardo of PACF for the commemoration of our history month. This is an initial community project that marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that gave women to vote in 1919, and likewise for the FAHM’s recognition of the various Filipino women contributions from various U.S. communities in this modern age. Please read more exciting FAHM activities in Louella Cabalona’s column on pages 32-33. She also writes about a very interesting project for the first time in Chicago, the Filipino Restaurant Week.

Enjoy and love this VT, as usual, reading your favorite columnists’ articles and keep on nurturing our Filipino roots to add to this beautiful landscape of America.###

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