Carlos Bulosan and family honored at University of California Irvine
IRVINE, California – Acclaimed Filipino American writer, poet and novelist Carlos Bulosan and his family’s descendants were honored Thursday, February 20 at University of California at Irvine.
The Kababayan student organization and Asian American Studies department hosted the event at the campus Cross Cultural Center in the Dr. Joe White Community space.
The highlight of the program was the attendance by Bulosan’s family descendants led by Carlos’ brother Aurelio’s daughter Aurea Gentile, 90. Aurea was accompanied by her daughters, Laveta Gentile, Karen Gentile, and Carla Tabana and their respective spouses. Aurea dramatically read a letter written to her by her uncle Carlos, before his death in Seattle in 1956.
For their family efforts to continue the memory of Carlos Bulosan, the University of California, Irvine presented a plaque inscribed, “For the Gentile Family, in appreciation for all you have done in continuing the legacy of Aurelio Bulosan and Carlos Bulosan.”
Welcomes by event planners Professor Dorothy Fujita-Rony and Kababayan officers were followed by a traditional Tinikling dance performed by Kababayan students. A PowerPoint presentation by Kababayan co-founders Jaime Geaga and this reporter traced Bulosan’s young peasant life in the Philippines to his immigrant life as a labor activist and writer in America as retold in his famous work “America is in the Heart.”
The presentation focused on one of his most famous essays, published in March 1943, and was chosen by The Saturday Evening Post to accompany its publication of the Norman Rockwell painting, “Freedom from Want,” part of a series based on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech.
A light reception finished the evening with students eager to ask the family questions about Bulosan.
For more information see link at: https://carlosbulosanpodcast.com/ .