PAMANA Filipino Parade and Festival

By Bianca Garcia

We had a blast celebrating the 120th Philippine Independence Day with PAMANA (Philippine-American Mainstream Mainstream Advocacy for Nonpartisans Associations) last weekend. We ran a dessert booth in collaboration with BOSFilipinos and Confessions of a Chocoholic, and it was a hit! I made mini ensaymadas, Leila made leche flan, and our friend and BOSFilipinos member Val made calamansi bars.

Here are some pics from the day:

After the parade, there were some welcome comments, a flag raising, and various types of performances. And of course: Filipino food in abundance. Quintessential Filipino foods like lumpia, longsilog (longganisa + sinangag + itlog) plates, pancit, BBQ, halo-halo, and other snacks fueled us throughout the day and brought us a taste of home.

Our neighbors at the next booth were the Pulutan Boyz, Philjay (you may have seen him at BOSFilipinos events) and Mac, slinging longganisa and tocino sliders.

It was such a fun day seeing other Filipinos and celebrating our culture together.

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by our booth to say hello and buy our desserts! We hope we were able to entice some of you to be a part of the BOSFilipinos gang in some way. Thank you to Jen and PAMANA for coordinating the Independence Day celebration. And maraming salamat to Val for baking goodies, and to Matt for driving us all to Attleboro.

In case you missed us at the parade, don’t worry, you can find us at the next Filipino event on June 23rd at the 2nd Annual Filipino Festival in Malden. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to catch up with us every month.

You can also reach out to us at info@bosfilipinos.com and tell us how else we can build on the Filipino community. Or better yet, let us know how you want to participate.

We look forward to meeting more of you soon. Mabuhay!

(More pics on our Facebook page.)

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By Trish Fontanilla

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Boston is stacked with events! But before I share what’s going on around town (including our meetup on the 10th), I wanted to get into the origins of it. The month itself is epic when you think about how it’s an umbrella for the largest continent on Earth coupled with the Pacific Islands, and celebrating all of the cultures, people, and history that it includes. So not to overwhelm you too much, here are a few quick facts about the month:

Want to learn more? PBS has a whole collection of stories and videos on its website: http://www.pbs.org/specials/asian-pacific-american-heritage-month/

And without further ado, here’s what’s happening in Boston this month!


29793586_1902689709750865_286118094055669760_o.jpg

2nd BOSFilipinos Meetup of 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
6PM - 8PM @ Globe Bar & Cafe

Join us for our second meetup in 2018! We’re bringing together some of the awesome folks in the Boston Filipino community for a happy hour in May. No agenda, just bring yourself and your friends! RSVP on the Facebook page to receive updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/496276400774813/


2018 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration
Thursday, May 17, 2018
5:30PM - 9PM @ Wellington Management Company

This Ascend New England event will have cultural performances, food from local Pan-Asian restaurants, and networking with professionals and students. For info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-asian-pacific-american-heritage-month-celebration-tickets-45057305614?aff=es2

Taken from the Ascend New England event page

Taken from the Ascend New England event page


Taken from the One in a Billion Productions event page

Taken from the One in a Billion Productions event page

Live, Love, Laugh Storytelling Salon
Friday, May 18, 2018
6PM - 8:30PM @ 101 Main Street

This month's storytelling salon features Kira Omans, 2016 Pacific Miss Asian American and Zhao Qinghua, Founder & CEO of Chinese dating website, 2RedBeans. For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/live-love-laugh-spring-storytelling-salon-tickets-44565374234?aff=es2


Image taken from QSAC event page

Image taken from QSAC event page

Queer South Asian Collective Spring Bazaar
Sunday, May 20, 2018
12PM - 5PM @ Urban College of Boston

The Spring Bazaar will have food and shopping with your local queer South Asian community. This event is to help raise funds for QSAC to attend the National Queer API community organizing conference. For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/qsac-spring-bazaarmarket-tickets-45209625206?aff=es2


Taken from the WGBH event page

Taken from the WGBH event page

Celebration of Asian Pacific American Culture
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
7PM - 9PM @ WGBH

This celebration at WGBH is in its 10th year! "This year they'll be spotlighting Asian American entrepreneurs who have risen to the top of their respective industries and remain civically engaged in their communities." For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebration-of-asian-pacific-american-culture-tickets-44947941503?aff=es2


Taken from the USDLDF Dragon Dance event page

Taken from the USDLDF Dragon Dance event page

USDLDF Dragon Dance Competition
Sunday, May 25 - 27, 2018
3:30PM - 5PM @ Empire Garden Restaurant

"This 3-day event promotes the arts of dragon and lion dance as a cultural tradition and sport throughout the United States and beyond." For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/usdldf-dragon-dance-competition-tickets-44936184337?aff=es2


