Bridge Generation News:
Vangie Buell, immediate past national president of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), announced that her new book Beyond Lumpia, Pancit, and Seven Manangs Wild: Stories from the Heart of Filipino Americans is scheduled for publication this summer.…….Oops! My last column should have credited Al Mendoza of Glendale instead of Bob San Jose for calling attention to my omission of Pete Velasco of Hawaii among Filipino American Olympic participants. Velasco captained the 1964-68 U.S. Olympic volleyball teams. Sorry Al………..At the annual picnic of Central Valley FANHS chapter I talked about old times with Judy Cantorna Tafoya who served as top aide to the director of California’s Department of Rehabilitation during my days as director of the same program in Washington State.……The traditional Filipino fare served at the FANHS picnic was not catered. It was cooked by Bridge Generation chapter members with culinary skills learned long ago from their Manong Generation forebears.……Sad to report the passing of Isadore “Izzy” Arevalo, father of long time San Jose community activist Steve Arevalo…….The forthcoming film Bitterweet, the story of San Francisco blues singer Sugar Pie DeSanto, nee Umpelyia Marsema Balintin, is due out later in the year. Now in her 80s, she is still performing. For more on Sugar Pie, read the informative article by Benjamin Pimentel in a recent issue of the internet magazine Positively Filipino…….Did you know? Mildred Sevilla of Los Angeles, under her stage name of Sumi Haru, was a Hollywood movie actress in the 1950s and later the interim President of the Screen Actors Guild – the same organization that gave Ronald Reagan his start in politics…….Speaking of Hollywood, Stockton bred Dan Inosanto continues to teach Jeet Kune Do and Mixed Martial Arts at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts in Marina Del Rey CA. He was a student and close friend of Bruce Lee, the famed martial artist of moving pictures. Inosanto also appeared in several Bruce Lee movies.
Filipino American Pinakbet:
The recent passing of Maya Angelou — the noted poet, dancer, and civil rights activist is still being mourned by many, including countless Filipino Americans. But did you know that she once lived in South Stockton CA, the segregated residential district populated by countless Bridge Generation Filipinos? During her teens she lived with her mother and later worked as a fry cook. Her mother, Vivian Baxter lived for decades in Stockton, was active in the community, and had a park named after her. This piece of information comes courtesy of Dawn Boholano Mabalon, arguably the best-ever chronicler of the history of Filipinos in Stockton……Also residing in South Stockton among Filipino neighbors as a youth was Dolores Huerta, who along with Filipino labor leader Larry Itliong served as a Founding Vice President of the United Farm Workers union……Kudos to the UFW, whose membership is now predominately Hispanic, for sponsoring the 40th Anniversary of the founding of Agbiyani Village in Delano CA on June 21st. The Village housed Filipino farm workers too elderly or infirm to perform arduous agricultural work. However, UFW should have given more appropriate recognition to Larry Itliong Jr. who was introduced in the company of lesser known individuals during recognition ceremonies………I still take ethnic pride watching Erik Spoelstra, head coach of the Miami basketball Heat on national TV…….Congratulations to Teresita Batayola, CEO of International Community Health Services of Seattle, who was recently honored as one of eleven national “Champions of Change” by the White House…….It was good to hear from Mike Nisperos who is practicing law again in his home base of Oakland after a stint as Attorney General of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands…….Filipinos have now made it in mainstream comic strips. The May 27 issue of Blondie shows Blondie ordering adobo…….The City/County of San Francisco’s Anita Sanchez Testing, Orientation, and Welcoming Center is named after the late community activist and city executive……..In closing, if I may be permitted to brag about family – my grandniece Jillian Jamero will soon be traveling to the Philippines to again play for that country’s women’s national soccer team, nicknamed the Malditas. Jillian is the youngest and only American to play on the team.