IN the spirit of bringing Global Filipinos closer to home, and as part of building on its #StrongerTogether campaign, GMA Pinoy TV visited various Fil-Am communities and offices in the US to celebrate Filipino American History Month (FAHM) last October.
Introduced by the Filipino American National Historical Society in 1992 and officially recognized in 2009 by the US Congress, FAHM commemorates the first arrival of Filipinos in the country in Morro Bay, California, on October 18, 1587.
With the concurrent celebrations of FAHM’s anniversary and GMA Pinoy TV’s 17th anniversary, the GMA Pinoy TV team took every opportunity to visit different Fil-Am communities, embassies, and consulates during its US trip.
GMA International first vice president and head of operations Joseph T. Francia met with New York deputy consul general Arman Talbo for the turnover of Stronger Together coloring books to the Philippine New York Consulate.
The Stronger Together coloring book was a project of New York-based Filipino-American Special Education teacher Deirdre Levy with visual artist AJ Lavilla along with fellow Fil-Am artists Erwin Ong and Mark Torres.
She distributed the coloring book to school children as a mental health intervention in the face of the pandemic challenges and Asian Hate crimes.
Initially distributed in New York City and in partnership with GMA Pinoy TV, the Stronger Together coloring book has now expanded distribution to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.
Francia also met with Migrant Workers secretary Susan “Toots” Ople to discuss possible collaborations.
Francia and marketing director Beth Climaco-de Guzman had a courtesy visit to the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Los Angeles. They were welcomed by consul general Hon. Edgar Badajos, consul Marie Alnee Gamble, and cultural officer Hazel Manahan-Mendoza, along with information officer Mary Grace Leano, and former Eat Bulaga host and GMA star Ruby Rodriguez. During the visit to the PCG, Francia also turned over copies of Stronger Together to consul general Badajos.
Prior to the GMA Pinoy TV concert in California, Los Angeles’s oldest Filipino community, the Filipino American Community in Los Angeles (FACLA) hosted a welcoming ceremony for the GMA headliners of the Together Again concert.
Bea Alonzo, Ai-Ai de las Alas, Julie Anne San Jose, Rayver Cruz and Dingdong Dantes together with director Mark Reyes and GMA executives Oliver Victor B. Amoroso and Darling de Jesus-Bodegon got to meet 13th District councilman Mitch O’Farrell, and vice consul Macrise Corrado who shared an overview of the Fil-Am history and the importance of the Historic Filipinotown Gateway landmark in the community. Gracing the event were FACLA president Trinity Foliente, and Filipino American Service Group Inc. board president Celina Taganas-Duffy.
More information on GMA Pinoy TV events and Filipinos abroad can be found at www.gmapinoytv.com.