It is finally here folks! So this weekend is the 15th Biennial FANHS Conference in San Diego, CA! I’m really excited to be attending the conference as its the first Pilipin@ event I’ll be going to in terms of lectures and workshops. Sure there is the annual NYC Philippine Independence Day Parade along Madison Ave. but thats really it in terms of big Pilipin@ events I have been to.  So that is why I’m really interested and excited for the FANHS Conference. c:

What is FANHS? It stands for the  Filipin@ American National Historical Society, a community based organization whose purpose is  “…to preserve, document, and present Filipin@ American history and to support scholarly research and artistic works which reflect that rich past…”. FANHS has 30 chapters throughout the U.S. and was founded in 1982 by Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova and Dr. Fred Cordova in 1982.

Since 1987, FANHS has sponsored national conferences for the Pilipin@-American community to gather, share, and present research, network with other Pilipin@-Americans, and honor those who have produced ground-breaking innovative work in the field of historical research and analysis. This year marks the 15th biennial conference in San Diego, CA, with the theme being Kapwa: Moving Forward in Unity, where it will be held at the Kona Kai Resort and Marina.


Here is a snippet from the FANHS website on this years conference.

“FANHS San Diego Chapter decided on the theme “Kappa: Moving Forward in Unity” last fall. It was in early November 2012 just prior to the Presidential Election and after Filipino American History Month in October. We thought about the importance of an action oriented theme as our nationwide Filipino American community just celebrated the 425th Anniversary of Filipinos landing in California, and as our country was about to embark upon a decision–moving forward as a nation.


Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) understands the importance of Filipino Americans moving forward in unity. “Kapwa” refers to an indigenous and decolonized term which means shared identity. The core value of kapwa encompasses 1) interaction with others on an equal basis; 2)sensitivity to and regard for others 3) respect and concern; 4) helping each other; 5) understanding each other’s limitations; and 6) rapport with and acceptance of others.


FANHS has a vision to build leaders for the future taking into account a decolonized perspective which looks at our past, our present and our future. Decolonization promotes the cultural connection to one’s kapwa (shared identity), making it possible to identify with one’s people and history, despite personal, generational, educational, social or economic differences. FANHS returns to California in 2014 where Filipinos 1st landed in what is now the continental United States.

2014 also marks the 100th anniversary of the 1st sailing through the Panama Canal which accomplished a land divided and a world united. As the 1st U.S. port of call on the Pacific Coast, north of the Panama Canal, San Diego celebrated the opening of the canal with a grand exposition. This exposition contributed to San Diego’s expansion and attracted many visitors, putting San Diego on the map for the 20th century.

The history of Filipinos coming to the port of San Diego began centuries earlier when Filipinos sailed on the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade ships. Mindful of these significant sailings and the core value of kapwa, as FANHS comes to San Diego we will examine our history, our struggles, and our shared and different identities. With our FANHS 2014 National Conference, we will move our communities forward in unity.”

Dr. Leny Strobel will be one of this years guest speakers.

Dr. Leny Strobel director of the Center of Babaylan Studies will be one of this years guest speakers.

This years conference has over 450 attendee’s all coming from various walks of life. Some of the keynote speakers at the conference will be Dr. Leny Strobel of Sonoma State University, the director of the Center of Babaylan Studies and author of Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the IndigenousBack from the Crocodile’s Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory, and Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans. Dr. Connie Mariano, the first Pilipin@-American to reach the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy and the first woman to be the director of the White House Medical Unit, known as “the doctor of the U.S. Presidents”. Assembly member of California State Assembly’s 18th district, Rob Bonta, a strong supporter of the event and retired Major General, Antonio Taguba, the second American citizen of Philippine birth to be promoted to general officer rank in the Army and best known for authoring the Taguba Report, an internal U.S. Army report on abuse of detainees held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq will also be speaking.


Ron Quesada performing at the NYC Philippine Independence Day Parade 2014.

Ron Quesada performing at the NYC Philippine Independence Day Parade 2014.

Performers at the conference include Ron Quesada of Kulintronica entertaining us with his blend of the kulintang and electronica, who I actually saw recently at the NYC Philippine Independence Day Parade this past June. Other performers include PASACAT, a Philippine performing dance company, Samahan Philippine Dance Company, the Pakaraguian Kulintabg Ensemble, Master Magician, Rodney Reyes, San Diego’s i-Len Boiz Band and hula dancer, Maxine Reyna, comedian Nic Flair, and more.



Master Magician, Rodney Reyes

For more information on FANHS and the San Diego Conference visit these links.

FANHS Website:
FANHS San Diego Chapter:
San Diego Conference FB Event Page :
FANHS Blog by Dr. Joanie Cordova:

I will be attending all days of the conference and the banquet gala, and I will blogging on here, Tumblr, Facebook, and posting on Instagram covering the event and will post videos on PinoyCultureTV on Youtube. If you are going feel free to tap me on the shoulder and say hi!

The next conference in 2016 will be hosted by the NYC chapter which I personally can’t wait for because it’s in my home city. 🙂







About The Author

Executive Editor & Founder

Ligaya is the Executive Editor & Writer at She lives in NYC with her two dogs and spends her time reading, writing, collecting and buying books online and in safe haven, Strand Bookstore, watching her guilty tv show pleasure Vikings, and overdosing herself in coffee as a certified caffeine addict. Her book, Diwatahan: A Look Into the Precolonial Beliefs, Practices, Myths, & Folklore of the Philippines, is currently in progress and is scheduled to be published in Summer of 2017.

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