I'm a bit overwhelmed by the profusion of Bay Area Filipino/American History events. In a good way. From the Kodakan exhibit, to Oakland Museum's Dia de los Muertos exhibits, to Joe Bataan crooning at Yoshi's, to a 100-year-chronology and exhibit of Filipino civil rights struggles "We Are America: Resistance and Resilience," and more, there is a wealth of spaces to be. There is so much to celebrate!
I was thrilled to join Lit Crawl for the first time, at the lit reading "Barrio Fiesta." Hosted by Philippine American Writers and Artists, the theme was "celebration" - and that's exactly what we did, with stories, a packed house, and hundreds of Irma's crispy, golden lumpia at the venerable Irma's Pampanga Grill:
Recalling Carlos Bulosan's words, "They are even afraid of our songs of love," still rings true in many ways. Reclaiming our history is about making stories visible. Celebration itself is a liberation. Our generation is blessed by the struggles of countless ancestors who carved out survival, the possibilities to know their stories, and through them, our own selves. This didn't come easily and there's still ways to go.
I'm thankful. There is so much to celebrate, including the very act of celebration.
365 days ago, I wrote "Foodstories on Filipino/American History Month." I feel blessed to have met - and continue meeting - even more fierce and fun Filipino/American foodies, writers, and all who care about the continuation and evolution of food traditions.