PH Consulate hosts ‘Women and Culture’ forum featuring Filipina culture bearers in the Bay Area

Consul General Neil Ferrer (4th from left) with the panel of speakers for the “Women and Philippine Culture: A Forum with Filipina Culture Bearers in the Bay Area,” namely (from left): Rachel Lozada of The Hinabi Project and Habiness; Charm Consolacion of FEC Galing Bata Filipino Bilingual Program; Sonia Delen of the Filipino Food Movement and the UP Alumni Association of San Francisco Cultural Immersion Summer Camp; Stephanie Herrera of Kariktan Dance Company; Keesa Ocampo of the Filipino Food Movement and House of Hara; and Dr. Lily Ann Villaraza of the City College of San Francisco Philippine Studies Department.

SAN FRANCISCO – The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco assembled a distinguished panel of Filipina cultural educators, practitioners and advocates in the San Francisco Bay Area, for a forum in celebration of National Women’s Month in the Philippines and Women’s History Month in America.

The “Women and Philippine Culture: A Forum with Filipina Culture Bearers in the Bay Area” was held on March 22, 2024 at the Sentro Rizal, the consulate’s main hub for Philippine arts and culture.

Moderated by Vice Consul and Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point Officer Adrian Baccay, the forum turned a spotlight on the invaluable role of Filipino women as bearers of Philippine culture in the United States. The event is a continuation of the Women’s Month forum series of the Consulate, including the “Women in Tech” online forum in 2021, the “Women in Health” online forum in 2022, and the “Women in Government” forum in 2023.

Consul General Neil Ferrer keynoted the forum highlighting the important role of Filipino women in propagating Philippine culture in the Bay Area and beyond.

Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Neil Ferrer delivers his welcome remarks at the “Women and Philippine Culture: A Forum with Filipina Culture Bearers in the Bay Area,” held on March 22, 2024 at Sentro Rizal, Philippine Center in San Francisco.San Francisco PCG photos

“In more ways than one, they serve as the Philippines’ ‘cultural ambassadors’ who promote a deeper appreciation of the Filipino people within the context of America’s multiracial and multiethnic society. But our women culture bearers also carry another important role, which is the introduction of Philippine culture as well as the Filipino mindset, values and way of life to younger generations of Filipino Americans who were born in the United States and have no living memory of the Philippines,” Consul General Ferrer said.

“We recognize the multifaceted contributions of our amazing and pathbreaking Filipino women culture bearers in the Bay Area… It is through their stories and experiences that we hope we can learn how women can be at the forefront of championing Philippine heritage, indigenous knowledge systems, social practices, and creative industries,” added Consul General Ferrer.

The panel for the “Women and Philippine Culture” included Charm Consolacion, program director of the FEC Galing Bata Filipino Bilingual Program; Sonia Delen, president of the Filipino Food Movement, and co-founder of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of San Francisco Cultural Immersion Summer Camp; Stephanie Herrera, dance director of Kariktan Dance Company; Rachel Lozada, board member of The Hinabi Project, and owner of Habiness; Keesa Ocampo, vice president of the Filipino Food Movement, and owner of House of Hara; and Dr. Lily Ann Villaraza, chair of the Philippine Studies Department of the City College of San Francisco.

During the forum, the panel shared their families’ migration stories and experience in the United States, their motivation in pursuing Philippine cultural promotion and advocacy, and their insights on how women can further advance visibility and representation for the Filipino American Community through arts and culture.

Deputy Consul General Raquel Solano closed the forum by stating that women best fit the role of being bearers of Philippine culture, underscoring how this role could advance women empowerment and gender equality.

Deputy Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Raquel Solano gives her closing remarks at the forum held in Sentro Rizal in the Philippine Consulate General.

“As culture bearers, let us make sure that we pass on to future generations what is good and just, what is true and right, what is kind, nurturing, and uplifting. Only then shall we be able to address the vulnerabilities and risks that women face. Only then shall gender equality be achieved. Indeed, the problems that affect women globally, including domestic violence, rape and assault, sex and labor trafficking, forced slavery, lack of education and financial independence, women’s lack of power and resources, and many others, are in a way rooted in selfishness and greed, in a mindset and value system that is abusive and exploitative, evil and corrupt,” said Deputy ConGen Solano.

“Our task as women, therefore, and as a society in general, is to foster a culture of peace, equality, respect, justice and understanding. Let us make it our responsibility to establish an environment where everyone is valued and appreciated, where everyone can participate and contribute, where everyone has a voice, and everyone listens. This is our challenge,” she further said.

The “Women and Philippine Culture” forum may be viewed in its entirety on the Consulate’s official Facebook page:

(PCGSF Release)


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