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FCS 87th Anniversary Gala

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2022 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Filipino Community Center

Moving the Community Forward
© Filipino Community of Seattle
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© Filipino Community of Seattle. Images of the mural, or any part thereof, can only be used for any purpose with explicit written permission of the Executive Director of the Filipino Community of Seattle. 

Supporting us has never been easier, and any contribution will be appreciated.

Funds raised will be used to deliver the culturally appropriate program services FCS is known for:
Senior Lunch and Food Bank, Youth Development, Social Arts and Culture, and many others. 

A Message from the FCS Board President and Executive Director

On behalf of the FCS Staff, Board of Directors, and Volunteers, we welcome you to the Filipino Community of Seattle’s 87th Anniversary Gala! We are thrilled to have you celebrate with us in person this year!


We all have endured so much over the last two and half years. The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating personally to so many and has limited our ability to be in community together. But with strength and resilience, we have come out stronger and better as a community. We have learned that the compassion and empathy towards our neighbors will inevitably help overcome the harsh challenges we are faced with. Our core values as an organization have always been grounded by Bayanihan which loosely translates to “helping our neighbors and community” and is most widely captured by illustrations of villagers helping to relocate a villager’s bamboo home with all pitching in to assist.


With the support of community partners, volunteers and government, the Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) did what we do best in a time of need and despair and that was to simply serve the community. We kept our doors open and continued to feed the most vulnerable seniors in the greater Seattle area with food delivery to their homes. We pivoted to virtual spaces to continue to engage seniors and youth during the times of isolation and fear. Last year marked a time of growth as we opened the Filipino Community Village which is home to the Innovation Learning Center serving hundreds of youths each month and 94 units of senior affordable housing which today has 100% occupancy rate!


FCS’ accomplishments continue post-COVID as we have expanded programming, hired key leadership positions, developed sustainable and equitable policies, and maintained and repaired major infrastructure in the decades old FCS facility. To ensure FCS continues to serve the community for generations to come, we are amid planning to develop up to 60 units of affordable housing for families so Seattle can continue to remain a city for all to work, live, play and thrive.

You have been part of our success and growth. Thank you for believing in our mission and for your continued support.

In solidarity,

Dr. Agnes Navarro-Garcia, Executive Director

Edwin Obras, Board President

Event Schedule

5:00 PM

Check-in & Cocktail Hour | Silent Auction | Live Auction Preview 


6:00 PM

Performance by Graceland Manila & band

6:30 PM

Program Starts | Dinner & Live Auction

9:00 PM

Dancing with Music by Retrozone

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Live Auction

Show your support by getting your bids ready to raise funds!

  • Expand to learn more about our background dating back to 1927
    1927 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.
Guest Speaker

Teresa Mosqueda

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda was elected in November 2017 and reelected in 2021 to serve the over 725,000 residents in Seattle as the citywide Councilmember in Position 8 for a four-year term. She is a mother ran as a Labor Democrat. Mosqueda's top priority on City Council is promoting healthy communities, lifting-up working families, and creating more affordable housing for all residents through the city.  Mosqueda works every day to build an economy that works for all and has dedicated her career to amplifying the voices of the most vulnerable in our communities. She chairs the Finance and Housing committee - shepherding the entire Council through budgets, was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People in 2018 for her work on critical legislation in her first year in office, followed up by the same award for being one of Seattle's Most Influencial People in 2021. Teresa was awarded the Local Progress 2019 Ady Barkan Progressive Champion Award.  She is also the first first-time candidate in the Nation to win using publicly financed campaign vouchers committed to only taking small dollar contributions and engaging new voters with Democracy Vouchers. Mosqueda is a Board Member of the National League of Cities, appointed to their National Housing Affordability Taskforce, and is on the Human Development Committee. 

Event Personnel

Arnaldo Inocentes

Arnaldo! started as a soloist with the Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) and has performed with SMC in some of the major concert halls in the US, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. In 1995, Arnaldo started a group called Cabaret Q where the “drag chanteuse” persona began. In 1999, Arnaldo! began his solo cabaret shows in Seattle’s Capitol Hill and has since performed his one-person cabaret in Portland, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Puerto Vallarta, New York and Manila. Arnaldo! has also collaborated with various directors, choreographers, and songwriters in the Seattle area. In 2005, he completed the Cabaret Summer Conference Workshop at Yale University. In 2006, Arnaldo! started the Pacific Northwest Cabaret Association and continues to organize “Seattle's March is Cabaret Month” featuring local and visiting artists. 2007 marked Arnaldo!’s New York cabaret debut and in 2008, Arnaldo! was honored with a New York Backstage Bistro Award.  2014 was Arnaldo!'s Manila debut where he received "Most Innovative Concert Artist" in Manila by Gawad Musika. In 2016, Arnaldo! was presented by The Filipino Community of Seattle with a Lifetime Achievement Award for promoting culture & the arts.

