SF Asian Art Museum Fil-Am History Month fete starts Oct. 4

/ 01:48 AM October 02, 2015
fahns photo

Early Filipino immigrants to Vallejo, California. FAHNS PHOTO

SAN FRANCISCO – With October comes the anticipation of Halloween, Columbus Day holiday for some and Oktoberfest for others. For Filipino Americans, October is the month to celebrate their heritage and look back to the history of their coming to America.

The Filipino community will hold a conversation on the Filipino experience in America in “Ugnayan Lahi: Weaving a Cultural Tapestry,” a celebration of Filipino American History Month on Sunday, October 4, at the Asian Art Museum on 200 Larkin Street, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


When one thinks of Filipino American history, one often looks at it in terms of waves of immigration to the U.S. The more common way of looking at this immigration pattern is the recognition of the three waves that include the farm workers, the veterans and the professionals like nurses, teachers, and medical personnel.

Another viewpoint looks at four waves: 1) those who came to North America when the country was under Spanish rule via the Manila galleons, 2) the Manongs or the farmers who came when the Philippines was under American regime when there was no restriction in immigration for Filipinos, 3) The Filipinos who fought side by side with Americans during World War II who were given the option of being US citizens, and 4) the educated Filipinos who came to fill the shortage of professionals in education and medical jobs in the U.S.


Dr. Dawn Mabalon, history professor and author, interprets this pattern as comprising of seven waves:

  1. The Seafarers, Slaves and Shipbuilders during Spanish Colonial period
  2. 1906-1934: Pensionadas sent to study in the US
  3. The Pinoy and Pinay Pioneers: Sakadas, Students, Workers, and Adventurers
  4. 1934-1946: The Exclusion Period, War, and the Second Generation
  5. 1946-1965: Post War Changes and Navy Families
  6. 1965-1986: Post-1965 Immigrants
  7. 1986-Present: Filipinos in the Diaspora

Wave after wave of Filipino immigrants brought with them their native music, delicate fabrics, dances of many influences, art, literature, theater forms and cuisine. Through time, Filipinos have woven these facets of their own culture into the larger fabric of American life and created their own unique tapestry they can proudly call their own.

Admission is FREE.

Program for the Day
Opening Ceremony
11 AM–12 p.m., Samsung Hall
Messages from Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr., Jay Xu, director of the Asian Art Museum, and Major General Antonio Taguba, AARP community ambassador. Concluding the ceremony is folk and blues music by community leaders Vangie Buell and Terry Bautista.
Isang Himig A Capella
12–2 p.m., throughout the museum
You’ll find the group singing throughout the museum, bringing music to typically quiet spaces.
Artist Demonstration and Hands-on Activities
12–4 p.m., North Court
Watch artists Kristian Kabuay and Lane Wilcken create magic with words as they demonstrate Babayin calligraphy, the ancient native writing system of the Philippines.

Rondalla Music
2–2:30 & 3–3:30 p.m., North Court
Be immersed in the vibrant sounds of the rondalla, a stringed instrument ensemble brought to the Philippines during Spanish colonization that evolved into a distinctive style.

YouTube Showcase of Local Filipino Music Videos
12:30–1:30 and 3:30–4 p.m., Samsung Hall
Lawyer and musician Kae Hope Echiverri Ranoa (aka “Hopie”) curates a YouTube playlist of local, contemporary Filipino music videos.
Panel Discussion: Community Organizing through the Generations
2–3 p.m., Samsung Hall
Learn about Filipino American history from the 1700s to the present day through a presentation and panel discussion by James Sobredo, Terry Bautista and Vicky Santos as they talk about activism in the mid-20th century and hip-hop artist Mario de Mira (aka Nomi”) delves into the contemporary scene.
Table Presentations
11 AM–4 p.m., Loggia
Topics include 100 years of Filipino American history, the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center, the “How My Family Came to America” essay project and more.
Filipino Arts Storytelling Tours
10:30 AM, 1 and 3 p.m.
Meet at the information desk
Docent Tours: Filipino Arts
11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the information desk
Gallery Talk: The Art of Piña Cloth
12:30–1 and 3:30–4 p.m., Resource Center
Explore the exquisite tradition of piña, a unique fabric woven from pineapple fibers. Fashion designer and activist Patis Tesoro and editor Edwin Lozada discuss Piña: An Enduring Philippine Fabric.

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TAGS: “Ugnayan Lahi: Weaving a Cultural Tapestry, Asian Art Museum San Francisco, Columbus Day, Filipino American history celebration events, Filipino American History Month, Halloween, Oktoberfest
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