The Stimulant: August 28, 2003 marked the first day I started working at Northside Community Center in San Jose, California, with the staff, headed by Ben Menor, President & CEO of the Filipino American Community Development Council, Inc., giving me a warm welcome during their weekly meeting that morning. My entry was perfectly timed to help manifest the next phase in the centerâ€™s development: the return to its 488 North 6th Street home before the Grand Opening festivities on November 8 & 9, 2003. This new 16,500 square foot workplace was strategically designed to be a hub for the inclusive multi-ethnic and inter-culturally grounded community it served: the seniors, youth, families, and extended families of immigrant and under-represented groups.
Initial Caveat: The names of the city and the hotel are not important in this story.
The Stimulant: In December of 2003, I made an unexpected trip to the Philippines. My beloved dad had passed away, finally at peace after four years of round-the-clock assisted living care under the careful supervision of my doctor-sister, Belen Dofitas, in her Quezon City home. It also meant flying to Southern Philippines for the memorial service and burial (or â€œinternment,â€ in Filipino English).
The Stimulant: On December 16 to 18, 2003, I was one of the Filipino Americans who went to the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, Philippines to participate in the Second Global Filipino Networking Convention. During the closing session, Loida Nicolas-Lewis, the National Chair of NaFFAA (National Federation of Filipino American Associations), announced that the Third Global Filipino Networking Convention would be held in Cebu in 2005, tentatively scheduled for January.
Loida asked, â€œWho of you here are from Cebu?â€
SACRAMENTO, March 30, 2003 — On March 31, 2003, hundreds of young persons in schools and after-school programs throughout the state of California are participating in varied activities to honor the life and values of Cesar Chavez, a civil rights activist and a labor organizer of Mexican-American ancestry who had fought for the equity and recognition of farm workers in the United States. Californiaâ€™s historic legislation established Cesarâ€™s birthday, March 31st, as the annual â€œCesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning.â€ Along with their parents, teachers, business and community members, K-12 students will commemorate Chavez by engaging in a day of activities that features the proven track record of Service-Learning, a hands-on teaching approach that combines community service with academic study.
A Boost to the Philippine Economy: Residential Resort Living in the Philippines Attracts the U.S. Market
August 5, 2003, San Francisco, CA — During the past few years, Bay Area Filipino Americans and residents have met Philippine real estate developers marketing their properties to interested buyers and investors. There were companies that studied the U.S. market within the past 10 years by doing roadshow presentations to iron out the difficulties in buying real estate in the Philippines. Some local real estate brokers worked with these developers to make the buying process a â€œone-stop shop in the U.S.A.â€
NORTHSIDE COMMUNITY CENTER’S FIRST-EVER FIESTA FILIPINAS
AT SAN JOSE FLEA MARKET: A COMPOSITE OF CULTURE, PATRIOTISM, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SHOPPING
San Jose, CA, October 20, 2003 — Whenever San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland Greater Bay Area consumers think about shopping for the best deals in town, a special trip to the San Jose Berryessa Flea Market generally means a one-day expedition or adventure. The attention focuses on the Filipino American communities in the Bay Area when the United Statesâ€™ largest flea market, spanning 50,000 to 70,000 visitors each day during most weekends, gives San Joseâ€™s Northside Community Center a hearty pre-Grand Opening celebration at one of its central venues, The Pavilion, at 1590 Berryessa Road, on Saturday and Sunday, November 1 and 2, 2003 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
SAN JOSE, CA, October 13, 2003 — On October 25 and October 26, 2003, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Northern California, Region 8 (NaFFAA R8) will hold its regional conference at the soon-to-opened Northside Community Center in downtown San Jose, 488 North Sixth Street, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Iâ€™ve been procrastinating about writing this essay. Here I am, preparing for the 3rd Global Filipino Networking Convention in my hometown, Cebu City, Philippines. The eventâ€™s dates feel like an imprinted brand on my forehead: January 20 to 22, 2005 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. Yes, I accepted the responsibility of being the USA Executive Coordinator, working with the 2005 Organizing Committee headed by Greg Macabenta.