Photos by JOHN Y. ATILANO / LAZT Reporter-at-Large
Filipina beauties at the annual festivities in Vallejo, California
Among the most noticeable attractions at the Vallejo, California annual Phi-
lippine Cultural Month festivities were Filipina beauties like the one above who posed for our cameras.
Philippine Cultural Month in Vallejo, California
Text & photos by JOHN Y. ATILANO
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA --- Filipinos here recently held their annual Phi-
lippine Cultural Month celebration focusing on Filipinos whose selfless con-
tributions and sacrifices in the past has made this once sleepy town one of the most deeply rooted Filipino communities in California today.
This year's celebration also marks the centennial (100 years) commemo-
ration of the arrival of 15 Filipinos immigrants--- workers who came to America from the Hawaiian sugarcane planter association on December 20.1906 .
The festivities honored two great Filipinos who have made their mark and history here in Vallejo: Alice Carter Realiza (see Photo 1) who was the first Filipina born in Vallejo in 1915.
Nazario Orpilla (see Photo 2) is probably one of the oldest Filipinos in the US today. He arrived in America in 1926 as a twenty year old worker at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. He will be celebrating his 100th birthday this summer.
After accepting an award in his honor, Orpilla said that the secret for his long life is love---from everyone especially from his loving wife and family.
Watching Orpilla speak was an unforgettable experience. It was like wat-
ching history. Taking his picture felt like I was recording history.
Another highlight of the festivities was the acknowledgement of Fred
Puno (see Photo 3) who, twenty years ago, envisioned uniting Filipinos in
this northern California town to work together under one umbrella group to plan and organize what has now become known as the annual Philippine Cultural Month festivities here.
Kudos to the festival commitee for their tireless effort in making sure this year's event was a success and for presenting honors to Realiza, Orpilla and Puno.
They (Realiza, Orpilla and Puno) represent the hope and inspiration of those Filipino migrants who continue to work hard towards the preservation and promotion of our Filipino heritage---for the generations to come---to enjoy.