MANILA, Philippines - Filipino-American leaders who have contributed in the preservation of Filipino American culture have been recognized during the opening ceremonies that marked the Filipino American History Month this October.
The Metro New York Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) awarded author, playwright, director and visual artist Randy Gener with the 2012 Outstanding Artist Award during a ceremony held last October 3 at the Philippine Center in Manhattan.
Aside from Gener, two contributions to Excellence Awards were given to Rhodora Ursua, a co-founder of Kalusugan Coalition, and Rio Guerrero, a co-founder of Collaborative Opportunities for Raising Empowerment (CORE).
A second Outstanding Artists Awards was presented to Kilusan Bautista (spoken word artist and activist). Youth Leadership Awards were awarded to Jackelyn Mariano, an officer of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), and Alex Adapon, an officer of the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue (FIND).
Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared October as Filipino American History Month (FAHM) in New York City. FAHM has been in celebration since 1982 when it was first declared by FANHS to commemorat the first Filipinos that landed in Morro Bay, California on October 18, 1587.
In 2009, the US Senate passed US House Resolution 780 which recognized October as Filipino American History Month across the United States.
A photo exhibit called the "Filipino Americans in New York" was in view which features Filipinos in various time periods, including students at Columbia University in the 1920s, military personnel in the 1940s, immigrants in the 1960s and 1970s and even indigenous Filipinos who were "displayed" at the Coney Island Amusement park in 1911.
Other events include:
• October 6: Lakad Tulong Loves2Help 5K Run/Walk at the Liberty State Park, NJ;
• October 7: Annual Bayanihan Cultural Festival at Bayanihan Filipino Community Center, 40-21 69th Street, Woodside;
• October 12-13: Tagalogue at the Nuyoricab Poets Cafe; 235 East 3rd Street;
• October 19: "A Night with Lorli" to benefit the Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America and Youth Success Global Foundation to be held at the Philippine Consulate 555 Fifth Avenue;
• October 20: Deadline for "I Am Filipino...American" contest for Children sponsored by the Filipino School of New York & New Jersey; and film screening of "Kuya Ko". A short film by Dean Banting at Bayanihan Filipino Community Center;
• October 25-27: Migration Nation at Leviathan Lab, 248 W. 35th Street, 10th Floor;
• October 27: The Outstanding Filipino Americans of New York Awards at Carnegie Hall.
A closing ceremony will be held on October 30, 2012 from 6-9 p.m. at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (524 W. 59th Street).
At this event, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be bestowed to Joe Bataan, also known as the “King of Latin Soul.” Bataan, whose given name was Bataan Nitollano, was born and raised in Spanish Harlem in 1942 to an African American mother and Filipino father. As a musical pioneer, he has credited as one of the innovators of SalSoul (Salsa and Latin Soul), Latin Funk, Latin R&B, Latin Jazz, and Boogaloo.