Filipino Family Gathering (1920s-30s). • FANHS Collection
Filipino Family Gathering (1920s-30s). • FANHS Collection

Carlos Bulosan Centennial Committee
Guest Contributor

Filipinos have been in United States since 1587 and in the Northwest since the 1880s. One can only imagine Carlos Bulosan, infamous Filipino American writer, laborer, and organizer, and Uncle Fred Cordova, historian and co-founder of the Filipino American identity movement smiling at the upcoming celebrations to mark our struggles and hard-earned progress.

This year, 13 free and low-cost public events mark the celebration of Filipino American History Month and Carlos Bulosan Centennial.

In short, the Filipino American History Month honors and calls the public’s attention to the 1945-1970s pioneer families, the Washington Hall—a beloved community gathering place, and the artistic excellence of muralist Val Laigo, Jazz composer Victor Noriega, and Ballet Philippines.

The Carlos Bulosan Centennial activities aim to anchor Bulosan’s place in Seattle’s history. Inspired by the legacy and artistry of Bulosan, the events intersect with today’s civil rights, immigration, and labor movements with the goal of continued community expression, partnership and advocacy into the future.

To celebrate, we offer 13 diverse, free and low-cost public events. Please RSVP for each event via their respective contacts.

Sponsors include: Carlos Bulosan Centennial Committee (CBCC), Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts (PWEKA), and the Filipino Community of Seattle. Project partners include University of Washington, Wing Luke Museum, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Northwest Film Festival, IBU and many more! This project is funded in part by a Neighborhood Matching Fund award from the City of Seattle, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

For more information, contact:

CBC Derek Dizon, [email protected], (206) 353-5062

FANHS Dr. Dorothy Cordova, [email protected], (206) 322-0204

PWEKA Maria Batayola, [email protected], (206) 293-2951

Filipino American Community Dance at Washington Hall in the 1930s. • FANHS Collection
Filipino American Community Dance at Washington Hall in the 1930s. • FANHS Collection

Celebration Schedule:

Friday October 3, 6:00 p.m. Tour and 6:30 p.m. Panel
FANHS Thank God I’m Filipino Lecture “Growing Up Brown: Memories of Washington Hall”
Location: Washington Hall, 153 14th Avenue Seattle, Washington 98122.
Free event. 
From the 1930s to the 1960s, Filipino families and organizations gathered at Washington Hall regularly for dances, events, and family occasions. 
Contact: [email protected] or (206) 322-0204

Saturday October 4, 6:30 p.m.
Dinner & Program FANHS Pioneering Families Reunion: Growing Up Brown 1945 to 1970
Location: Immaculate Conception Auditorium, 820 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.
Tickets: $25 
These pioneer families who settled in Seattle include Filipino American WWII veterans, Bataan Corregidor survivors, professional immigrants—many who came for Boeing jobs and family members 
Contact: [email protected] or (206) 322-0204

Friday October 17, 6:30 p.m.
PWEKA Celebrating Brown Brilliance: Painter/Muralist Val Laigo and Jazz Artist Victor Noriega
Location: Filipino Community of Seattle 5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Seattle, WA 98118.
Free event.
Art and Culture is essential to being Filipino. PWEKA presents John Pai’s film, “The Life and Art of Val Laigo” to posthumously honor the great muralist and presents double Earshot awardee Victor Noriega on piano, performing his jazz symphony “Generation, Direction” with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers.
 Contact: Maria Batayola, [email protected]

Saturday October 18, 6:00 p.m. Screening followed by Q&A with filmmaker and a community panel
Film “Documented” with Jose Antonio Vargas & Panel
Location: Wing Luke Museum, 719 South King Street Seattle, WA 98104.
Free event. 
In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in an essay published in the New York Times Magazine. “Documented” chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines and his journey through America as an immigration reform activist.
Contact: Vivian Chan, Wing Luke, [email protected] or (206) 623-5124 ext. 114

Wednesday October 22, 7:30 p.m.
Ballet Philippines Celebrating 45 Years of Dance
Location: Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 S 152nd St, Burien, WA 98148.
Ticketed event.
Sponsored by Panvision Worldwide, Fil-Am Community of Puget Sound and others. Representing the best from the homeland, the show also features young Northwest ballet dancers, Maria Louisa Di Gregorio and siblings Ethan and Evelyn Camat-Crisostomo. Contact for tickets: (206) 498-0572 or [email protected]

