The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) held its 15 Biennial Conference in Kona Kai Resort and Marina here in San Diego from July 31 to August 2, 2014, with the theme: “KAPWA: Moving Forward in Unity.” Registration started in the morning of Thursday followed by Opening Program that featured Dr. Leny Mendoza Strobel, Professor and Chair of American Multicultural Studies Department at Sonoma State University. She is also an author and a leading authority and advocate for the process of decolonization. The emcee was Marie Coronol, a News Reporter from KGTV. This was followed with Sessions 1 to 3 in the afternoon and the Authors’ Reception and Informal Gathering in the evening.
Mr. Salvador Idos, Mrs. Rosalina Idos, Ms. Jacquilin Magat-Lapid and Ms. Rizalyn M. Cruz were CTFLC presenters in the afternoon session with the topic, “Impact of the Filipino Language Program of San Diego County.” They talked about how the Filipino Language Program became a huge force in bringing the Filipino community, especially the Filipino- American students, in celebrating and embracing their cultural heritage.
On the second day of the conference, there were two sessions in the morning followed by Friday Lunch and Plenary featuring Major General Antonio Taguba, as the Guest Speaker. Gen. Taguba is a retired U.S. Army Major General and was one of the highest ranking Filipino Americans in the U.S. army. He leads the Filipino American World War II Soldiers Recognition Project, serves as the AARP’s Community Ambassador that advocates for caregivers and their families and the co-founder of the Pacific American Leaders and Mentors organization to help mentor young Asian American military and civilian leaders. After lunch, there was one session followed by a Membership Meeting and Election of Trustees and the Entertainment Night at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, August 2nd in the morning after the Zumba class, there were two sessions. Mrs. Rosalina Idos, Ms. Wulfilda Galvante and Ms. Mary Rose Peralta were the CTFLC presenters for Session 1. Their topic was about the “History of the Filipino Language Program in San Diego.” The presentation delved on how the language program started in 1974, the challenges encountered, the solutions that were implemented, advocacies, community involvement and the anticipated future needs and issues.
The Plenary in the afternoon featured Marissa Aroy, a film director of “The Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the UFW.” She also produced and directed “Little Mania: Filipinos in California’s Heartland.”
The Silent Auction started at 6:00 pm followed by a Gala Banquet. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Eleanor Concepcion Mariana, the medical physician for former President William “Bill” Clinton. She was born in Sangley Point, Philippines from a Navy family and moved to the United States when she was two years old. She graduated as Valedictorian from Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, California and received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of California, San Diego.
Performers for that evening were PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company, Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensembles and Samahan Philippine Dance Company. – Rizalyn M. Cruz