Time has a way of getting away from us, especially when you are an octogenarian like me. Up to now, I usually was able to write this column on time. As I began to prepare this newsletter, however, I was surprised to find that the last issue was written months ago! Even more surprising – I found it difficult to quickly come up with newsworthy tidbits to share with you! So bear with me while I gather my thoughts.
News of Seattle BG individuals: This column finds me on my semi-annual visit to my former hometown of Seattle to visit my family and Bridge Generation old friends – the Filipino American Young Turks. While I regularly see four of my children and their families in California, I don’t have the same chance to visit with my two Seattle-area children, Peter Jr. and Jacqueline Berganio and their families.
As to the Young Turks (today’s Old Turkeys) — although they’re much older, these activists of the 1970s-80s are still active and relevant. Bob Santos, the former Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is finishing up work on his second book The Four Amigos. The book recounts the accomplishments and exploits of four long time ethnic minority activists in Seattle: Bernie Whitebear, a Native American and an IndoPino, Latino Roberto Maestas, African American Larry Gossett, and Bob.… Dorothy Laigo Cordova continues to work as the Executive Director of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS). She currently is busy preparing for the July 2014 National Conference in San Diego……Speaking of FANHS, the Seattle Chapter was recently resurrected under the able leadership of President Cathy Monares Bryant…….Sonny Tangalin, the retired ex- principal of Cleveland High School, is in the midst of remodeling the deck of his home overlooking beautiful Lake Washington……..Recently cutting back on his duties as Deacon with the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Fred Cordova looks to soon publish his manuscript that chronicles the Filipino experience in America…….Larry Flores, the only Filipino American Young Turk still gainfully employed, plans to retire next year from the City of Seattle. A prolific photographer, he has perhaps the most comprehensive collection of videos and pictures of the Seattle Filipino community……….Tony Ogilvie, recently retired from his long time position as Vice President at Seattle Community College, is consulting and volunteering for a variety of organizations, including the Filipino Community of Seattle……Still playing ball and looking physically fit is PioDeCano……..Dale Tiffany, rehabilitating from last year’s serious surgery, is spending much of his time on his long time passion — the culinary arts………..Bob Flor’s new play,The FAYTS (The Filipino American Young Turks of Seattle), received an honorable mention in the stage play category of the Writer’s Digest annual competition………The late Roy Flores continues to be honored posthumously. In addition to a scholarship in his name, the Wellness Center at North Seattle Community College where he served as Vice President is being renamed the Roy Flores Center……….Roy is the third of the Young Turks to pass away; first was the Rev. D. Harvey McIntyre, then Terri Romero Jamero, the two-term former national president of FANHS and aide to former Congressman Mike Lowry.
News of BG Californians: Educator and jazz bassist Vince Gomez recently served as a San Francisco Giant “baseball ballboy” at last month’s Filipino American Heritage Night at AT&T Park………Don Velez, of Rohnert Park, displayed his beautiful woodcraft art at the Petaluma (CA) Arts in the Park Festival……..Frank Antiporda of Van Nuys is recuperating nicely at his son’s home in Bakersfield………Al Mendoza of Glendale attended the Los Angeles launching of the new Filipino American magazine Salamin……..It is always sad for me to report BG contemporaries who have passed away.
Following is a partial list (please feel free to share the names of other recently departed BG individuals): Norma Bantillo, Seattle; Carol CuisonArca, Stockton; Angelina Tabellija, Vacaville; Flora Arca, Stockton; and Rose Revillar Galvez, Stockton.