Long-awaited SF Filipino Cultural Center opens
SAN FRANCISCO — A friendly looking “bulol” in the foyer of the San Francisco Filipino Cultural Center welcomed visitors to its soft opening Monday, August 20. There was quite an outpouring of support and enthusiasm among the attendees.
Finally, after a decade and a half of false starts, the Center finally found a home at 814 Mission Street just a stone’s throw away from the busy Moscone Conference Center, the Powell Cable Car turntable, and financial district. Not to mention that it’s a few blocks away from Union Square and the Philippine Consulate on Sutter Street. Public transportation abounds.
Richard Kempis, DDS, president and early advocate of the project, proudly showed the many opportunities available at the center. Aside from the museum, research and reference library, and a gift shop (Galleria Filipiniana), conference rooms as well as the main event hall, and an all-important kitchen (a must for any Filipino gathering) will be available for rent.
Most especially, the center an easily accessible venue for hosting events. The center sees itself becoming the “heart and hub” of the community, its primary aim being to house and showcase Philippine culture, history, and the arts.
At the helm of the Center are Kempis, board president, Oscar Penaranda, VP, Lynn Bryant, secretary, Bong Gutierrez, treasurer. Board Members are Lorna Dietz, Victoria Fabella, Paule Tenchavez, Jonathan Victor Baldoza, Erlinda Borromeo, Richard Gervaise, Isabelle Bully-Omictin. They come from varied backgrounds and contribute a wealth of experience, knowledge, and love of culture to make this center thrive.
To jumpstart the evening’s festivities, the Kalipayan Dance Company and the Kids Groove with Princess Ryan entertained the guests with their precision dance steps, colorful costumes, and choreography accompanied by native gongs and cymbals, strings, and drums. Kalipayan in the Visayan dialect means happy. Let happiness and joy raise this center to great heights.