Filipino American History Month events aim to represent and uplift the community

Filipino+American+History+Month+events+aim+to+represent+and+uplift+the+community

Graphic by Serena Zuniga - Multimedia Editor

Sam Hostetter, Reporter

October is Filipino American History Month and members of cultural organizations and affinity groups at California Lutheran University are making an effort to unify the university community in celebrating this special time.

“Being Filipino myself, it was important to me that I wanted to see more events that best represented me and other Filipino students at CLU when I began working for the CCEI my sophomore year,” Terehna Soriano, junior and student intern for the Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion said in an email interview. “These events have a positive impact on the students and staff here at CLU because of the representation [the Filipino community] is given.”

Soriano organized a Kahoot trivia night on Oct. 26, with the opportunity to win prizes. 

“I wanted to continue putting on this small event… it is a fun way for people to educate themselves about this topic,” Soriano said.

One thing that I think is really important to celebrate is to really uplift the importance of these kinds of celebrations and for it to be a norm of the university that we celebrate these things. Where it’s not a surprise when you open your calendar and you see that it’s Indigenous People’s Day or that it’s Filipino Heritage Month.”

— Caeli Koizumi, co-leader API Employee Affinity Group

In a Zoom interview, Francine Aclan, sophomore at Cal Lutheran majoring in International Business, said her new club, Dear Asian Youth, aims to implement new ways to celebrate this month, as part of their mission to provide a space for the Asian, Pacific Islander community at Cal Lutheran.

“We still haven’t had our first meeting, but we’ll definitely have like possibly either a social media campaign regarding Filipino [American] Heritage Month and also maybe a meeting celebrating Filipino heritage, discussing Filipino history and stuff like that,” Aclan said.

Aclan said that as a Filipina woman, this month is especially important to her. 

“Both my parents are from the Philippines, they immigrated to the U.S., so I identify as Filipina. So definitely my heritage is like super important to me since growing up, I didn’t feel as connected to it as I do now and I definitely feel more proud of it now that I was able to learn more [about it] through like my friends, through my family and that kind of stuff,” Aclan said. “And just like the community here at CLU, there’s a really strong Filipino community.”

Rona Koe, co-leader of the Asian Pacific Islander Employee Affinity Group and assistant director of the Writing Center, said in a Zoom interview that there will be future events for the API Employee Affinity Group in regards to Filipino American History Month celebrations and beyond.

In a Zoom interview, Caeli Koizumi, co-leader of the Asian Pacific Islander Employee Affinity Group and executive assistant for Mission and Identity said these types of celebrations have a positive impact on the Cal Lutheran community.

“One thing that I think is really important to celebrate is to really uplift the importance of these kinds of celebrations and for it to be a norm of the university that we celebrate these things. Where it’s not a surprise when you open your calendar and you see that it’s Indigenous People’s Day or that it’s Filipino Heritage Month,” Koizumi said.

The CCEI’s Filipino American History Month program is scheduled for Oct. 26 from 4-5 p.m. via Zoom. The top three Kahoot scorers will be mailed “Filipino prizes.”