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    The Saysay Exhibit: The Arrival of the 12th Poblador, a Filipino American Art Exhibit



    May 11 – May 25, 2014
    Pico House, El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument

    Antonio Miranda Rodriguez was of Asian decent and was appointed by Alta California Governor Felipe de Neve in 1777 to be the 12th Poblador to settle in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciúncula, or today it is known as Los Angeles. However during los pobladores travels, Rodriguez’s daughter became ill with small pox, thus suspending his journey.

    In celebration of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Heritage Month, FilAm ARTS and the El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument would like to explore the narratives of Filipino presence in Los Angeles in the Saysay Project exhibition: The Arrival of the 12th Poblador. These narratives range from the 12th Poblador Antonio Miranda Rodriguez, who was of Filipino descent, one of the original 12 founding families but who never made it to Los Angeles; the Galleon Trade, the Farm Workers Movement; the Zoot Suits; Mexipinos; to the waves of Filipino Americans who contribute to the larger story of the City of Angels. Upwards of 20 artists will be showcasing their art work depicting Filipino American culture in Los Angeles, including the intersection of Mexican and Filipino narratives through the Galleon Trade in the 17th Century, to the Farm Workers Movement in the 1960′s.

    There will be a special EXHIBIT PREVIEW AND RECEPTION on May 9th for supporters. Contribute to the production and exhibition for The Arrival of the 12th Poblador for an exclusive invitation by clicking here.  The exhibit will be open to the public on Sunday, May 11th.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Don’t forget to check out and like our Facebook Community Pages: The Saysay Project and FilAm ARTS, for additional updates.

    Students Share Their Stories with The Saysay Project



    The Saysay Project was featured at the 7th Annual SCPASA Summit: Tomorrow in Retrospect on February 8, 2014 at UC Riverside. SCPASA Summit is a one-day conference providing students a wide variety of speakers, workshops, and activities as a means to develop their leadership growth. FilAm ARTS brought the Saysay Project to the Summit as an opportunity for students to share their stories as young Filipino and Filipino-Americans.

    The Saysay Project Workshop facilitator, Carol Ojeda-Kimbrough and videographer, Rodney Cajudo, engaged students through topics such as the importance of family, language, food, and culture of being a Filipino in America.

    Marvin Ordono, a recent college graduate and one of five children shared his story with the Saysay Project and speaks on his family dynamics and how it affected his upbringing.

    Stay tuned for our upcoming collaboration event in March with one of our videographers, Rodney Cajudo as he launches “The Valor Project” – A storytelling project from the perspective of the people who lived and fought during WWII in the Philippines. Click here to check it out and support!

    Check back for updates and don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page. If you’re interested in getting involved and becoming a volunteer, contact Jackie Liao at or call our office at 213-380-3722.

    Saysay team collects 100 interviews with Filipino community


    We at the Saysay project have been busy lately, archiving and logging the scores of interviews that we’ve collected during the 2013 year. Through a series of community events, we’ve heard from many voices in the Filipino community. People have shared touching and stirring testimony that describe their experiences as immigrants, veterans, students, parents, artists, children and workers. One thing is certain: we are a diverse community rich in lore and experiences!

    One such story comes from Filipino World War II Veteran Orencio Salem, who sat down with Saysay in November 2013 to describe how he joined the guerrillas as a second-year high school student in the Philippines just as the war broke out. Hear more about his fascinating role in transmitting crucial messages with the US Army in the video above.

    These are valuable stories that the Saysay project is dedicated to preserving.

    On a recent Saturday, volunteers, students and facilitators gathered at the FilAmArts office in Los Angeles to chart the next step in the Saysay project.

    Volunteers gather to assess the videos and recordings in the Saysay Project. Los Angeles. January 2014.

    Volunteers gather to assess the videos and recordings in the Saysay Project. Los Angeles. January 2014.

    Currently, we’re working hard to create a logging system to properly tag and organize the interviews and material that we’ve gathered so far. It’s slow and time-consuming work, but essential to the long-term goal of creating a searchable archive of oral history that will be available to artists, scholars, students and everyone interested in experiencing the living, breathing history of Filipinos in the US.

    We’ll also be conducting more events throughout Southern California to continue gathering more stories. Our next event is this Saturday, February 8, 2014 at UC Riverside where we’ll be collecting the stories of Filipino college students from across the state. Here are the details:

    • What: The 7th Annual SCPASA Summit Conference – “Tomorrow in Retrospect”
    • Workshop Title: The Saysay Project: Engage in Sharing Your Story – FilAm ARTS is offering 5 Workshops – 3 of which will be dedicated to The Saysay Project, gathering stories and engaging the young community in the art of oral story telling located in Watkins 1111
    • Where: UC Riverside – Highlander Union Building Room 302
    • When: February 8, 2014, Doors open at 9:00am

    Check back here for updates or on our Facebook page. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact Jackie Liao at

    Maraming salamat po!



    FilAm ARTS presents the Saysay Project


    FilAm ARTS presents the Saysay Project from FilAm ARTS on Vimeo.

    The SAYSAY Project is a community-sourced documentation project by FilAm ARTS to capture the myriad of experiences in the Filipino diaspora through story telling.
    “Saysay” (pronounced sigh-sigh) is a Tagalog word that has a double meaning: to have intrinsic value and to declare. This project aims to engage the community to tell their stories, and to document and preserve these shared stories for future generations.
    The purpose of the project is twofold: 1) To highlight the contributions of Filipinos to U.S. life and culture – from the early waves of migration: labor workers in agriculture, fisheries, and people in military service; to professionals i.e. as nurses, teachers, doctors, accountants, and others. 2) To connect these stories of American experience to the stories in the Philippines.