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November 8, 2005 > Filipino-American Cultural Arts Festival

Filipino-American Cultural Arts Festival

by Lance Dwyer

As a member of the Filipino National Historical Society, Victoria Santos had wanted to showcase local Filipino-American authors in a simple book reading for the Tri-City area.

When she approached the Fremont Library about hosting the event, it was agreed that to effectively portray the accomplishments of the Filipino-American community, an event of larger proportions would be necessary.

What Santos had envisioned as a small gathering to discuss the work of a few authors has now turned into the Filipino-American Cultural Arts Festival complete with performances, guest speakers and discussion groups. The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

According to Santos, the festival will be the first of its kind for the Tri-City community. As a youth growing up in Chicago, Santos had never been exposed to Filipino-American writers. Now living in a community with a much larger Filipino-American population, Santos feels it is important to show Filipino-American youth that they have role models to look up to.

"Being able to see authors that look like them and have similar backgrounds, I think that's really important for the young kids, if this is something they want to do," said Santos. "It's important for them to know they have people who can reflect their cultural background."

Among the attendees will be Raphael Hermoso, Vice-Consul of the Philippine Consulate who will give opening remarks. The program will consist of book readings, a dramatic performance by the Revival Arts Players, spoken word performances by students from Logan High School's Filipino Heritage Studies class as well as the showing of the critically-acclaimed short video Selling Songs in Leyte by Eli Africa.

Authors in attendance represent a variety of different genres and styles. Among them are Abe Ignacio and Teresita Bautista who compiled The Forbidden Book: The Philippine-American War in Political Cartoons. Ignacio and Bautista's work depicts many perspectives of the Philippine-American War through political cartoons taken from numerous publications throughout the country between the years of 1898 and 1902.

With so many reasons to attend the event, Santos hopes that the Fukaya Room at the Fremont Library, with a 200 person capacity, will be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend. She advises arriving early to ensure a seat but added that attendance may be monitored in a staggered manner so that no one will be turned away.

Filipino-American Cultural Arts Festival

Saturday, November 12
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Fremont Main Library, Fukaya Room
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 745-1401

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