FANHS Monterey Bay at Salinas Asian Festival this Saturday!

On Saturday, April 25th, the Salinas Asian Festival celebrates a neighborhood that’s been in Salinas since the 1890s. Events and programs happening at the Filipino Community Hall (Calle Cebu St. — FANHS MB will be there!), Confucius Temple (E. Rossi & Lake Sts.), Salinas Buddhist Temple (California St), Republic Cafe (Soledad St.). Also on Soledad St., you can visit the Chinatown Community Gardens, Community Learning Center of Salinas, Dorothy’s Place, and the @risK artisan gallery. Read more about it HERE in The Californian. Click on Asian Fest Schedule 2015 for event details.

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FANHS Monterey Bay presents: “Filipino Businesses in Watsonville Share Early Community Memories”

You are invited to learn more about Filipino-American history in the Tri-County area: The following programs/talks will be offered at upcoming FANHS Monterey Bay meetings. Location and times TBA. FANHS will also participate in other community events in the area throughout the year, including the upcoming Salinas Asian Festival — keep an eye out for us!:

NEXT PRESENTATION (SOON!): April 11: Jess Tabasa: Filipino Businesses in Watsonville Share Early Community Memories

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, Rm. 100, in the Watsonville Community Hospital, Watsonville, CA. Speaker will be historian Jess Tabasa.

Directions: From Hwy One, take Watsonville Airport exit to first traffic light. Continue towards airport to second traffic light, make right turn towards hospital, take FIRST INTERSECTION right, to parking lots. Handicapped parking is across from main entrance to Watsonville Hospital; next to Communitty Center Bldg – for event….follow signs to Room 100. There is also general parking there, and additional parking at end of access road.

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Jess Tabasa

This summer: June 13: Jean Vengua: Filipino Newspapers Keep Their Communities Connected and Informed, Linking the Past with the Present

August 8: Clem Morales / Al Baguio: Filipino Contractors and Camps

October 10: The Mauricio Family: Filipino American History Month: Come and Join Us for Filipino Food and Talk Story!

December 12: Annual Membership Luncheon

FANHS Monterey Bay Area: “Filipino War Brides Enriched Our Valley Communities”

Richard gave a great presentation on Valentines day in February, informing us about the history of Filipino War Brides in the Salinas and Pajaro Valley areas, and the struggles and triumphs of Filipino women and their families in the area.

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You are invited to learn more about Filipino-American history in the Tri-County area: The following programs/talks will be offered at upcoming FANHS Monterey Bay meetings. Location and times TBA. FANHS will also participate in other community events in the area throughout the year, including the Salinas Asian Festival — keep an eye out for us!:

April 11: Jess Tabasa: Filipino Businesses in Watsonville Share Early Community Memories

June 13: Jean Vengua: Filipino Newspapers Keep Their Communities Connected and Informed, Linking the Past with the Present

August 8: Clem Morales / Al Baguio: Filipino Contractors and Camps

October 10: The Mauricio Family: Filipino American History Month: Come and Join Us for Filipino Food and Talk Story!

December 12: Annual Membership Luncheon

FANHS Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day Meeting & Presentation

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FANHS members Richard Villegas (left), Cathy Chavez-Miller (middle), and Jess Tabasa (right).
You are invited to the next FANHS Monterey Bay Area meeting this Saturday, February 14. Richard Villegas will give the first of our presentations on Filipinos in the Salinas Valley, with “Filipino War Brides Enriched Our Valley Communities.”
Time: 12 noon
Place: 14202 Reservation Road,  Salinas, CA

FANHS Monterey Bay 2015 Program Calendar

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You are invited to learn more about Filipino-American history in the Tri-County area: The following programs/talks will be offered at upcoming FANHS Monterey Bay meetings. Location and times TBA. FANHS will also participate in other community events in the area throughout the year, including the Salinas Asian Festival — keep an eye out for us!:

February 14: Richard Villegas: Filipino War Brides Enriched Our Valley Communities

April 11: Jess Tabasa: Filipino Businesses in Watsonville Share Early Community Memories

June 13: Jean Vengua: Filipino Newspapers Keep Their Communities Connected and Informed, Linking the Past with the Present

August 8: Clem Morales / Al Baguio: Filipino Contractors and Camps

October 10: The Mauricio Family: Filipino American History Month: Come and Join Us for Filipino Food and Talk Story!

