Saturday, October 20, 2018

Talent show raises funds for Filipino Cultural School in So. California


Singer Megan Villamin was among the talents featured at the Filipino Cultural School fundraising show. INQUIRER/Agnes Constante

LOS ANGELES — Southern California-based non-profit Filipino Cultural School (FCS) celebrated its second annual “Sari-Sari Talent Show” April 30 to raise funds for its summer program, which teaches young Filipino Americans about their heritage.

FCS was established in 1965 and aims to educate young Filipino Americans about their roots through classes that teach them Filipino history, language, dance, music and lifestyle. The organization does this primarily through its summer program, which this year is set to run for seven weeks from June to August.


Ronalee Abbago, FCS publicity and outreach coordinator, said funds raised through the talent show are directed toward overhead costs of the summer program, including materials used during classes, location rental fees and background screenings for volunteers. This helps defray the cost of tuition for students.

“It’s really nice to see different members from the student body and volunteers who helped with the talent show to make the summer program for FCS cost less,” said Paolo Roca, president of FCS.


Last week’s talent show was held at Josephine’s Cerritos, a Filipino restaurant in Los Angeles’ South Bay region. The lineup included a variety of talents such as singing, piano, spoken word and a performance by a young ventriloquist, while attendees enjoyed lunch at the restaurant.

“It’s amazing how there’s a lot of talent in our community…. It’s a statement to the community that as Filipinos, we have talent,” Roca said. “We’re not just your nurses and doctors. It’s a testament to the identity of Filipinos here in America.”

FCS is well known for its summer school, but the organization has expanded its offerings in the community by launching year-long programs including internships for college students, a mentorship program where high school students are paired with college students or young professionals, and monthly workshops that facilitate discussions about self-awareness and field trips to Historic Filipinotown, Roca said. He added that FCS is working with schools in the cities of Artesia, Bellflower and Cerritos.

The organization has been in existence for 52 years, and on the year of its 50th anniversary, it obtained non-profit status, which Roca said has expanded FCS’ opportunities to apply for grants.

Apart from its additional offerings and second annual talent show, FCS recently rebranded to make it more modern for the next generation, Abbago said.

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TAGS: “Sari-Sari Talent Show”, Filipino Cultural School (FCS), Filipino culture in US, Filipino heritage, Filipino identity, Historic Filipinotown
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