HISTORY OF FILAMFEST
The Filipino American Arts & Culture Festival, better known as FilAmFest is a one-day event showcasing the proud history, culture and amazing talents of the Filipino Community. FilAmFest celebrates the accomplishments that the Filipino-Americans contribute to the San Diego community and the United States as a whole. It will celebrate its ninth year on October 5th, 2013 at Paradise Valley Road between Woodman Street and Gilmartin Avenue.
In 2005, FilAmFest began as the Filipino Heritage Festival in Paradise Hills, initiated by the Office of Councilmember Tony Young of District 4. From it’s humble beginnings, the Filipino Heritage Festival began to inspire and garner more support in 2006 from the Filipino population, including COPAO Executive Council and two neighboring schools, Alexander Graham Bell Junior High School and Samuel F.B Morse High School. Along with the partnership of Leizl Mangonon from District 4 office and Dr. Aurora S. Cudal, acting as community liaison – the community collaboration proved to be successful.
Following the success in gathering community support – in 2007, Kalusugan Community Services was approached by Councilman Tony Young’s office, to spearhead the Filipino Heritage Festival. With help from Dr. Riz Oades and Dr. Ofelia Dirige, founder and director of KCS respectively, they were able to obtain funding from the city of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture and the an Diego County Community Enhancement Fund, using the name that we are familiar with today – the Filipino American Arts & Culture Festival or FilAmFest for short. As the name changed, also came a change in structure with the Organizing Committee for FilAmFest – through opening its’ doors to the community, individuals spanning through multiple generations came out to help build and develop the festival.
GOALS OF FILAMFEST
To foster a sense of community and enhance pride in the Filipino cultural heritage; to build intergenerational collaboration and cultural understanding among children, youth, adults and seniors; to promote effective networking among individuals and various groups representing businesses, civic organizations, local government, educational institutions and public agencies; and to revitalize the Paradise Hills community as a place to raise families, operate businesses and collaborate with diverse peoples, groups, and institutions.
2013 THEME: "UNSUNG HEROES"
Every day people are our heroes just as much as they are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, neighbors, and mentors. Our heroes are our students, our children, our colleagues, and our friends. They are the difference makers, the dreamers, the believers, and the bearers of our burdens. Our heroes are the every day people that complement our lives and enrich our souls. They are our inspiration, our source of courage, and our foundation for our future. These people are not often celebrated but are the very reason why so many of us do what we do in our community and have become who we are today. These are the days that we applaud our Unsung Heroes.