Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

04/01/2010 08:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS

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             SCR 14-FILIPINO AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH                                                                         
8:08:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN announced  that the first order of  business was SENATE                                                              
CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION   NO.  14,  Recognizing  October   2010  as                                                              
Filipino American History Month.                                                                                                
8:08:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DENNIS  EGAN,  Alaska State  Legislature,    as  sponsor,                                                              
stated  that  SCR  14 would  dedicate  October  2010  as  Filipino                                                              
American History  Month.   He said Filipinos  have a  rich history                                                              
and  culture in  Alaska.   The first  Filipino  legislator in  the                                                              
nation  -   Thelma  Buchholdt  -   served  in  the   Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature  from 1974-1982.   Senator  Dennis  Egan said  Juneau,                                                              
and many  other communities  in the state,  have been  rewarded by                                                              
"the rich heritage  and civic involvement" of  Filipino Americans.                                                              
He  said he  considers  the  loud,  rhythmic drumming  and  bright                                                              
costumes  of  the  Filipino  Community's  annual  Fourth  of  July                                                              
parade entry  a highlight.   Senator Egan encouraged  all Alaskans                                                              
to celebrate  and honor the history  of the Filipino  Community in                                                              
their communities  this October,  and encouraged the  committee to                                                              
support  SCR  14.    In  response   to  Representative  Gatto,  he                                                              
confirmed that  the proposed  concurrent resolution  would pertain                                                              
only to October 2010.                                                                                                           
8:12:27 AM                                                                                                                    
ELLERY LUMBAB,  testifying  on behalf of  the Filipino  Community,                                                              
Inc.,  in  support of  SCR  14,  told  the  committee that  he  is                                                              
originally from  Catbalogan, Samar, Philippines.   He related that                                                              
his  father fought  with American  soldiers  against the  Japanese                                                              
during World War  II.  Mr. Lumbab said his family  is comprised of                                                              
his  mother  and  father,  15  children,  their  spouses,  and  62                                                              
MR.  LUMBAB  related that  he  is  the  artistic director  of  the                                                              
Alitaptap Philippine  Folkloric Group  of the Filipino  Community,                                                              
Inc.,  in Juneau.   He  indicated  that it  is the  intent of  the                                                              
group  to  bring  cultural  awareness to  the  new  generation  of                                                              
Filipino  Americans  through  unique  and  diverse  Filipino  art,                                                              
music,  and dance.   He  emphasized the  importance of  preserving                                                              
the culture.                                                                                                                    
MR.  LUMBAB  reported  that  the   earliest  documented  proof  of                                                              
Filipino  presence  in  Alaska  is  1788,  and  since  that  time,                                                              
Filipinos  have helped  to build  Alaska's  economy, for  example,                                                              
working  in fish  canneries,  in  gold mines,  in  the retail  and                                                              
restaurant  industries,  and as  teachers,  bankers, doctors,  and                                                              
nurses.  He urged the committee to support SCR 14.                                                                              
8:15:21 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LUMBAB, in response  to Chair Lynn, said the  statue in Manila                                                              
Square,  in Juneau,  is  of  Dr. Jose  Rizal,  a hero  who  fought                                                              
against   Spaniard  oppression   on   behalf  of   those  in   the                                                              
Philippines.    In  response  to a  follow-up  question,  he  said                                                              
Manila Square has existed since [2002].                                                                                         
8:16:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LUMBAB,  in response to  Representative Gatto and  Chair Lynn,                                                              
offered the pronunciation  of "Alaskeros" - on page  1, line 9, of                                                              
SCR 14.  He  explained that the Filipino language  is Tagalog, and                                                              
60 percent of the language is derived from Spanish root words.                                                                  
8:17:19 AM                                                                                                                    
RAPHAEL   CASTANOS,  testifying   on   behalf   of  the   Filipino                                                              
Community, Inc.,  in support of  SCR 14, offered a  brief personal                                                              
history.  He  said he moved to  America in 1991.  He  related that                                                              
he  took  part   in  the  Philippine  revolution   of  1986,  when                                                              
President  Marcos was  "kicked  out."   He  said former  President                                                              
Marcos had been  his fraternity brother in university.   He said a                                                              
month ago  he read  in Filipinos Magazine  that the  U.S. Congress                                                              
approved a  joint resolution  declaring October  Filipino-American                                                              
History  Month, which  gave him  the idea to  approach the  Alaska                                                              
State Legislature  to recognize the event.   He said he  worked on                                                              
the  Manila  Square   project,  which  took  eight   months.    He                                                              
indicated that  recognition of Filipinos  does not exist  in other                                                              
parts of the United States.                                                                                                     
8:19:51 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. CASTANOS  said if SCR  14 is signed  into law, Alaska  will be                                                              
only the  second state  in the  Union to  have such a  resolution.                                                              
He  related that  U.S. Congress  expected that  more states  would                                                              
follow suit.   In response to  Chair Lynn, he said  California was                                                              
the  first state  to adopt  similar legislation.   He  said he  is                                                              
anticipating  a  resolution  by  the  City  &  Borough  of  Juneau                                                              
recognizing October as Filipino-American History month.                                                                         
8:21:30 AM                                                                                                                    
ARLENE LUMBAB,  testifying  on behalf of  the Filipino  Community,                                                              
