SKOKIE, Ill.- More than 25,000 people are expected to celebrate the 25th Annual Skokie Festival of Cultures on May 16 and 17 at Oakton Park, where they will savor exotic tastes, listen to the traditional sounds of ethnic music, and experience the dozens of cultures, languages and traditions that make up the Skokie community.
The 2015 edition of the festival will also feature the Whole Foods Market International Beer Tasting from 12-7 p.m. on Saturday and from 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. A special performance by Chicago Music Awards winner, Funkadesi, will begin on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Skokie’s unique cultural journey launches at Oakton Park in Skokie and will kick off when visitors receive their free “Passport to the World,” the official guide to all festival happenings. The passport will include a schedule of hourly ethnic performances, educational information, and a festival map, which will help attendees make their way through the 19-acre park full of attractions. The opening ceremonies will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. on the World Showcase stage.
The festival will also offer something for the younger set, with a children’s area featuring hands-on exhibits and a place for children to learn and create.
There are 37 cultures represented at the festival. The Filipino American community is invited to visit the Philippines booth which will showcase items from the Philippines and posters of its culture and history. Children can also get their programs stamped by the representatives.
The festival will begin at 11 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, ending at 7 p.m.
For more information about the festival, call the Skokie Park District, (847) 674-1500 or visit the official Skokie Festival of Cultures Web site at www.SkokieCultureFest.org.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and friends are holding a reception on May 12 in celebration of the month of May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
The community is invited to celebrate with them at the James R. Thompson Center, Concourse Level, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL from 12 pm to 1pm.
R.S.V.P. to Carmen Estacio is needed by April 28 by calling 312-793-7352 or email email@example.com.
The 2015 Philippine Independence Week Commitee (PIWC) is holding its annual Essay Writing contest on Sat., May 16 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Wright College Computer Lab, 4300 Narraganset, Chicago, IL 60634.
The essay will be written in English and consist of 500 words which will be done on the spot with the use of a computer. The topic of the essay will be given prior to the contest period. Lead questions and prompts will be given to guide the contestant.
Winning essays will be published in a Filipino community periodical.
To enter the contest, the contestant must be of Filipino heritage from at least one parent and must be a current student from grades 7-12th.
A cash prize of $50 to $250 will be awarded to the 1st through 5th place finishers. Contest winners will be awarded their prizes during the PIWC Gala night/dinner ball on June 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL. All participating essayists will receive a $20 bonus on the contest day.
To register, please email information such as student’s name, date of birth, address, telephone or cell phone, email address, parents/guardians, school and grade level/year to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708-389-7135.
The annual Gawad Kalinga (GK) Walk will be part of this year’s Philippine Independence Week Committee annual picnic on Sunday, June 7 at the Proesel Park in Lincolnwood, IL.
GK Walk committee chairperson, Leslie Tequia, said that this year’s walk will again raise awareness about the social entrepreneur haven for promising youth at "GK Enchanted Farm" in Angat, Bulacan where a library is being established with donated technical books from the GK Walk project.
"Knowledge and transfer of technology are needed to empower the youth," said Tequia who initiated the book donations last year.
Donna Reyes of the GMA Network has also indicated that its company is offering to co-sponsor this event to give deeper understanding of true independence by building a progressive national economy.
PIWC picnic committee Chair Evelyn Toledo welcomed the addition of the GK Walk event. ”PIWC is a consistent supporter of the GK work that benefits the poorest of the poor in our homeland,” said Mrs. Toledo.
The event is open to the public. Registration is necessary to have an accrate count of T-Shirts and other provisions for the participants. Interested persons please call GK Coordinator Jun de Guia at 847-848-2300 or email; email@example.com or Leslie at 224-848-9837-- for more details.
An enthusiastic Fil-Am Community awaits PNoy in Chicago
on May 6
By Mariano “Anong” Santos
CHICAGO—Philippine President Benigno C. Aquino III is making his first visit not only of his presidency-- but also personally-- to the Windy City on Wednesday, May 6.
“This will be an overnight stay—sort of a first stopover from Manila on his official visit to Ottawa,” said Ambassador Generoso Calonge, the Philippine Consul General in Chicago on April 22.
ConGen Calonge gathered leaders of the local Filipino American community on Friday, April 24, at the 16th floor Consular Offices at 122 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago to discuss the details of the President’s brief visit.
The official entourage is scheduled to arrive mid-afternoon of May 6 and a dinner meeting with the members of the local community is planned pending approval from Manila.
“We will propose a possible meeting with mainstream business leaders after he has rested from his long flight. Perhaps just before meeting the members of the community,” said ConGen Calonge.
All recent Philippine presidents had visited Chicago during their incumbency. Elaborate preparations were accorded to the visits of Presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria M. Arroyo.
Ramos attended engineering classes at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois. Then San Juan Mayor Estrada spent longer stays in the 1970s, using Chicago as a location for a movie. Erap also visited as a senator in 1990 and as a vice president in 1997.
Arroyo was also a frequent visitor, as a cabinet member of President Cory Aquino, as a senator and then as a president in 2004 and 2008. She accompanied her father, former President Diosdado Macapagal when he visited in 1979.
President Cory Aquino never visited Chicago except for a brief stopover at O’Hare Airport on her way home to Manila after her husband, Ninoy, was assassinated on August 21, 1983.
Although Ninoy was a regular guest in Chicago of the Anti-Martial Law activists during their U.S. exile from 1981-1983, Cory and her son, the incumbent president, never visited the city in those years.
Asked in an interview in 1999 on why she never visited the Windy City, she replied with a smile, “Hindi naman ninyo ako inimbitahan,” (“You never invited me.”) Cory said this during the Habitat for Humanity build up at Maragondon, Cavite where the former president joined former U.S. President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter as volunteers.
Replying to a question on why President Benigno Aquino is coming to Chicago this time, ConGen Calonge said, “Well, he knows that the community here is always supportive of his presidency, besides this city is near Toronto which is the first city in Canada that he is visiting.”
ConGen Calonge noted, “ Canada has established a firm trade relationship with the Philippines. It has a more relaxed immigration policy that welcomes Filipino workers.”
In Chicago, Filipinos who voted in the 2010 Philippine presidential elections went heavily for the Aquino ticket and again in the 2012, they voted for most of the senatorial candidates that the President endorsed.
Suffering from his lowest approval poll numbers in five years, President Aquino is perhaps going to the right place to boost his popularity ratings, if the enthusiasm of those who attended the April 24 preparatory meeting of his visit serves as an indication.