This Month

There was a lot going on in June that I wasn’t able to cover due to personal issues. This post is a look back at this month as a lot happened in the Filipino-American community.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s Inauguration

Philippines' President Aquino Inauguration

Love him or hate him, Noynoy Aquino is officially the commander in chief of the Philippines. President Benigno Aquino III delivered his inaugural address shortly after taking his oath as the Philippines’ 15th president during the inaugural ceremony Wednesday June 30, 2010 in Manila, Philippines. Aquino was sworn in on a Wednesday, leading a Southeast Asian nation his late parents helped liberate from dictatorship and which he promises to deliver from poverty and pervasive corruption. You can view Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III taking oath as the President of the Philippine Republic here.

Philippine Independence Day

The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain, which had been recently defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration was neither recognized by the United States nor Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. The United States finally recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until August 4, 1964 when, upon the advice of historians and the urging of nationalists, President Diosdado Macapagal signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 designating June 12 as the country’s Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day and many government buildings are urged to display the Philippine Flag in their offices.

The Philippine Independence Day Parade, like any major New York City parades, has a set schedule for its annual celebration. Its usual slot is the first Sunday of June. Since its inception in 1993, the parade has steadily garnered attention not only from the Filipino American community, also from the general population of the New York metropolitan area. Earlier generations of Filipino immigrants did not celebrate Philippine Independence in significant ways. Philippine Independence is widely celebrated among Filipinos in the United States and is now a major event for many Filipino Americans to rekindle their roots and heritage. The largest among Philippine Independence celebrations in the United States takes place in New York City every first Sunday of June. The 2010 Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City will took place on June 6th, 2010, at Madison Avenue, following the tradition of the celebration being on the first Sunday of June. Our friend Joshua de la Cruz gives a detailed report on the event, you can watch it here.

Paalam John Delloro

Earlier this month, John Delloro, a lecturer in the Asian American studies department at UCLA and a well-known labor organizer, died of a heart attack on June 5. He was 38. Elected AFL-CIO National President in 2009 as one of the youngest leaders to this position, Delloro also served as Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute where he was a member of the American Federation of Teachers.

“We are all saddened by the sudden passing of John Delloro, a brilliant young labor leader, who made incredible contributions to APALA and to the U.S. labor movement” said Luisa Blue, APALA First Vice President.

Although Delloro was recently elected as the APALA National President, his dedication and commitment to serving working people dates back almost two decades.  He was a student leader and activist at UCLA, where he received his B.A. in Psychology in 1994, and his M.A. in Asian American Studies in 1996.  Soon after, Delloro was introduced to APALA as a participant in the APALA Organizing Institute, a program that has trained the next generation of Asian Pacific American union organizers and community activists.

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Executive Board Member Van S. Nguyen shares his memories of the Fil-Am leader  and the legacy he left behind. You can read the full article here.

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