Taken from the Dealmoon invite

Taken from the Dealmoon invite

Dealmoon Asian Street Food Night Market
Saturday, May 26, 2018
6PM - 10PM @ Pine Manor College

This event will feature 15 local vendors who will be cooking and serving over 40 different kinds of Asian dishes and snacks! For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dealmoon-asian-street-food-night-market-526-tickets-45398719793?aff=es2


Taken from the BAAFF event page

Taken from the BAAFF event page

Short Waves: Stories Shaping our Community
Thursday, May 31, 2018
6:30PM - 8PM @ Pao Arts Center

This event is being produced by the Boston Asian American Film Festival, and they will be screening submissions from their Short Waves Open Call for films. For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-event-short-waves-stories-shaping-our-community-in-celebration-of-asian-pacific-american-tickets-44539749590?aff=es2

And for more events around town, you can stay in the loop by following our Events page that's updated weekly! 


We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers! If you’d like to contribute, send us a note at info@bosfilipinos.com.
 

SALAMAT PO! THANK YOU!

By Leila Amerling

Meetup1.png

Last Thursday, we had our very first BOSFilipinos Pinoy Meetup. Kababayans (fellow Filipinos) and BOSFilipinos friends (old and new) got together for a couple of cold ones and took the opportunity to meet a new friend.

Personally, it has been at least a few months since I’ve participated in an event with just Pinoys, so it was really nostalgic and exciting for me, to not only see Filipino pals but to meet new ones too !

THANK YOU to those who attended. We hope you walked out feeling just as excited as we were to meet new friends, and to contribute to bringing the New England Filipino community closer in some way (like guest blogging on BOSFilipinos for example! Wink wink!).

For those who missed it and wanted to be there, have no fear, there will be another meetup in the near future. Keep an eye and ear out for our next one, likely in May. We also hope to see you at the PAMANA event (more info coming soon) to celebrate the Philippine Independence Day in June!

Salamat po and ‘til next time!

 

Keep up with our events, goings ons, and / or be a part of the team by signing up to our newsletter or contacting us at info@bosfilipinos.com.

Don't forget to follow us on our socials @BOSFilipinos.

Dragon Lady is Comin' To Town: An Interview with Sara Porkalob

By Trish Fontanilla

I know people have mixed feelings about Twitter these days, but if you’re following the right people then it ain’t so bad. Case in point: theater companies. A few weeks ago I saw The A.R.T (American Repertory Theater) tweet:

WHAT? Why hadn’t I heard of this show before? Will actual Filipinos be playing the characters? The last question was a gut response in reaction to some recent conversations I’ve had around minority actors. More specifically, the discussions were about Evita being produced without a Latinx cast here in New England, and the Daily Beast piece about the movie ‘Annihilation’ and Hollywood’s erasure of Asians. So as you can imagine, I was stoked to learn more about the woman behind Dragon Lady, Sara Porkalob. Straight from her bio, “Sara Porkalob is an award-winning solo performer, director, and arts activist recognized on City Art’s 2017 Future List and has recently finished her term as Intiman Theatre’s 2017 Co-Curator. She is a co-founder of DeConstruct, an online journal of intersectional performance critique.”

Something I totally missed as I was feverishly scrolling through her blog and her performance list is that she’s based in Seattle. Well, while Sara isn’t a BOSFilipino, she is a boss Filipino and you need to catch her while she’s in town performing her latest show Dragon Lady at The A.R.T (OBERON) March 22nd - 24th.

And thank you to Sara for taking some time to chat with me about her past work, inspiration, and how we can make theater more inclusive.

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Do you remember a particular moment growing up that inspired you to be a performer?

Sara: I was born a performer! My mother says I came out of her vaginal canal performing and I am inclined to believe her.

I loved going through your performance list and seeing you playing characters that aren’t traditionally cast with Asians or POCs (people of color). What do you think the theater community can improve upon or do to be more inclusive?

Sara:

  1. Hire POC in all areas, especially in positions of power.

  2. Allocate resources, infrastructure, and decision-making to POC.

  3. Make EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Training mandatory for all Trustees and employees. Implement this ideology into the mission, vision, and programming.

  4. Create systems of accountability and actionable quarterly objectives.

  5. Engage with the community outside of your audience demographic, maintain these relationships and deepen them through community programming curated BY them, FOR them.

Theatres can do more, but I charge a consultant fee for those :)

Did you find that the more you studied acting, the more you were driven to be an activist? Or were you always engaged in conversations and work around social change?

Sara: I’m privileged to have been raised by two women who value social change and justice. Our household was talking about intersectional activism before they became buzzwords. The more I studied acting, the more I realized how problematic and white American theatre and arts education was. It was this disparity that pushed me to become an advocate and activist within the arts community.