December 12: Annual Membership Luncheon

A FANHS Christmas: remembering 2014

On December 13, FANHS Monterey Bay members met at the Golden China Restaurant in Salinas for our annual Christmas Luncheon, where we also collected food items for the needy. It was a great time to get together, eat, and reflect over the past year. We would like to thank the Mauricio family for their warm hospitality in hosting most of our meetings. Thanks also to the Golden China for wonderful food and service. We are also looking forward to upcoming programs during 2015 (to be announced shortly).

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FANHS members at the Golden China restaurant. Jess Tabasa gives the Annual Report for 2013.


Some of the 2014 events our members participated in this year:

* The FANHS National Convention in San Diego
* Monterey Non Profit Convention
* Salinas Downtown Community Board
* AgFocus Santa Cruz County (Agriculture Board)
* Exhibits in the Watsonville Library w/FANHS and Filipino Community of Watsonville
* Asian Festival Board
* FANHS members on the ACE (Asian Cultural Experience, Salinas) Board
* Monterey County Historical Society Board
* Interviews for the ACE Walking Tour Website (Jess and Jean)
* ACE/FANHS Filipino Americans in Salinas Valley Pop-up
* Last but not least, Jess Tabasa, President of the Monterey Bay Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society, was inducted into Watsonville High School’s Hall of Fame last Friday–for his work in keeping Filipino American history alive in his home town of Watsonville, and across the nation.

Clearly, FANHS has been active in the Salinas Community!

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Jess Tabasa (left) and Richard Villegas (right).

Call for Essays: Filipino Americans in the Salinas Valley & Monterey Bay Area

CALL FOR ESSAYS: FANHS (Filipino American National Historical Society) Monterey Bay is gathering personal essays (no longer than 1,250 words, total) for a book about Filipino life and history in Salinas Valley and the Santa Cruz county and Monterey county areas. We seek essays by Filipinos of all ages that tell us what life, as a Filipino, has been like for you and your family. We want to emphasize that this will be a cross-generational collection of essays; while we value the contributions of older and middle-aged Filipinos, we also want to know about the issues that younger Filipinos face today. If you migrated to, or grew up in the areas mentioned above and would like to be a contributor, please query us, or send your submission to fanhsmb@gmail.com by March 15, 2015.

FANHS Monterey Bay Member Inducted into Watsonville High Hall of Fame

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Jess Tabasa standing in front of the Watsonville Wildcatz memorabilia. Behind him, on his left, is a photo of Jess in his youth.

We are very proud of our own Jess Tabasa, President of the Monterey Bay Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society, who was inducted into Watsonville High School’s Hall of Fame last Friday–for his work in keeping Filipino American history alive in his home town of Watsonville, and across the nation. An honor well-deserved! As long as we’ve known him, he has been a seemingly tireless educator and promoter of Filipino American history. He is also a Trustee of the Filipino Community of Watsonville, and an active member of Asian Cultural Experience (A.C.E.), Salinas, CA.

The Santa Cruz Sentinal has an article on Jess’s Hall of Fame induction, with information on the other inductees. Read more about it HERE.

Manong Fred Cordova

FANHS Monterey joins FANHS members in sending their condolences to the Cordova family. Manong Fred’s pioneering work in Filipino American History, and his support of FilAm historians, was an inspiration to us all.

