Alameda, California opens Bohol Circle Immigrant Park
ALAMEDA, California – Local government officials and the Filipino American community gathered in this Bay Area island city Jan. 21 to officially open the Bohol Circle Immigrant Park, considered the first recreation park in the United States named after a Filipino American community organization.
Attending the inauguration were U.S. House Representative Barbara Lee (California) State Senator Nancy Skinner, Filipino American Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Benjamin Reyes II, Alameda City Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, and Filipino American Alameda City Vice Mayor Tony Daysog.
Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Neil Ferrer joined the historic opening of the waterfront park at Alameda Landing, commending the Bohol Circle Inc. (BCI) for leading the efforts in the waterfront park project and looking after the wellbeing of Filipino immigrants in the city.
The organization led the passage of a City Council Resolution in November 2022 approving the name Bohol Circle Immigrant Park.
The BCI, a mutual aid organization formed by Boholano immigrants in 1936, is recognized by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) as the oldest extant Filipino American organization in the U.S. The BCI established its main center in Alameda in 1965, after pooling money to buy land and build a physical space for Filipinos and Filipino Americans.
According to FANHS National Board Member and City College of San Francisco’s Philippine Studies Department Chair Dr. Lily Ann Villaraza, the Bohol Circle Immigrant Park in Alameda is the first park in the U.S. named after a Filipino American Community organization.
Other parks in the U.S. that named after a Filipino or Filipino American are located in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest: the Jose Rizal Park in Seattle, Washington; the Victoria Manalo Draves Park in San Francisco; and the recently opened Delano Manongs Park in San Jose.
Located at 2901 Fifth Street off Mitchell Avenue, the Bohol Circle Immigrant Park connects Alameda’s San Francisco Bay Trail to Estuary Park and will serve the residents of Alameda Landing. The waterfront park, which directly faces Jack London Square in the neighboring city of Oakland, features amenities that include a playground, picnic area, walking trails, bicycle paths, and restrooms.