FORMER California Assembly member Ray Haynes, Philippine columnist Ramon “Mon” Tulfo and other personalities on Wednesday graced the opening of the month-long photography and visual arts exposition Pamana ng Lahi at the Filipino Cultural Center in the Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, Philippine Consul General in Los Angeles Adelio Angelito S. Cruz was not able to come as he rushed to Las Vegas to assist the two Filipino Americans who were seriously hurt last Sunday during a mass shooting incident. Police said 58 people were killed and more than a hundred were injured in that incident.
Nevertheless, Cruz sent Consuls Rea Oreta and Wilma Bautista to represent him.
Haynes, who is rumored to be the upcoming US Ambassador to the Philippines, congratulated the Philippine Institute of Language, Arts and Culture (PILAC) and the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) for their “commendable project to celebrate the Filipino American History Month.”
“Filipino Americans are intricately woven into fabric of the American society and it is just fitting for you to have this month-long celebration of history in this country,” Haynes said.
For his part, Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Tulfo said: Filipinos are “proud of you (PILAC and FACLA) for promoting our (Filipino) culture and for representing our country very well.”
Both Haynes and Tulfo took time to admire the valuable photography collection of World Heritage sites in the Philippines by multi-awarded lensman, poet and artist Vics Magsaysay.
FACLA president Fernandico Gonong, who was visibly elated by the developments, told the guests that Filipino American artists would be given high priority in the use of the Filipino Cultural Center from now on.
Meanwhile, PILAC president Bernie Targa-Ganon said the Filipino Cultural Center is expected to draw more people next week when nine distinguished Filipino American artists start displaying their works.
The artists who will join the exhibit are Rey Zipagan, Bienvenido “Boi” Sibug, Luz Balbin-Spanks, Juan “Magoo” Valencia, Johnny Esj. Otilano, Sal Budhz Floriano, Parts Bagani, Jerry Esguerra and Vics Magsaysay.
Guests at the Pamana ng Lahi opening were also entertained with fabulous performances of dancers from Filipino American Community of St. Ignatius and the Silver Lake Adult Day Care Center.
The other artists who entertained the crowd were Mon Concepcion, Marck “Bagyo” Villamac Ho (who is fighting a life-threatening illness) and Luz Balbin-Spanks.
Pamana ng Lahi was launched by PILAC and FACLA to complement various events put up by the Filipino American community to celebrate the Filipino American History Month.
The month of October is observed as the Filipino American History Month since 1988 and this contemporary practice has been officially recognized by the 111th Congress of the United States of America in 2009 through House Resolution 780.