Date/Time: TBD
UW Carlos Bulosan Special Collections Exhibit and Reception
Location: UW Special Collections Lobby and Reference Room.
Free event. 
In commemoration of the centennial of Carlos Bulosan’s birth, this exhibit examines the life and art of Bulosan within the broader context of Seattle’s Filipino American community and the progressive political culture he participated in. The exhibit draws on the papers of Bulosan, the cannery workers union, and various Filipino American labor leaders and community members that are part of UW Libraries Special Collections. 
Contact: Conor M. Casey, [email protected] or (206) 685-3976

Thursday November 13, 6:00 p.m. Screening followed by Q&A with filmmaker and community panel
Film “Delano Manongs” by Marissa Aroy
Location: UW Ethnic Cultural Theater, 3931 Brooklyn Ave NE Seattle, WA 98195.
Free event.
This film tells the story of farm labor organizer Larry Itliong and a group of Filipino farm workers who instigated the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 that brought about the creation of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW). While the movement is known for Cesar Chavez’s leadership and considered a Chicano movement, Filipinos played a pivotal role.
Contact: Aileen Balahadia, (206) 250-4299, or [email protected]

Friday November 14, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Conference: “Empire is in the Heart”
Location: University of Washington HUB, 4001 West Stevens Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195.
Free event.
This one-day conference on the life and works of Carlos Bulosan seeks to encourage different ways of reckoning with the legacies of Bulosan both in the United States and in the Philippines and addressing the relationship between his artistic and political approaches, and his place in understanding the braided histories of labor migration, racial formation, Filipino diasporic imagination, and imperial expansion. Contact: Professor Vince Rafael, 206 543-5699 or [email protected]

Friday November 14 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Talambuhay: Our Stories, Our People
Location: Filipino Community of Seattle: 5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Seattle, WA 98118.
Free event.
Talambuhay is a deep Tagalog word meaning, depiction of life, or autobiography. Carlos Bulosan represents for the Filipino/API American community the great importance of Filipino storytelling as necessity in preserving and expressing our culture and history. Please join us for a night of talambuay through various art, mixed media, song, dance, and poetry. By offering the community avenues of expression, we are able to empower ourselves as speakers of our own narratives as well as strengthen communities through shared stories.
Contact: Joaquin Uy, [email protected] or Derek Dizon, [email protected]

Saturday November 15, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Filipino American Historical Tour in the Chinatown International District
Location: Meet at Wing Luke Museum, 719 S. King St. Seattle. Free event. 
Join historian and unofficial Mayor of Chinatown/ID Uncle Bob Santos as he and the Wing Luke tour the neighborhood weaving personal stories and historic locations into a fun, interactive event. Contact: Rahul Gupta, Wing Luke, 206.623.5124 or [email protected]

Saturday November 15 ,2014, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Tour of the Carlos Bulosan Exhibit at the Eastern Hotel.
Location: Eastern Hotel, 506 Maynard Ave S Seattle. Free event.
Re-visit the Exhibit in the Chinatown/International District and explore the complex mural by Eliseo Silva, “Can You Read the Secrets of History in My Face?”Refreshments provided. 
Contact: Cindy Domingo, [email protected]

Saturday November 15, 2014, 3:30 p.m. Play with Q&A and Refreshments to Follow
Staged Reading of Carlos Bulosan’s “The Romance of Magno Rubio”
Location: Massive Monkees Studio, 662 S. King St. Seattle.
Free event.
An OBIE award winning play by Lonnie Carter. The staged reading is based on Bulosan’s short story set in the late 1930s and early 1940s about a lovesick Filipino migrant farm worker who is entranced by a tall blonde white woman in the hills of Arkansas who is out to take him for everything he’s worth. Contact: Maria Batayola, 206-293-2951 or [email protected]

Sunday November 16, 2014, Time TBD
Film Screenings of Lav Diaz Films “Norte, the End of History” and “Batang West Side”
Location: Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA.
Free event.
Lav Diaz is a highly regarded Philippine filmmaker known for creating films, not governed by time but by space and nature and focused on the social and political struggles of his motherland. “Norte, the End of History” recently showed at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and “Batang West Side” won 2002 Best Picture at the Singapore International Film Festival.
Contact: Courtney Sheehan, (206) 329-2629 or [email protected].

Artist Val Laigo. • FANHS Collection
Artist Val Laigo. • FANHS Collection

Related Story:

Column: Carlos Bulosan celebration, story honors all API pioneers

For more community stories, click here

Previous articleThe Break of Noon—Deeper questions behind a simple surface
Next articleCommunity an important part of air quality study, future dialogue