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Reading through your blog post “Institutional Racism Made Me a Better Artist,” we get to hear a little bit about the early inspiration for Dragon Lady, which is your family. What has been their response to the show and your other work?

Sara:
In this order:

  1. Disbelief and suspicion

  2. Incredulity and laughter

  3. Tears and catharsis

  4. Anger and healing

  5. Pride and joy

  6. Sharing MORE stories of the past, making sure I know all the details.

My family is my rock. They keep me humble. They are a constant reminder of where I come from and why I should never forget that. They love my work and think I’m the best of my peer group, but they could be biased. Or not. ;)

Did Dragon Lady always have music? What drove you to make it a full musical?

Sara: Dragon Lady has always had music. Transitioning to a musical made sense but required more capital and institutional support. The first two years of performing it, I had musical tracks and sang covers of popular songs that had special significance for the story. The third year, I had enough resources and support to commission a composer to create original music, plus create covers of the past songs. My grandmother was a singer in the Philippines. All of the women in my family are singers and the men are musicians. Music is in my blood. It wouldn’t be a Porkalob show without music.

Who / what (else) inspires you?

Sara: My entire family. Black women. Children. Asian Grandmas.

Dragon Lady poster provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady poster provided by Sara Porkalob

Performing can be physically and emotionally draining, are there any activities you like to do to recharge?

Sara: I eat Korean, or Filipino, or Japanese food. I also enjoy a hot shower, with a cold beer, and then some good ol’ marijuana after. I also love cats and enjoy relaxing with mine because she’s sassy and silly and doesn’t bore me with small talk.

How else can our community here in Boston support you (besides attending your show)?

Sara: GET MORE BROWN AND BLACK PEOPLE OUT IN THE AUDIENCE!!! That’s the dream, as many POC as I can get, I’d love for them to see this show.

One last question, because I read somewhere that your happy place is “food in my face,” so naturally, I had to ask... what’s your favorite food? Favorite Filipino dish?

Sara: Korean food allll the wayyyyy. Sorry, Filipino ancestors! Fave Filipino dish? Sinigang, all the way. With some patis and hot rice, yesssssss.

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Dragon Lady picture provided by Sara Porkalob

Thanks again to Sara Porkalob for being amazing, and taking time to do this interview.

If you don’t have tickets to her show Dragon Lady, playing over at OBERON in Cambridge, get your tickets now! The show is running for 3 nights at 7:30PM, March 22nd - 24th, with one 2PM matinee on March 24th: https://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/dragon-lady


We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers / subjects! If you’d like to contribute or have a suggestions, feel free to send us a note: info@bosfilipinos.com.

BOSFilipinos Event Roundup

By Trish Fontanilla

Hey y'all! One of the questions we always get asked here at BOSFilipinos is, "What events should I be going to?" Well this month, we decided to do a quick roundup of some upcoming happenings around town that you should definitely check out! If we missed something, feel free to leave a note for us in the comments and we'll add it.

Taken from the Tanam event page

Taken from the Tanam event page

Lunar New Year Kamayan
Monday, February 19, 2018
5:30PM - 7:30PM & 8PM - 10PM (2 seatings)
@ Mei Mei

Chef Ellie and the crew at Tanám are celebrating Lunar New Year by eating with their hands! We saw the menu in their newsletter and it. looks. amazing. From lechon kawali (braised and deep fried pork belly) to ginataang alimasag (coconut milk braised crab) to ube cheesecake with coconut meringue, February 19th just feels so far away! For more info: https://tanam.co/


Taken from the Craft Food Hall Project FB invite

Taken from the Craft Food Hall Project FB invite

Restaurant Pop Up: Kain Na - Time to Eat Filipino Food!
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - Thursday, February 22, 2018
Times vary @ Craft Food Hall Project

Craft Food Hall in Lowell does weekly pop-ups, and next week they'll be featuring Filipino food! We hear they'll have chicken adobo, turon (essentially a banana spring roll), pancit (Filipino-style noodles), and more. For info: https://www.facebook.com/events/963843737100752/


Picture taken from the ASPIRE event page

Picture taken from the ASPIRE event page

Hot Pot Fundraiser for ASPIRE
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
6PM - 8PM @ Hot Pot Fundraiser

ASPIRE, a non-profit dedicated to career and leadership development for Asian American girls and women in Boston, is having an all-you-can-eat fundraiser at Hot Pot Buffet in Chinatown! For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hot-pot-buffet-fundraiser-tickets-42993047362


Taken from the We, Ceremony invite

Taken from the We, Ceremony invite

Contemporary Women of Color Making History
Thursday, March 1, 2018
6PM - 7:30PM @ Cambridge Public Library

