By: Ryan Tejero
Every Fil-Am community dreams of a venue that can host events, and a place that they can proudly call their own. The Philippines Cultural Community Center in Indiana is a dream come true for Fil-Ams in Indiana. With the hardwork and concerted efforts of two passionate leaders in Indiana, Marife Callendar and Philip Smith, this Center is now a source of pride for Fil-Ams in Indiana. Co-founder, Philip Smith said “We have always been culture and community focused. We wanted a place for Filipino Americans to come to celebrate the culture and experience Home Away from Home. The Center is for our community, not for a single organization or organizations with paid members, but literally for our community.”
The Philippines Cultural Community Center’s enjoys its current 501c3 status, with a mission to educate and inspire the individual of self discovery, serve the Filipino American Community and promote the Culture and Heritage of the Philippine Islands. Its vision is to unify the Filipino Community in Indiana and to help the Fil-Am Community/Associations achieve their basic needs.
The Filipino Bazaar is the biggest attraction of the Center. This event has been packed by vendors and food-lovers and is increasingly gaining popularity in social media. Every Saturday, the Filipino Bazaar runs from 1pm-4pm, and is considered to be the showcase of locally-made and produced products by Filipino entrepreneurs and small businesses in Indiana. In addition, the Center is hosting of a lot of cultural and educational classes such the Filipino Language, Pathway to US Citizenship, Filipino Cooking, Career-Building, Self-Defense, and Understanding Finances. There are other highlight events that are organized because they are close to the hearts of every Fil-Am, and these are Karaoke Night, Ballroom Dance Lessons, and Filipino Movie Night. The best part of them all – every class and event at the Center is absolutely FREE and open to the public!
The Center is funded by its generous donors from individuals and groups in the Fil-Am community and local entrepreneurs. Marife and Philip are the co-funders and are hands on with each activity and event. Cristina Miranda is the Executive Director who manages the office and event scheduling. Douglas Swain is the Chief Administrator who helps in the paperwork and behind the scene needs.
The Center has a physical address at 5401 South East St., Suite 104, Indianapolis, IN 46227. You can reach or inquire about the center through phone number (317) 721-6217, email at phcommunitycenterin@ gmail.com, Instagram at phcenterin and on facebook at www. facebook.com/phcenterin. Their website is under construction, www. phcenterin.org.
(L-R) Douglas Swain (Chief Administrator), Marife Callender (Co-founder), Philip Smith (Co-founder) and Cristina Miranda (Executive Director). Photo taken during the opening of the Center.