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Filipinos Gear Up To Celebrate History Month in Skokie

The Filipino American History Month celebration will be in Skokie for the third year in a row.

From the community ~

As most Filipinos and Filipino Americans probably already know, the U.S. House of Representatives has signed H.R. 780 last November 2, 2009, recognizing October as Filipino American History Month (FAHM).  The Filipino American National Historical Society initiated the drive for this wonderful recognition by Congress.  A similar resolution was presented to the U.S. Senate, which passed S.R. 298, recognizing Filipino American History Month, in October 2009. 

This recognition is a wonderful honor to the Filipino American Community all over the world. While Filipinos and Filipino Americans in California, Hawaii & Guam have started celebrating Filipino American History Month several Octobers ago,  Filipino Americans in Illinois only started celebrating in 2010. The Village of Skokie, under Mayor George Van Dusen, is the first suburban village to sign the proclamation, in recognition of the Filipino American community’s active participation in the affairs of the village and its contribution to its diversity programs.  

This gave way to the 1st FAHM weeklong celebration in Skokie on October 2 - 8, 2010, consisting of exhibits & displays, art & writing workshops, and cultural presentation.  The Village has consistently proclaimed October as Filipino American History Month since, with resident FilAms planning celebrations annually and the Skokie Public Library graciously providing the venue during the last two years.

For the 2012 and 3rd FAHM celebration, the Skokie Park District collaborated with the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Illinois Chapter and the Philippine Consul General in Chicago, by providing the venue at its Devonshire Cultural Center auditorium.  This year, the organizers showcased the varied talents of the young Filipino Americans, not only from Skokie, but other areas near and far, during the Variety Talent Show held last October 6, 2012, between 2pm and 4pm. The audience at the 120 capacity auditorium  enjoyed the free admission, complete with refreshments consisting of various Filipino delicacy & desserts and the performances by our talented youths. 

Among the guests were Mayor George Van Dusen & first lady, Susan, Philippine Consul General Leo M. Herrera Lim & first lady, Fides,  Deputy Consul General Orontes Castro, NaFFAA National Chair, Ed Navarra (drove from Michigan), NaFFAA Midwest Chair. P. Emraida Kiram (drove from Wisconsin), Skokie Park District Commission President, Mike Reid, Skokie Caucus Party Chair & Secretary, Jim McCarthy & Diana Rumsley Mulingbayan,  respectively, Zoning Board of Appeal Former Chair, now candidate for trustee, Ralph Klein, Ilonka Ulrich, candidate for trustee, & Fran Roehm from the Skokie Public Library.  Current Village Trustee Edie Sue Sutker also came.

The participants at the Variety Talent Show consisted of the following: Isabel Gilles & Christian Luciano (each did a Poetry Reading/originally planned to do Balagtasan in English), Gabby Ubaldo & Glenwin Ebreo (each sang acapella), Kimi Reglos & Joanna Tan (each playing the piano), Cayla Castro & Kris Estacion (each did vocals with guitar), John John Rivera dancing to a Justin Beiber song, and for the finale, the Halo Halo Special from Niles North High School, doing the Tinikling. 

The dance group consists of Gian Regacho, a Niles North graduate as the choreographer, Paul Regacho, current leader, Davin Kaiser, Marko Dacpano, Christopher Legaspi-Tabuena, Armando Gomez, Kristel Becares, Lindsay Belen, Ritzel Velarde, Isaiah Hernandez, Mikaela Lingat, Glenwin Ebreo, Regina Roman, Lean Ira Oaing, Alexis Benitez & Daniel Chua.  The grandchildren of Max & Emma Colobong from their daughter Hazel, joined the participants on stage, proudly wearing our native costumes of kimona and the barong.  Kimberly Hope Chua, a graduate of Niles West High School and U of I in Champaign, was the program emcee.  In appreciation for their participation and volunteering, the participants were presented with certificates of appreciation at the end of the program.

Other volunteers and donors include: Ryan Tejero, Almi Gilles, Ella Basilio, Nelson Chua, Ronald Mandanas, Ed & Annie Brotonel, Gaye Barke, Vic Ricolcol/Adeline's Food, Rose Salazar, Tito Castro/PESO, Jerry & Flor Clarito, and all parents/grandparents of the above participants.  Their commitment and dedication in promoting our culture and inspiring our youth to be proud of our heritage, will be much appreciated.

For the continued strong support to the Filipino American Community by consistently signing the FAHM proclamation through the years, and honoring our community with his presence at almost all our events, a plaque of recognition was presented to Village of Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, by NaFFAA Officers and Consul General Leo M. Herrera Lim.  In his acceptance remark, Mayor Van Dusen, recognized the hard work of event coordinator, Jelly Carandang, not only as a Filipino American community leader as NaFFAA Illinois Chair, but as a village representative in her capacity as a member of the Village Plan Commission and as an active member of other boards and organizations in the community.

In addition to the above, NaFFAA Illinois also co-sponsored a Health Fair, last Sunday, October 7, 2012 from 10am to 2pm. The other co-sponsors are FACHIC, which provided the medical staff and volunteers and contacted various providers, and Mrs. Jenita Julian, president/owner of the Northwestern Institute of Health & Technology, who provided the venue for the fair at their Skokie Facility.  Free medical screenings, flu shots, and various workshops were provided at the health fair, through the efforts of JP Jael and Dr. Yasmin Sacro from FACHIC. 

If interested in joining our future events, please contact Jelly Carandang at email: msjellybeans@aol.com.

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