Recently, I was able to visit the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia (PCC) in Virginia Beach. The Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia is a hub for social celebration, civic and religious functions, cultural and arts, health and senior citizen programs, historical presentations, as well as a general community meeting space for the Filipinos and Filipino-Americans of Hampton Roads.
The PCC opened its doors in 2000 after 25 years of planning and is managed by the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater (CUFOT), an umbrella organization for Fil-Am community groups. CUFOT strives to unify the Filipino-American community and their families. The PCC is maintained by volunteers and solely funded by private donations and fundraising activities including the annual Miss Philippines and Mrs. Philippines pageants.
The PCC also showcases contemporary and historical Philippine art. The following are a few of the attractions that highlights many aspects of the Philippine Cultural Center have visual impact as well as cultural, historical, and community impact.
The memorial garden honors the veterans who fought and died to protect freedom in the Philippines and the U.S., a garden was designed featuring bricks engraved with the names of fallen soldiers and retired service men & women . The Veterans Memorial Garden is the centerpiece during Memorial Day and Veterans Day commemorations.
Dr. Jose Rizal Library
The highlight of my trip to this cultural center was being able to step into the Dr. Jose Rizal Library. The Dr. Jose Rizal Library is the PCC’s collection of Filipino and Filipino-American non fiction, fiction and historical manuscripts are a tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal, the revolutionary and author of “Noli Me Tangere” (Touch Me Not). The original book that was published in 1898 is the icon of the library. Rizal’s writing provided the spark for hte Filipino uprising against its Spanish colonizers (please refer to the Philippine Historical Figure: Andrés Bonifacio, The Father of the Philippine Revolution).
Since I was only able to visit the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia (PCC) on a Sunday (Mother’s Day), I was very limited in my tour. I would also like to add that I was a little bit disappointed with the way the staff in charge treated me and the Filipinos I was with. I didn’t see the need for such rude behavior after asking permission to visit the Dr. Jose Rizal Library. I don’t know whether it was policy or the person in charge that day just had a stick up their butt, but I believe that visitors from different cities or states should feel welcomed, especially when it means celebrating Philippine culture and traditions. This brings me to another topic, Filipinos who have a crab mentality. Why? Just why do Filipino have to treat each other like crap? It shouldn’t matter what province or region you are from. I believe this kind of mentality is keeping all of us apart and something I hope will change in the near future. With that said, I was actually impressed with what the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia had to offer and it is definitely a place you have to visit if you are in Virginia Beach. For more on the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia (PCC) you can visit their website.