BY CYNTHIA MEIJIA-GIUDICI
I have a very strong tie to the Filipino community of Seattle. My father, Tiburcio, was a FCS councilman in the late ‘60’s and my mother was Mrs. Filipino Community of Seattle queen, 1969-1970 and FCS Mother of the Year, 2003. I mention these ties to the community because I am proud of what it is and what it has accomplished. There was a time when I could walk into a crowded room and greet my “aunties” and “uncles.” Now I, too, have grown older and the numbers of elderly pioneers is growing smaller. In Pamana I (1935 – 1986) and II (1987 – 1999), the FCS editorial team paid tribute to their contributions and chronicled the history of Filipinos in this area, which began as early as 1887.
“Pamana III, the Bayanihan Legacy of the FCS 2000 – 2009,” is no different. Thus, this book was a “gift, an inheritance” in celebration of the FCS 75th anniversary, a “pamana.”
In 1926, the FCS had its beginnings as an “umbrella organization,” called the Philippine Commonwealth Council, which included associations, clubs, fraternal groups, and support groups of Filipinos. The FCS of today formally established in 1935, continues to support and nurture such organizations but it also can claim specific programs of its own).
Pamana III bursts with color and vibrancy. Artwork and photographs are expertly presented throughout.
Section one begins with a brief history of Filipinos in Puget Sound, an essay that puts into perspective our connection with the Philippine homeland and ending with the current situation of the community and its prospects for its future. The knowledge and breadth of information in this section written by Professors D. Cordova, V. Rafael and R. Bonus of the UW lays the groundwork.
Section two focuses on the FCS itself. This section includes a visual breakdown of the FCS organization: offices, duties and programs ranging from the youth to the elderly.
Section three is the heart of the book. Various contributions made by the people, the movers and shakers, the creative genius of the community are highlighted. This section reminds us that Filipinos have a lot to be proud of. Advocating and preserving our Filipino culture for the betterment of FCS members, as well as Filipinos in general is vital. The featured essays were on Art and Culture, Cuisine, Spirituality, Media, Entertainment, the Military, Leadership, Health and Welfare, GLBTQ, FANHS, Education, and Sports.
The more than 40,000 Filipinos in the Seattle Metropolitan area are spread throughout, but why are we mostly unnoticed? Pamana III will educate those who don’t know about Filipinos and will re-instill Filipino pride for those who forgot about our achievements.
Section 4 includes 45 community organizations that wanted part of this historic endeavor. Listed in alphabetical order, each decorated its page with photos, logos, a list of officers, and history.
Section 5 was reserved for families and businesses. Families were able to show off their pride and joy. Donned in their “Sunday best” they posed for pictures that will forever be a part of the history of the Filipino Community of Seattle. Businesses were also invited to place advertisements. Sometimes considered a little out of place, the advertisers became an important source of revenue and a means for them to garner business from the community.
“Tata” Urbano Quijance “gifted” the community with his leadership as Chair of Pamana I, II, and II. (He died shortly after its completion.). The editorial board of Alma Kern, publisher, Bert Caoili, Editor-in-Chief, and Maria Batayola, Associate editor should be commended. An extensive list of tireless and dedicated writers, photographers, researchers, graphic designers, proofers and artists made this book possible.
At $75, Pamana III is not only a tax-deductible contribution to FCS, but an expression of support for its mission: “to promote Filipino American ethnic pride, diversity, unity, advocate for educational and socio-economic and political empowerment and provide relevant and effective community programs and services.”