Seattle Times Obituary, Jan. 5, 2014:

Frederick A. Cordova 1931-2013

Frederic A. Cordova, 82, passed peacefully on Dec. 21, 2013. Born June 3, 1931 in Selma CA to Margarita Pilar and Geraldo Umali, Fred considered Stockton, CA his hometown although as a child he lived in numerous California farm areas because his adoptive parents Leoncio and Lucia Cordova contracted migrant farm laborers. In 1948 he moved to Seattle to attend Seattle University. After graduation Fred was a copy boy/reporter/editorial secretary at the Seattle Post Intelligencer and sports editor at the Catholic Northwest Progress. In 1966 he became Director of Public Information at Seattle University and in 1974 Manager of News and Information at the University until he retired in 2000.

In 1957 Fred co-founded the Filipino Youth Activities of Seattle and created the award-winning FYA Drill Team. In 1982 he was founding president of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) creating its National Archives. For over 50 years he reached out to and mentored thousands of young people. During the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, Fred was an outspoken advocate for economic justice, racial equality, and ethnic identity. He was the weekly commentator on issues important to community of color for KYAC-FM Radio’s “Dark Voices” series.

For 12 years he was an affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington teaching Filipino American history and culture. In 1998 Fred received an honorary doctorate from Seattle University for lifetime achievements in research, writing and promoting Filipino American history and community work. He started the national effort to make October Filipino American History Month.

A devout Catholic, Fred served the Immaculate Conception parish for 50 years. In 2003 he was ordained Deacon of the Archdiocese of Seattle. Despite failing health, he created the San Pedro Colungsod Guild and led efforts to propose a national shrine at Immaculate Conception for the Filipino saint.

Fred was a devoted husband, proud of his family, committed to the community. Survived by Dorothy, loving wife of 60 years; eight children Anthony, Damian (Judy), Timoteo, Cecilia (Jay), Margarita, Dominic, Dion and Bibiana (Alfonzo); 17 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by sisters Feling, Catherine, Pauline and brother Sam. Survived by brothers Don Bilar, Phil Ventura and Ernie Balucas and a large extended family.

Viewing at Bonney-Watson, 1732 Broadway, Thurs. Jan. 9 – 1 to 8 pm and Fri. noon to 4 pm. Rosary and Vigil Service at Immaculate Conception Church Fri. Jan 10 at 7 pm. Funeral Mass Sat. Jan.11 – Immaculate Conception Church 10:00 am. Interment at Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to FANHS 810 18TH Ave. or Immaculate Conception Church – 820 18th Ave. – both Seattle, WA 98122.

Published in The Seattle Times on Jan. 5, 2014 – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=frederic-a-cordova&pid=168927585&fhid=23429#sthash.3MyVzmyT.dpuf

Filipinos in Watsonville – at the Watsonville Public Library

FANHS Monterey Bay includes the Filipinos in both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. Recently, our fearless leader, Jess Tabasa, set up an exhibit about Filipinos and the Watsonville area at the Watsonville Public Library and I (Jean Vengua) took a few photos. I experienced a bit of nostalgia, as I recalled hanging out in Auntie Rosita Tabasa’s Philippine Gardens Cafe, while my mom attended Filipino Community or Caballeros de Dimas-Alang meetings. The cook at the Philippine Gardens made the best hamburgers ever; I still hold up any hamburger I eat to the Philippine Garden’s standard. Auntie Rosing also taught the local Filipino kids Philippine folk dancing, and brought in an instructor especially for that purpose.
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I remember seeing the guys gambling in the back room of the cafe.

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Jess Tabasa’s exhibit dovetails nicely into the larger Library exhibit on labor in the Watsonville area. More on that at the end of this set.

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Tabasa’s presentation discusses the struggles, family life, and community building of Filipinos living in the Watsonville area.

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The Watsonville Public Library’s labor exhibit is presented around a large “island” section (somehow that seems really appropriate!) of the second floor.

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There is a prominent corner section on Filipino workers, showing books (Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart, of course), labor posters, and excerpts from literature about the workers.

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The exhibit walls are beautifully painted with images from the 1930s of workers in the artichoke fields.

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It seems to be a permanent exhibit, so do come by and visit. The Watsonville Public Library is a gem in the local public library system.