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Bennyroyce Royon

Bennyroyce Royon is a Filipino-American producer, director, choreographer, and educator working between Seattle and NYC. A graduate of The Juilliard School (BFA in Dance), he has worked at The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, several NYC-based professional dance companies, and on Broadway (Tony award-winning, "The King and I’). He has traveled all over the US, Canada, and Europe as a performer, choreographer, and adjunct professor. Royon has created original works for Atlanta Ballet, Ballet Hispánico, and The Joffrey Academy, to name a few. He received several awards, grants, and choreographic residencies.


Royon centers his artistic and creative work at the intersection of innovation, collaboration, and community building. He is the Co-Chair of the Eastside Culture Coalition, a member of SoCoCulture’s Leadership Team, an Ambassador for the Renton Chamber of Commerce, and the inaugural dance artist in residence at the Filipino Community of Seattle. Founded in NYC and now located in Seattle, his project-based dance company Bennyroyce Dance presents world-class dance experiences and provides educational and community-based programming that serve diverse audiences and communities. Visit his website at

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Graceland Manila

Known as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, as well as being one of the most influential performers/entertainers to American and world audiences, Elvis Presley’s presence and spirit continues on.  Live music provided by Graceland Manila "Tribute to The King," is an entertaining, sentimental, and high energy tribute to “The King of Rock & Roll.”   


Tony Colinares, Seattle-based singer, actor, and musician brings the legendary persona to life.  In 2016, he was voted “Seattle’s #1 Elvis” at the Seattle Elvis Invitationals.  From the upbeat Rock & Roll and Blues to the tender ballads, to the light-hearted wisecracks, you can always expect a fun-filled and lively performance that appeals to all ages, backgrounds, and musical tastes.


Retrozone Sound

Dance to inspire, not to impress. Dance as if no one is watching.

Since 1995, Retrozone Sound has been providing music to special events with the platform and support they need to flourish. Based in Everett, WA, and serving the Pacific Northwest, Retrozone Sound takes pride in breaking new acts and supporting successful careers across the musical spectrum. Its roster of music ranges from the mainstream to alternative, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. Retrozone Sound dances to rock, disco, R&B, ballroom (swing, tango, cha-cha, rumba, waltz, foxtrot, samba, mambo, Pachanga, Latin, boogie, etc.), country, line dancing, and indie hip-hop.


Retrozone Sound is owned and operated by Paul and Helen Pangilinan. Both are dancers, so they know the feeling of and what to expect when on the dance floor. Like others, they always want to move once music starts, and they keep on dancing - adhering to the mantra, "Dance as if no one is watching". Paul Pangilinan started dancing in the 60's. In those years, he joined the TV Dance O Rama and The Night Owl. Helen Pangilinan started teaching school dance in high school and is currently a Dance Instructor. Both husband and wife combine their love of music and dance which provided them success in deejaying and leading public dances. They both love watching crowds enjoy the music they play. In July 2013, they joined the cast of the Dancing with the Star on board Holland America Cruise Line where they were selected 2nd place winner.


David Espinda

Professional Auctioneer David Espinda started in the auction business at the age of 21 and has been working in Seattle auction arena for over 30 years. After many years near the auction industry, David decided to advance his skills in the craft by attending Western College of Auctioneering in 1996. That same year he joined the Stokes Auction Group family. Traveling around the country supporting charities in their efforts to raise money, David has become a favorite at private schools, arts organizations, Rotary organizations, and many more. David not only is a favorite of organizations; he is a favorite of guests as well. No matter how many events David participates in, he is always awed by the level of devotion that organizations and guests alike give to their cause. 


When he is not on the stage, David likes to speak with the guests and encourages everyone to embrace the moment. He wants to share his passion of being a part of the event by reminding guests that the time they spent is just a small part and that what everyone has worked for will continue to impact the cause long after the event is over. David lives in Bonney Lake, Washington and devotes his off time to his family; spending time in outdoor activities such as skiing, camping, and surfing. 

2022 Gala Committee

Chair: Agnes Vining
Members: Armilito Pangilinan, Edwin Obras, Tess Era, Jennifer Cruz, Delia Vita, Agnes Navarro, Emma Catague, Germelyn Pasia, Francis Franco, and Mary Beth Lochnicht.

Thank you to our 2022 sponsors!


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Group Health Foundation is working to transform the balance of power to ensure equity and racial justice in Washington and beyond.

Friends of FCS

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Last Year's Gala

Together We Rise

FCS 86th Anniversary Gala was held on October 23, 2021 and hosted by Arnaldo! and Aleksa Manila.
Featured performances by Jogiel, Juliet Cheatle, and Filipinas Performing Arts of Washington State (FPAWS).


Use the button below to read more about the event and watch the recording.

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