by Ronnie Estoque
The Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) have had a vision for the Filipino Community Village (FCV) for over 10 years and have been the drivers steering the development to final fruition this summer. Four years ago, a partnership between Beacon Development Group and the FCS helped speed up the dream of providing 95 affordable apartment homes for low-income seniors in the local South Seattle area. Beacon Development Group is an affordable housing consulting firm that works with nonprofits and housing authorities and is a subsidiary of HumanGood.
“The members of the Filipino Community of Seattle have worked tirelessly to advocate for this project with elected officials at the state and local levels to stress the importance of this project and its impact not only for the Filipino community but South Seattle/Rainier Valley as a whole,” FCS Executive Director Agnes Navarro said.
Continue reading Filipino Community Village Set to Open this Summer
by Rayna Mathis (Tagalog translation by April Jingco)
This is a speech I performed at Hing Hay Park for the #StopAsianHate rally organized by Seattle Rice Society on April 3, 2021. When asked to perform, I only had a few days to decide my direction, and once the anxiety settled, I realized that the only, genuine approach I could offer was to tell everyone about the person I love most in this world: my mom. We experience the world quite differently and even though we may not always understand the other’s experiences, I have never doubted for a second how much my mom and I love each other.
I have always been proud of my mother. At just 19, she followed her family across the ocean to come to the States, where she enjoyed a successful career, earned two degrees, raised four children, and now dotes on six grandchildren. She is the strongest and easily the funniest person I know. She can make anything out of scratch and to this day, still won’t even give ME her recipes. I fight her for them every few weeks. She is observant and calculated, brave and humble, and shows her love in food. When it was time for her to finally retire in this country, she knew it was time to travel back across those same waters that first brought her here, to return home. I have always wondered since she left, does she feel the time here was worth it all?
As anti-Asian hate crimes steadily rose at the beginning of the pandemic — and then when the shootings in Atlanta happened — I thought of my mother. I felt grateful that she was out of harm’s way away from the violence here, tucked away safely in the Philippines, but I missed her even more so in these moments. The 15-hour time difference meant constantly doing the math to figure out the best times to call each other. On top of that, the pandemic had separated us across two different continents for over a year now. And all I wanted was to lay across my mother’s lap again, falling into a food coma she put me in, only to wake up to her banging around pots in the kitchen already plotting the next meal.
Continue reading OPINION: I Have Always Been Proud of My Mother
by Ronnie Estoque
A coalition of groups representing Filipino Americans in 14 states is seeking to influence the Biden administration on a wide array of issues affecting the Filipino American community, including increased protections for Filipino health care workers who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) presented its list of demands at a virtual press conference Tuesday. Organizers of the agenda are submitting the Filipino American Agenda (FAA) within the next week to the White House Initiative for Asian American Pacific Islanders and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Continue reading Filipino American Group Demands Workplace, Police Reforms From Biden Administration
by Ben Adlin
A year into a pandemic that has killed half a million people in the U.S. and magnified deep inequities in the country’s core institutions, it’s extraordinary that Vicky Navarro and Thyda Ros aren’t more exhausted.
A typical week might find Navarro crisscrossing King County with boxes of face masks and public health pamphlets in three different languages — English, Spanish, and Tagalog — while Ros plans a socially distanced dinner dropoff of deep-fried fish and green mango salad to a Khmer community elder. Then it’s off to the next webinar, the next worried call from a neighbor, the next social media rumor to bat down.
Continue reading Helping Under-Served Communities Navigate Health Barriers During the Pandemic