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 jliao@filamarts.org.

Maraming salamat po!



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