Gateway to L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown officially unveiled | Inquirer
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gateway to L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown officially unveiled

/ 09:53 AM May 09, 2022

The unveiling was a celebration organized by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the representative for the neighborhood. Joining him and hundreds of area residents, business owners, community leaders, celebrities, and dignitaries were California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Councilmember Gil Cedillo. FACEBOOK

The unveiling was a celebration organized by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the representative for the neighborhood. Joining him and hundreds of area residents, business owners, community leaders, celebrities, and dignitaries were California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Councilmember Gil Cedillo. FACEBOOK

LOS ANGELES  –California public officials and hundreds of area residents unveiled the much-anticipated Historic Filipinotown Eastern Gateway.

The unveiling was a celebration organized by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the representative for the neighborhood. Joining him and hundreds of area residents, business owners, community leaders, celebrities, and dignitaries were California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

 “At long last — the day has arrived, the gateway is here, and the amazing community of Historic Filipinotown can celebrate being the rightful home of the newest cultural landmark in our city,” said O’Farrell.

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 “This has taken a village, and it has been a labor of love,” he said of the project which took 20 years in the making. “Most importantly, this process has been guided by the people of Historic Filipinotown.”

 “The story of our Filipino community is an important one — from the first Filipinos landing in the continental United States at Morro Bay over 400 years ago, to the manongs and manangs who led the farmworkers’ movement, to the changemakers of today fighting for racial, economic, environmental, and social justice,” said Attorney General Bonta, the first Filipino American statewide officer in California.

“We’re a part of the fabric of this nation and the Historic Filipinotown Eastern Gateway — the Talang Gabay: Our Guiding Star — is an important, visible reminder of that reality,” said Bonta who also thanked Councilmember O’Farrell.

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Officially called “Talang Gabay – Our Guiding Star,” the new gateway is 30 feet high and spans a width of 82 feet across Beverly Boulevard at its intersection with Belmont Avenue.

The project was given priority by the City’s Department of Public Works, led by Commissioner Emeritus Jessica Caloza, with management and oversight provided by the Bureau of Engineering.

Designed by renowned Filipino artist Eliseo Art Silva, the monument is the largest of its kind in the United States. Design elements include: the Parol; the Gumamela flower (hibiscus), which pays tribute to frontline workers; and the Sarimanok — all symbols with deep roots in Filipino culture. The gateway also illuminates at night.

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“This magnificent new gateway will welcome everyone to Historic Filipinotown,” said Eliseo Art Silva. “The gateway not only signals that Filipino Americans have finally arrived; it also symbolizes the valor of the front liners in our city.”

Today’s community celebration featured the talents of many Filipino dignitaries and media personalities including: City of Los Angeles Building and Safety Commissioner Jocelyn Geaga-Rosenthal; Manny Streetz, known for his popular radio program Manny on the Streets; Jannelle So-Perkins, host and producer of Kababayan Today; actress and Grammy-winning singer Tia Carrere; and actress, singer, and model Jeserey Sanchez.

The programming also included Filipino music and dance performances curated by FilAm ARTS, a local non-profit arts organization dedicated to the advancement of Filipino and Filipino-American arts and culture.

“FilAM ARTS is so proud to serve this community, and to have curated an amazing array of artists for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration,” said Giselle Tongi, executive director of FilAM Arts. lipino-American identity.”

 The gateway is the culmination of two decades of visioning, planning, and organization by the Historic Filipinotown community, beginning with a community study of potential improvements commissioned in March 2003 by then-Councilmember Eric Garcetti.

When O’Farrell took office in 2013, he worked with the Filipino American community to continue many improvements, including: the restoration of the “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana (A Glorious History, A Golden Legacy)” mural at Unidad Park, HiFi Highlights, and beautification of the HiFi Western Gateway. Once O’Farrell led the Council in securing funding.

Over the years, the project has involved many community leaders and community-based organizations, including longtime legacy non-profits in Historic Filipinotown such as the Pilipino Workers Center, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, and Filipino American Service Group Inc.

“I’m overjoyed that this day has finally arrived when we can celebrate – together – the nation’s largest monument to Filipino-Americans right here in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown,” said Cecilia Ramos, a longtime community leader in Historic Filipinotown.

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