Sunday, October 03, 2004

Filipino-American History Month

It is October once more and we gaze our eyes towards the past by celebrating Pin@y-American history month. If you would like to read a Pin@y who is doing something to open the minds of the younger Pin@ys, check out San Francisco State's finest,Professor Ben Vergara's blog (aka Sunny to those of us who used to roam the wild, wild soc.culture.filipino newsgroup of yore).

As a side note, while at a gig in the Philippine consulate on October 1, I thought I saw Sunny. Instead, I realized that this person was gay and probably thought that I was trying to pick him up because of my face-splitting smile. I almost made introduction until I realized that Sunny would never have enough panache to pull off wearing a black sweater with a big A as a necklace pendant.

So, there I was at the Philippine consulate. I had to swallow my fear of driving in San Francisco to get there. I suppose I should get real. It's not like it is worse than Los Angeles. And after having found the beauty of valet parking, what the hell? I can pay for parking now. I have a job. At any rate, love is far stronger than fear. And so I made it to the Philippine consulate about thirty minutes late.

This is one of those Philippine Filipino rules kind of affairs. What does that mean? There is a schedule, the schedule will be late, everyone will be there, and it will be a good night if one of the World War II veterans do not die from the length of the affair. The first time I heard about the affair, I thougth it was a reading. But, the writers didn't really have time to read from their book. Instead, they made speeches to promote their books.

Part of the affair was a tribute to Wilfredo Nolledo who is one of the seminal Pin@y-American writers. He passed away this year. If there should be required reading for Pin@ys, it should be his novel "But for the Lovers." Go to Amazon and buy it.

There were several bright spots to the affair. For one, the singer who performed after the affair was excellent. I believe his name is William Morin.. The second bright star of the night was the artist Mel Vera Cruz. He is following the tradition of Santiago Bose with respect to his vision. Lots of anger and chaos in the work. It's not something I would put in my living room. The third was seeing the WW II veteran walk around. Inspiring to think that they are still with us.

As for the affair's negative sides, well, how about trying not to get so stuck on the schedule? At the end of the affair, people began schmoozing and talking to each other. But, the consulate still had to show one commercial made by 21 singers from the Philippines. The host for the evening actually tried to get people to pay attention and get off the stage and try to look at the advertisement. Sometimes, people have to know when to let go of the situation. Another negative is what I alreay mentioned. Writers don't need speeches. They need to be able to read their poems or excerpts of their novels.

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