On Saturday, Aug. 21, “Bite of Pinoy” (BoP) will be occurring at Rainier Playfield (3700 South Alaska Street) from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature food vendors such as Filipino Styled Peanuts, Mekenie Pampangga’s Special, and Hungry for Grace.
The main organizers behind BoP include Tootsie Borromeo and Jon Madamba both of Jack N Poy Productions and VXVIII Events. Other organizers who have helped this event become a reality for the community include Bel Borromeo, Rein Angeles, Aileen Angeles, Francis Halili, and Rowena Halili.
Tootsie and Madamba had sought an opportunity to bring the Filipino community together due to the annual Pista sa Nayon festival being hosted on a virtual platform this year. They initially struggled to find a venue for the event, but when the City of Seattle reached out to find food vendors for their annual Big Day of Play event, the “Bite of Pinoy” was born as a collaborative effort.
“It is so important to have events such as this not only to expose and exchange cultural ideas among different cultures but also to bridge the gap between generations amongst the Filipino community,” Tootsie said.
Last month, Got Green, a South Seattle-based grassroots organization that works towards environmental, racial, and economic justice made a big announcement. The organization’s executive director, Jill Mangaliman, transitioned out of their position after a decade. Mangaliman joined Got Green as a volunteer in 2009 and has left a lasting impact on the organization through their leadership on various campaigns and programs over the years.
“I definitely consider myself like, you know, I call it a late bloomer,” Mangaliman said regarding their long-time community organizing work. They had grown up in a Filipino household where the discussion of politics rarely occurred, so they consider their road to activism to have begun much later in their life.
The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission.
On Saturday, July 31, BAYAN Seattle and Malaya Movement coordinated a rally and carnival to launch the Duterte Wakasan Na Movement, which seeks the resignation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for human rights violations in the country. Human Rights Watch reports that extrajudicial killings in the country — often committed under the guise of a “war on drugs” — have increased dramatically during the pandemic.
The weekend event also included several bouncy houses for kids, food and games, and local performances from artists as well as group dancing. Several notable speakers in attendance included Miss Washington Maricres Castro and Washington State Sen. Rebecca Saldaña. Both expressed support for local community organizers.
“Under current President Duterte, the unjust system in the Philippines participates in suppressing dissent both by weaponizing the law to facilitate human rights abuses and by failing to enforce legal protections,” said Saldaña, who has served as a sub commissioner on Investigate PH — an organization currently conducting independent investigations of human rights violation in the country.
Last April, the Emerald published a photo essay that documented protests at Seafood City in Tukwila from the same organizations that led Saturday’s event at Othello Park.
Within the Filipino community, mental health is a topic that is often not discussed in families and other social spheres. API Chaya’s FYRE (Filipino Youth Reunite to Elevate) program plans to continue to work on destigmatizing mental health in the local community by offering “Grief Support Gatherings” for King County Filipino youth (ages 12–24) via Zoom on July 13, July 27, Aug. 10, and Aug. 24 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“We’re really wanting to make space for intergenerational healing, intergenerational community organizing, and what we’ve learned is that youth can be, you know, an important bridge across generations,” Nikki Caintic of API Chaya said.
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.
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.
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.
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.