Inc.,  in support  of SCR  14, indicated  that Mr.  Lumbab is  her                                                              
brother,   and  said   she  is   also   from  Catbalogan,   Samar,                                                              
Philippines.   She  said she  moved to  the U.S.  in 1986,  living                                                              
first in  Sacramento, California,  then moving to  Juneau, Alaska,                                                              
in 2007.   She said  Alaska "embraced" her.   Ms. Lumbab  said she                                                              
serves on the  board of directors of the Filipino  Community, Inc.                                                              
She said  SCR 14  would honor  all Filipinos  in  the state.   She                                                              
added, "We  have a special  appreciation of its  significance here                                                              
in Juneau."   She relayed  that the  Filipino Community,  Inc., is                                                              
the  oldest  organized  Filipino organization  in  Alaska,  having                                                              
been incorporated in  1956.  Many of the founding  families of the                                                              
organization still reside in Alaska.                                                                                            
MS. LUMBAB  related that it has  been said that the  Filipinos are                                                              
the second largest  ethnic group in Alaska, second  only to Alaska                                                              
Natives.   She said Filipinos are  thrilled that the  Alaska State                                                              
Legislature  is  giving  consideration  to  Filipinos,  and  would                                                              
accept  the recognition  with respect  and honor.   She urged  the                                                              
committee  to support  SCR 14.   In  response to  Chair Lynn,  she                                                              
confirmed that there  are [Filipino] organizations  in other parts                                                              
of the state.                                                                                                                   
8:24:27 AM                                                                                                                    
ED   CARRILLO,   Vice   President,   Filipino   Community,   Inc.,                                                              
testifying  in  support  of  SCR  14,  offered  a  brief  personal                                                              
history.     He  said   his  family   came  from  Kalibo,   Aklan,                                                              
Philippines.   He relayed that  his late  father came to  the U.S.                                                              
during  the  late  1920s  and  worked  as  a  sugar  cane  worker,                                                              
farmhand, mine  worker, and  custodian, and  served with  the U.S.                                                              
Army during  World War II.  Mr.  Carrillo said his father  met his                                                              
mother and  they had  six children.   His  father returned  to the                                                              
U.S.  with the  three  eldest children  and  ended  up in  Juneau.                                                              
When he  saved enough  money, he  sent for  his wife and  youngest                                                              
three children.   Mr.  Carrillo said  he was  one of the  youngest                                                              
children  and came  to Alaska  in 1975,  when he  was 13 years  of                                                              
MR. CARRILLO  said he speaks  as a Filipino  American to  say that                                                              
Filipinos would  be honored through the proposed  legislation, and                                                              
he encouraged the committee to support SCR 14.                                                                                  
8:26:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   expressed    appreciation   for   the                                                              
resolution  and said he  would like  to sign  as a cross  sponsor.                                                              
He said former  Representative Buchholdt served  with distinction.                                                              
He  said  his  best  friend's  late  father-in-law  was  from  the                                                              
Philippines and graduated from West Point.                                                                                      
CHAIR LYNN said  he thinks most of the committee  members would be                                                              
signing on as cross sponsors.                                                                                                   
8:28:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN noted  that he  has already  signed  as a                                                              
8:28:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MARIO  LIM, testifying  in  support  of SCR  14,  said  he is  the                                                              
pastor  of Word  of Life  Christian Center  in Juneau.   He  noted                                                              
that he used  to work with former Representative  Bruce Weyhrauch,                                                              
as well  as having  worked as an  environmental engineer  with the                                                              
Department  of Environmental  Conservation  (DEC).    He said  the                                                              
bill honors  Filipinos who have  worked and still are  working for                                                              
Alaska.  He relayed  that he has two grown children  who were born                                                              
in Juneau,  and he  said his  wife has  worked as  a nurse  for 37                                                              
years.  Mr.  Lim opined, "This honor  has been long overdue."   He                                                              
said Filipinos  love Alaska  with all their  hearts, which  is why                                                              
they  are   passionate  about  the   proposed  legislation.     He                                                              
encouraged  the committee  to  support  SCR 14.    In response  to                                                              
Representative P.  Wilson, he said  he adapted to  the environment                                                              
in Juneau, and loves  living in Juneau.  He related  that while he                                                              
was  working for  DEC, he  met a  Filipino  man during  a trip  to                                                              
Prudhoe Bay.                                                                                                                    
8:31:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN, after  ascertaining that  there was  no one else  who                                                              
wished to testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                     
8:31:59 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted  that  in  the  committee  packet                                                              
there is a letter  expressing support of SCR 14,  written by Jenny                                                              
Gomez Strickler, the president of Filipino Community, Inc.                                                                      
8:32:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN  related  that  a  neighbor  of  Filipino                                                              
descent  invited him  over for Christmas  Eve  one year, and  that                                                              
has become  a tradition.   He  stated, "They're  a great  group of                                                              
people -  hard working  people and  great Alaskans."   He  said he                                                              
will be pleased to cast a yes vote on the proposed legislation.                                                                 
8:33:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN  moved to report  SCR 14 out  of committee                                                              
with individual  recommendations and the accompanying  zero fiscal                                                              
note.  There  being no objection,  SCR 14 was reported  out of the                                                              
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

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