FCS 88th Anniversary Gala
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2023
For 88 years, the Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) has been a galvanizing force and a cultural touchstone for thousands of Filipino/Filipinx Americans throughout the Puget Sound region. We are building new programs in response to new needs and we are sustaining older programs to continue our valued traditions and maintain our commitments to our community members.
Check-in & Cocktail Hour | Live Auction Preview | Golden Ticket Raffle
Dinner & Program Begins
Welcome by Dr. Agnes Navarro-Garcia, FCS Executive Director & Arnaldo Inocentes, Gala Emcee
Special Appeals by Edwin Obras, FCS Board President
Keynote by Melissa Miranda, Musang Restaurant Owner / CEO
Appetizers prepared by Musang
Dinner catered by McCormick & Schmick in the Great Gallery
Dessert Dash showcase
Compositions by Cecile Azarcon, Guest Filipina Songwriter & Performer
Live Acution with Christine DeCastro, Benefit Auctioneer
Music & Dance
Expand to learn more about our background dating back to 19271927 University of Washington Filipino students conceived of purchasing a students’ clubhouse. A committee was formed; and an aggressive fundraising campaign from the Alaska canneries during the fishing season yielded a sizeable amount. 1929 To attract broader support, the name of sponsoring organization was changed from University of Washington Students Clubhouse to Seattle Filipino Community Clubhouse. 1935 The Philippine Commonwealth Government was inaugurated in Manila. To have a common celebration in Seattle, the disparate Filipino organizations agreed to form a new organization called Philippine Commonwealth Council of Seattle (PCCS), which was to hold a two-day Philippine Commonwealth Day celebration. A constitution and a set of by-laws were drafted and approved. The two-day celebration was a resounding success. A new era has arrived, Filipinos in Seattle had finally become united. The organization was incorporated. 1940 Pio de Cano sued and won a landmark case enabling Filipinos to purchase land. He contested the application of the 1921 Alien Land Law to Filipinos, which prohibited non-citizens from owning land. He won the case on the grounds that Filipinos had not been “aliens” but “nationals” at the time the law was passed. After that ruling, de Cano became the first Filipino homeowner in Seattle. 1946 The Philippines was granted independence on July 4. The name Philippine Commonwealth Council of Seattle became inappropriate. The Filipinos adopted a new name: the Filipino Community of Seattle and Vicinity. A new constitution and a set of by-laws were adopted and was re-incorporated under the laws of Washington. 1952 In anticipation of the 3rd wave of Filipino immigrants entering Seattle, the organization was renamed “Filipino Community of Seattle, Incorporated.” 1965 The Community Council (FCS Leadership Council) authorized and approved the purchase of a property (a bowling alley) at 5740 Empire Way S (now MLK Jr Way S). The property is now known as the Filipino Community Center (FCC). 1973 The mortgage for FCC has been paid in full. 1974 A mortgage burning ceremony was held. With the complete ownership of the building by FCS, a milestone has been reached by Seattle Filipinos. It is a symbol of a people’s unity. 1984 The Senior Lunch Program was established. It is funded by the City of Seattle Senior Services through the Pacific Asian Empowerment Program. Low cost, hot, delicious and nutritious lunches are served to seniors on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The lunch program continues to this day and now serves over 100 seniors. 1995 FCS launched Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) with a $38K grant from the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. The program, nurturing growth and maturity among Filipino American youth, is designed within the perspective of Filipino culture and values to provide them leadership skills, civic consciousness, and self-help for the youths to help their peers, and to provide pro-active action in their respective neighborhoods. 2000 The first FCS Miss Gay contest was staged. It was considered “daring” at the time as it was the first of its kind to be held at FCC. 2003-2008 The community saw major renovation of the Filipino Community Center and the development of responsive programs and services. The FCS Board members voted unanimously to proceed with the pre-development stage of the Filipino Community Village; working toward the development and construction of a two-phased housing, commercial and community service facility with projected cost of $20 million. 2012 FCS hired is first paid Executive Director. 2013 By unanimous vote of the Board Members, the FCS by-laws changed from general election to recruitment of board members subject to board approval. The board elects the President and Officers from among the board members. Term of the President is limited to 2 terms with 3 years/term; the other officers are limited to 3 terms with 3 years/term. The Washington State Legislature awarded $1.2 million to FCS to fund the construction of the Innovation Learning Center. 2018 FCS Board selected Beacon Development to build the Filipino Community Village. Cost of the Village was projected to be $30 million. Capital campaign for the Village entered a hectic phase. One-on-one solicitation with community member, and events, like Kamayan, were held to raise the funds. By the end of the year, approximately $3 million were raised from individuals, foundations, corporations, and state, city and county government for the Innovation Learning Center. 2019 Board Members adopted a 3-year strategic plan to guide FCS operations in 2019 – 2022. Groundbreaking for the Village was held on September 18, and construction commenced in December, 2019.
Melissa Miranda, a Filipina-American creator and founder of Musang, a Filipinx-inspired restaurant at the heart of Beacon Hill in Seattle, Washington. Musang provides a unique space to connect and learn more about Filipino cuisine, culture and community. “Musang is for us by us— community-driven and not chef-driven, a place to come sit at the table as part of something bigger than just food. We believe in cultivating an experience for our guests that will help pave the way for new and sustainable systems for our next generation”. Melissa will touch upon her experiences in building a successful business that elevates the Filipino community and the food traditions that bring us together.
Cecile Azarcon is considered one of the Philippines’ most prolific songwriters. Her numerous hit songs have been sung by a virtual “Who’s Who” in the Philippine music industry and her heartfelt ballads are now considered OPM (Original Pilipino Music) classic hits.
Arnaldo Inocentes, Founder of the Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association and Executive Producer of the Seattle Cabaret Festival. Arnaldo brings to audiences a wide and wondrous variety of shows and music from rock, blues, opera, a cappella, and more. He began as a soloist with the Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) and has performed with SMC in major concert halls in the US, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Arnaldo is the Co-Executive Director of Pride ASIA, supports Microsoft as Executive Administrator for VP Privacy Security, was past co-chair for Filipinos at Microsoft (FAM), and currently an advisory board FAM member.
Christine DeCastro, professional Benefit Auctioneer, is a vivacious go-getter committed to driving fundraising to an entirely new level for well deserving organizations. A graduate of the World Wide College of Auctioneering, a member of the National Auctioneers Association and a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (less than 1% of Auctioneers throughout North America maintain this specialized designation and training in benefit auctions), Christine loves to have fun and ensures that donors do too! She holds a Political Science degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has nearly 20 years of sales and marketing experience. She is an avid volunteer who is passionate and ready to WOW your donors! Christine believes every benefit auction should leave you with a happy heart knowing that, together, you did your part to elevate your favorite organization to its highest potential.
2023 Gala Committee
Chair: Agnes Vining
Members: Francis Franco, Jennifer Cruz, Agnes Navarro, Edwin Obras, Armilito Pangilinan, Jan Edrozo, Kirsten Garcia, Emma Catague, Germelyn Pasia, and Bennyroyce Royon
Thank you to our 2023 sponsors!
James & Alma Kern
Friends of FCS
Group Health Foundation
AJ Pangilinan LLC
Thank you Providence Swedish for your partnership and commitment to FCS programs and initiatives.