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May 30th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Philippine Festival and Faire Become the Signature Event for Fil-Ams' Lack of Cohesiveness
Philippine Festival and Faire Become the Signature Event for Fil-Ams' Lack of Cohesiveness PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Monday, 09 June 2008 01:14

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Monday, June 9, 2008 

The weekend commemoration of 110 years of Philippine independence provided a fitting occasion to call attention to the obtaining division in the community, a common lament among Filipinos. Three organizations made a dash to show unity was feasible, for some hours at least, through a flood of music and entertainers. The day-long revelries failed. In the attempt, however, the organizations only highlighted their own differences and peculiar habits that, in the end, negated what they publicly preached. They couldn't even give in a little. Thus, Philippine Festival and Faire, however redundant it sounded, became the signature event of the dire lack of cohesiveness.

PHILIPPINE FESTIVAL AND FAIRE '08: Entertainment Galore at 110 Years of Philippine Independence



The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), the Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.

SAN DIEGO - A mardi-gras-like feast coupled with entertainment that echoed Hollywood unfurled on Saturday (June 7) before a large crowd of young Filipino Americans in an event celebrating 110 years of Philippine independence.


Three organizations—the Aguinaldo Foundation, the Council of Philippine American Organizations (COPAO) and Mabuhay Alliance—had made a big fuss about their joint sponsorship as a significant step towards unifying the acrimonious Filipino community but rather than get a sense of it, they instead succeeded in underscoring its lack.


The chosen theme "Community Through Unity" sounded more like an empty slogan than a clarion's call for oneness as the observance progressed at the community park in Mira Mesa (sometimes jokingly referred to as "Manila Mesa" because of the huge number of Filipinos who live there), the venue of the event billed as Philippine Festival and Faire '08.


Not only did the redundant "festival and faire" resemble a carnival and a flea market put together, the three sponsors also managed to pull their own acts in day-long activities segmented in three parts. The number of people thinned by mid-day as fast as it swelled in the early morning.


PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive
Volume 2, Issue No. 14 / News Without Fear or Favor . . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public.

A similar presentation by the ONE Movement took place a week earlier in National City. Though packaged as a call for unity, the event was actually a prelude to a meeting of officials and supporters of Gawad Kalinga in San Diego.


The disconnect will be spotlighted again on Thursday, June 12 -- the actual date of the declaration of Philippine independence from Spain -- when the Cavite Association of San Diego replicate the 1898 event in a more sober commemoration at the residence of the late patriot Carlos Riego de Dios Linayao on Ocean View Blvd.


Mr. Linayao, a descendant of revolutionary heroes in the 1898 struggle against Spain, had been the only advocate of the strict observance of the exact time and date of the independence declaration. 


Will the net proceeds be equally divided among the three organizers? None of the organizations had made an effort in the past to disclose the amount of money each made from such ventures.

Though there may be a genuine effort to show unity other than in their theme, each of the three organizers adhered to its own habits of the past, thus, the two sets of beauty queens, four from Aguinaldo Foundation and six from the scandal-ridden COPAO.


The beauty pageants are a rich source of revenues for both Aguinaldo Foundation and COPAO. Contestants win symbolic titles on the basis of the number of tickets they sell; the more tickets the better the chance of landing a title.


For COPAO, the stakes are higher since the County Board of Supervisors cut down its monetary grant to a minimum after it was found out that twenty-seven thousand dollars had disappeared from COPAO's coffers and 50 checks forged.


Neither the police nor the District Attorney's Office had named a suspect even as Mrs. Aurora S. Cudal, the COPAO president when the problem happened, confessed that she was investigated and made to provide signature specimens in connection with the alleged check forgeries. Her alleged signature appeared in 43 of the checks.


The shell networking agency Mabuhay Alliance, the third main sponsor, stuck to its usual sit-in workshop, more to show its patrons in Greenlining Institute that it has some following and therefore worthy of all financial windfall from corporate doleouts.


Except for the perfunctory tribute to the revolution that led to General Emilio Aguinaldo's declaration of Philippine independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, the day's program highlighted a mixture of the traditional and the new, including Polynesian dance numbers which had no relevance to the observance.


The Aguinaldo Foundation initiated the partnership with COPAO and Mabuhay Alliance, according to Zeny Mascardo Ravelo, its president and founder. All three contributed $5,000 each to the staging of the event despite money grants from the Board of Supervisors and other sources.


She didn't say, however, if the proceeds will be equally divided among the three. None of the organizations had made an effort in the past to disclose the amount of money each made from such ventures.


(This Breaking News is credited to Romeo P. Marquez, editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038.)

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Last Updated on Monday, 09 June 2008 01:19

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