Our friends over at We, Ceremony are kicking off Women's History Month with a Cambridge Public Library collaboration. There will be a panel featuring three local women of color who are changing Boston and beyond. For more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/contemporary-women-of-color-making-history-tickets-43008878714


Taken from the BCNC event page, image by Bren Bataclan

Taken from the BCNC event page, image by Bren Bataclan

In the Kitchen: Tortang Talong
Saturday, March 3, 2018
11AM - 12:30PM @ Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Cambridge-based artist, Bren Bataclan, will be teaching a cooking class featuring one of his favorite Filipino dishes: Tortang Talong! For more info: https://bcnc.net/upcoming-events/2018/3/3/in-the-kitchen


27797907_1845880092098494_8586518878879900790_o.jpg

BOSFilipinos March Meetup
Thursday, March 22, 2018
6PM - 8PM @ TBD

Join us for our first meetup in 2018! We’re bringing together some of the awesome folks in the Boston Filipino community for a happy hour in March. No agenda, just bring yourself and your friends! RSVP on the Facebook page to receive updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1949448662037487/?active_tab=about


Dragon Lady
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - March 24, 2018
Times vary @ OBERON

From the A.R.T website: “It is the year of the Water Dragon and the eve of Grandma Maria’s 60th birthday. By the light of the karaoke machine, fueled by pork dumplings and diet Pepsi, she shares a dark secret from her Filipino gangster past with one lucky grandchild. Traversing 50 years of faulty family memories, Seattle-based performer Sara Porkalob presents this timely new musical about what it means to come to America.”

For info: https://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/dragon-lady


Image taken from The Wilbur show page. 

Image taken from The Wilbur show page. 

Jo Koy
Friday, April 27, 2018 - Saturday, April 28, 2018
Times vary @ The Wilbur

Filipino American comedian, Jo Koy, is in town in April, and you’re in for some laughs as he pulls inspiration from his family, and specifically his son. Did you see his Netflix special? I’m still crying-laughing about it. For more info: https://thewilbur.com/artist/jo_koy/


We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers! If you’d like to contribute, send us a note at info@bosfilipinos.com.
 

BOSFilipinos and Milagros Project Pop-Up Dinner Recap

by Bianca Garcia

My heart was beating fast, my hands were sweating, and I smelled like adobo. I glanced around the cozy space at Saus and saw my team whirring around: Trish was going over the floor plan and putting last minute touches on the dining tables, Leila was prepping garnishes behind the counter, Saima was heading down towards the kitchen with a determined look on her face, and Chef Roland was laser-focused on the food, carrying big pots filled with deliciousness. I grinned wide and welcomed the first guest. We were ready to rock and roll.

Clockwise from top left: Leila, Roland, Bianca, and Trish  © Bianca Garcia

Clockwise from top left: Leila, Roland, Bianca, and Trish

© Bianca Garcia

The next few hours went by in a blur. We were fortunate to have sold out both seatings for the evening, and there was a general buzz of excitement in the packed restaurant that sustained throughout the night. Once the food started coming out, we heard plenty of “oohs,” “ahhs,”  and “mmms.” The diners were happy and satisfied, and so were we. The Filipino Food Pop-Up Event by BOSFilipinos and The Milagros Project was a success! Below are a few pictures from the evening:

scallop kinilaw   © Matt Nagy

scallop kinilaw 

© Matt Nagy

ilocos empanada  © Matt Nagy

ilocos empanada

© Matt Nagy

chicken inasal steeam bun  © Matt Nagy

chicken inasal steeam bun

© Matt Nagy

pork ribs adobo  © Matt Nagy

pork ribs adobo

© Matt Nagy

leche flan  © Cathy Buena

leche flan

© Cathy Buena

Chef Roland talking to diners  © Bianca Garcia

Chef Roland talking to diners

© Bianca Garcia

happy diners  © Bianca Garcia

happy diners

© Bianca Garcia

the night's menu ( hapunan  means dinner in Filipino)   © Matt Nagy

the night's menu (hapunan means dinner in Filipino) 

© Matt Nagy

dried mangoes and bananas  © Bianca Garcia

dried mangoes and bananas

© Bianca Garcia

We are all grateful for this incredible experience. The months of preparations and meetings (filled with food, no complaints) were worth it, and we are proud of our very first eat-up. Extra special thanks to: Chef Roland of The Milagros Project for sharing his talent and letting Boston have a little taste of the Philippines via his tasting menu; Chin, Lucas, Tanya, Aimee, Renee, and the rest of the team at Saus for their help and participation; our friend Saima for rocking out with us that night; my hubby Matt for designing our menu and branding; and of course to our attendees, family, and friends for the support and encouragement.  

MARAMING SALAMAT PO! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

the team post-event  © Bianca Garcia

the team post-event

© Bianca Garcia