Friday, October 29, 2021

Updates: FANHS Pennsylvania / FANHS PA's 14th annual #FAHM party 31! Must read Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia (FECGP) President Roman Ventura's FAHM message

UPDATED 1 November 2021: FANHS PA's 14th Annual #FAHM program is a success! Many thanks to all who joined FANHS PA's virtual celebration of #FAHM2021. We're happy to see so many organizations represented: FANHS Hampton Roads@FANHShr (Virginia) and FANHS San Francisco Chapters / Philippine Folk Arts Society (PFASI); Asian Americans United - AAU in Philadelphia aaunited.org / Philippine Community of Southern New Jersey (PCSNJ) / St. Augustine Church, Philadelphia ... and more friends and family! Thank-you, all. While we didn't record the event, we have a pdf of slides with working links. Please just tweet @ForCommunities if you'd like a copy. Here's how our FANHS PA Filipino American History Month program flowed:
Let's all take FECGP President Roman Ventura's FAHM message to heart. Roman is the youngest ever FECGP President, a Drexel FISDU alum (yaay!!), and FANHS PA co-organizer. While he writes this for members of the 23 organizations of the Filipino Executive Council of Greater Phildelphia, his message of bayanihan is so relevant to all our communities. We thank-you, Roman.
Dear Community Members, Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat! Today was a beautiful fall day and a great time to begin Filipino American History Month. Why do we especially emphasize "History" rather than heritage as many other titular months are called? It is because we together are writing the history of our people, the Filipino people, our kapamilya. In a Filipino sociology course that I took in college, we discussed the Filipino value of bayanihan (the spirit of communal unity, belonging, and cooperation). It is key for us to work together to ensure that our community thrives as one, especially as the Filipino Americans gathered here in the Greater Philadelphia region. I am proud to be entrusted with your confidence to lead our community and the Filipino Executive Council with all of its member organizations as we forge ahead and pave the way for a bright tomorrow. Our differences only strengthen us as each organization pursues their own goals with the support of its peers. Regardless of any past differences or difficulties, we cannot let ourselves fall into a crab mentality now, lest we doom our organizations to grow old and outdated on islands isolated, worlds apart from one another. Why else would we be part of a larger community, the Filipino Executive Council? Growing up in California I always saw that the Mexican-American community celebrated Cesar Chavez one of the co-founders of the United Farm Workers in Delano, California. But did you know that Filipino manong Larry Itliong was the driver for that organization to exist? I like to think that it was his adherence to the bayanihan spirit that allowed him to see that the only path to success for the greater community was to unite both the Filipino and Mexican farm hands in order to achieve the goals to benefit the organization. In a similar vein, the Filipino Executive Council was enacted to allow the organizations here in the Delaware Valley to unite and gather support for one another. While we may have a shared heritage from a country of islands, it does not mean that we must stay on Islands in our adoptive home here in America. We can be proud of our respective regions and provinces, speak different Filipino languages, cook our special dishes that remind us of home, but at the end of the day we all are Filipino-Americans residing here together. One of the greatest directives of the FECGP is collaboration, and I take this as an opportunity to ensure we can establish a welcoming environment for new organizations join us in our mission the further advance the Filipino-American community here in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. Only by working together can we improve and build upon that which our predecessors provided to us and that we can only hope we can leave better than we found it for our successors. As the sun sets on today, it is time to be an example. The time is now to make this happen. I hope that you all join me in resoundly committing ourselves to our community, collaboration, and the Council. Let us write our lasting story here, together. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat! Mabuhay ang Pilipino Americans! Mabuhay ang FECGP! Happy Filipino American History Month, Roman Ventura FECGP President

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