The San Francisco Public Library is proud to announce the opening of the exhibition, Singgalot (The Ties That Bind), on August 14, in the Main Library, Jewett Gallery. The exhibition, which will be on view through October 24, celebrates 100 years of the Filipino American experience with photographs, images and historical documents drawn from the National Archive, the Library of Congress and personal collections. The exhibition also honors Filipino American History Month in October, which was designated by the California State Assembly last year and commemorates the period of the year in which the first Filipinos arrived in the U.S.
Singgalot illuminates the struggles and triumphs of a significant community whose history is often ignored. Documenting Filipino workers on sugar and pineapple plantations in Hawaii, the United Farm Workers union, Filipino artists and the Filipino contribution to the U.S. armed forces, this exhibition traces the story of the population from colonial subjects to property owners and community members.
This exhibition is especially relevant to San Francisco, which has one of the largest Filipino American populations outside of the Philippines. It charts a history of Filipino presence in North America from the first transoceanic trade missions between Manila and Acapulco in the mid-16th century to the 19th century. Its images depict the first significant wave of Filipino immigrants who came as American nationals after the U.S. acquired the Philippines in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. The exhibition follows successive waves of immigrants who pursued studies as Pensionados, worked as migrant laborers as sakadas, and found jobs in industries such as canning factories on the West Coast.
Mitchell Yangson, librarian for the Filipino American Center at the Main Library, said Singgalot (The Ties That Bind) will allow for important comparisons and reflection on local and national Filipino American experiences. The Filipino American Center was begun in 1996 in response to a community need to represent an often-overlooked population. The Center collects historical and cultural objects and literature which focus on the Filipino American experience in San Francisco. This civic collection complements the precedent set by courses about Filipino American identity in educational institutions across the state—notably the Asian American Studies program begun at San Francisco State University in the 1970s. The Library anticipates Singgalot (The Ties That Bind) will provide an important educational platform for the local Filipino community and the wider population.
Singgalot (The Ties That Bind) was developed by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The national tour has been made possible by Farmers Insurance.
Related Programs and Displays:
The Smithsonian Community Grant program, funded by MetLife Foundation, is a proud sponsor of these public programs.
Opening Program: History of Filipinos in the Bay Area
Featured panelists: San Francisco State University historians Daniel Gonzales, professor of Asian American Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies, and Dawn Mabalon, professor of History in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Musical performance by NEA recipient Danongan Kalanduyan.
Saturday, Aug. 21, 1-3 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library
The Filipino American Community in San Francisco
Featured speaker: M.C. Canlas of the Bayanihan Center and the Filipino-American Development Foundation.
Thursday, Aug. 26, 6-7:30 p.m., Latino/Hispanic Community Room, Main Library
Our Stories through Words and Movement
Philippine-American performer/author Anthem Salgado will offer a series of exercises to help individuals find their unique voice in writing and performance.
Thursday, Sept. 2, 5-7 p.m., Latino/Hispanic Community Room, Main Library
Designing Lesson Plans for Filipino American History Month in October
Featured speakers: Teachers from the Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP) and PEP Director Allyson Tintiangco Cubales, professor of Asian American Studies in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.
Saturday, Sept. 4, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., Latino/Hispanic Community Room, Main Library
Roots of Filipino American Jazz in San Francisco
Featured panelists: Jazz vocalist Jo Canion, jazz bassist and symphony conductor Vince Gomez, event promoter and artist manager Fred Basconcillo, and moderator Carlos Zialcita. Also, screening of the documentary, Pinoy Jazz.
Saturday, Sept. 4, 2-4 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library
Dispatches from the Diaspora: A Night of Critical Philippine Prose and Poetry
Readings by acclaimed Philippine and Philippine-American writers
Thursday, Sept. 9, 6–7:30 p.m., Latino/Hispanic Community Room, Main Library
Songs of Our Community
Featured performers: The Little Brown Brother Band, the Filipino American Jazz Festival Organization and the Filipino American National Historical Society.
Saturday, Sept. 11, 1-4 p.m. Koret Auditorium, Main Library
Performance of the historical and contemporary experiences of Filipinos in America.
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 6-8 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library
Buffalo Soldiers and the Philippine American War
Featured panelists: Author Vangie Buell, descendant of a Buffalo Soldier and a speaker with the Filipino American National Historical Society and Abe Ignacio, co-author of Forbidden Book: The Philippine American War in Political Cartoons.
Saturday Oct. 23, 2-4 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library
On View, Sept. 4-Oct. 31, Main Library, Third Floor
Black and Brown Images
Political cartoons of African Americans and Filipinos during the Philippine American War. Presented by the Library’s African American and Filipino American centers.
Filipinos in San Francisco
The history of Filipinos in San Francisco is depicted in photographs dating back to the early 1900s. Presented by the Filipino American Center.
All programs at the Library are Free. For more information, please call (415) 557-4277.