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Home Sections History Contemporary History: Remembering the Events in December 1997 in the Filipino-American Community of Southern California
Contemporary History: Remembering the Events in December 1997 in the Filipino-American Community of Southern California PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - History
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Thursday, 13 January 2011 11:09

 

As usual, the Filipino community here took care of the ‘important’ things first. The dinner-dance gala event and the beauty contest are all set and funded. The cultural part is still struggling to get organized and funded. – Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao



As we at the Media Breakfast Club have been saying and writing, we have a community and Philippine government offices in Los Angeles that could spend millions of dollars for expensive floats for American parades and other frivolities but we don't have money to keep the only Filipino-American library open even for five days a week.

 

Filipinos have been in North America supposedly—if we are to believe the hysterians (sic) of the Filipino-American National Hysterical, oops, Historical Society (FANHS)—for more than 400 years but to date we don't even have a lousy museum of our own. Some of the new arrivals from Asia have done their part: For instance, there are (at two separate sites) a Korean Cultural Center and a Korean Museum in Los Angeles.


Indeed talk is cheap in the Filipino-American community.

 

Filipino Americans talk of celebrating the centennial of Philippine independence. Yet nobody, even the Centennial Commission, has displayed any historical item at the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles. Casting modesty aside, and to the credit of (then-) Consul General Josue Villa, his office allowed us to display our modest exhibit items at its premises since Dec. 17, 1997, even if Bobby Reyes is unofficially considered a “persona non grata” at the consulate (because of the Buddy-Gomez Saga*). (The exhibit will continue in 1998 and the MBC members hope to replace the items every month.) Yet some people find something to criticize us for exhibiting simple items. And some even called us "suckers"** for doing the part that the Centennial Commission ought to be doing.

 

Yes, we never really understand our community.

C ommunity leaders talk of supporting causes for the Philippine culture and heritage, yet how many of them have even been to the Puro Arte Gallery in Temple St., Los Angeles? (Editor’s Note: It folded up sometime in 1998.) Ask Reuben Domingo, the gallery owner and operator, who among the community leaders and Philippine government officials have volunteered to help pay the rent of the gallery? The Domingos are spending their own money in subsidizing the gallery's operations.

People talk of becoming interested in Philippine history. Yet very few of them accept the invitations extended by members of the Philippine History Group of Los Angeles to their monthly meetings.

As this writer said in one of his essays in 1995: ‘History may judge the Filipino, especially the Filipino Americans, by the color of their tuxedo and party dresses, and not by the context of their character.’

 

W ebmaster’s Notes:

 

 

* To read about the “Buddy-Gomez Saga,” please click on this link, Overseas Filipinos Should Demand that Only Career Diplomats Be Posted Abroad: The Buddy-Gomez Saga

 

** Eventually Bobby Reyes wrote on Dec. 21, 2007 (a decade later), a piece about Filipino and Filipino-American suckers that this online magazine published: Suckeritis (sic) May Soon Be Pandemic in the Philippines # # #

 



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