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June 10, 2009 > Filipino American Fiesta

Filipino American Fiesta

Submitted By Laura Amoroso and Dr. Dem Nitafan

Sometime in July 1979, a group of leading Filipino-Americans residing in Milpitas formed a group known as the Fil-Am Association of Milpitas. Spearheaded by Amy O'Baley and Cora Gonzaga, the enthusiasm grew and the idea was well received.
The concept gained momentum and the first meeting was held at St. John's Catholic Church on September 9, 1979. The meeting was followed by a formal organizational conference on September 19, 1979 at the Milpitas City Council Chambers, where the members elected their first set of officers led by Phil Santa Cruz as charter president.

The organization's mission is directed toward unity, service and charity.

The initial event was a Christmas party where then-Mayor Pete McHugh was the guest of honor. Application for incorporation was submitted and approved shortly thereafter. Since then, election of new sets of officers was held every year until 1984, when it was decided to have two-year terms for the officers.

On March 10, 2009, the incorporation of the association ceased to exist. Through the leadership of Dr. Demetrio B. Nitafan, Pat Amoroso and George Elias, a new company, with a corporate name of Fil-Am Association of Milpitas (FAAMCORP), was established and organized under the Nonprofit Corporation Law of California and the Article of Incorporation was filed on March 10, 2009 with the office of the Secretary of State of the State of California.

This new FAAMCORP is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the IRC. Being a tax-deductible entity in both Federal and State level, FAAMCOP will be able to attract more funds from any available benevolent foundations, grants and other nonprofit entities for charitable purposes.

Donations and contributions grew and continued to be distributed to different groups such as the Toys For Tots program, food banks and the Milpitas Community Library. The corporate officers, directors, and associate members have always been involved in disaster relief at any time: typhoons, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that affected the Philippines.

Donations are distributed through the Philippine consulate, the American Red Cross and different religious groups.

In 1988, the Filipino Fiesta began, showcasing the different ethnic groups through musical presentations and dances at the Milpitas Community Center. At this same event, the public was invited to commemorate the Philippine Independence Day. The event was a huge success and was attended by approximately 1,500 people, becoming an annual tradition.

As such, this annual event was given recognition by the City of Milpitas, the Arts Council of Santa Clara County and the Silicon Valley Arts Foundation. Now the event is partly supported with annual grants from those organizations to perpetuate the cultural celebration.

This year's 21st Annual Filipino Fiesta and the multicultural presentation have been made possible in part through a grant from the City of Milpitas and will be held on Saturday, June 13 at the Milpitas Community Center.

The pride of the corporation, however, transcends charitable donations and unity in cultural celebration.

The ultimate pride of the corporation is the service that its associate members unselfishly render to the community.

Individual associate members of the FAAMCORP include Hon. Henry Manayan, the first Filipino to be elected Mayor in Milpitas, Filipino Mayor of Milpitas (2002-2008) Hon. Jose Esteves, and many other members who served and are serving as chairpersons and members of many Santa Clara County and City of Milpitas commissions. The legacy of FAAMCORP continues to grow.

Free admission for all. Please come early due to limited seating.

Fil-Am Fiesta
Saturday, June 13
2 - 8:30 p.m.
Milpitas Community Center
457 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3210

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