Two weeks later and I’m finally catching up with the book events and the Larry Itliong Day and Filipino American History Month celebrations in Southern California. On Saturday, October 24th, I had an informational table on my novel at Carson City’s Larry Itliong Day celebration at the Carson Community Center. I later participated in an authors’ day reading of poetry and prose at the San Pedro Branch Library in San Pedro. The last event of the day was the Filipino American History Month celebration at Philippine Expressions Bookshop at the Croatian Cultural Center in San Pedro. I was reunited with fellow presenter Marissa Aroy, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker of the documentary, The Delano Manongs: The Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers Movement. We’ve been at a number of the same events, beginning with Bold Step: the 50th Anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike in Delano back in early September. Finally, Sunday, October 25th, which is Larry Itliong’s birthday, was the City of Los Angeles’ Larry Itliong Day celebration. Hosted by Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, whose 13th district includes the historic Filipinotown; the Los Angeles chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS); and SIPA (Searching to Involve Pilipino Americans), whose community center was home to the event.
I was able to visit with my old high school friend Mark Bruce-Casares and his partner, David, who live in Long Beach. I was the guest of Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier, Filipino American author and co-editor of Filipinotown: Voices from Los Angeles, a wonderful anthology that she and Gerald Gubatan and Gregory Villanueva lovingly put together. Reuniting with Mark and David, and connecting with new friends Carlene and Greg are the unexpected gifts of this trip, indeed, of publishing my novel. For that, I am deeply grateful.
Here are some photos of the events. You can read the detailed narrative of my October 24-25 weekend in a blog post from The Dress at 50 here. I’m almost caught up with my book events!