CHICAGO 19 December 2019 –– In a simple ceremony at the Kalayaan Hall on 14 November 2019, the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago thanked Filipino-American partner community organizations for their significant contributions to the successful holding of Filipino-American History Month (FAHM) events and the first-ever Chicago Filipino Restaurant Week last October.
Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin lauded the Philippine American Cultural Foundation (PACF), represented by Cultural Director Ruben Salazar, for co-organizing with the Consulate the FAHM Kick-Off Ceremony on 03 October 2019.
Consul General Jamoralin also commended the International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA) – Chicago Chapter, led by President Jan Paul Ferrer, for organizing with the Consulate the first-ever Chicago Filipino Restaurant Week on 06 to 27 October 2019.
The FAHM Kick-Off Ceremony, which was attended by close to 200 participants, was graced by the keynote speaker of Filipino-American President of De Paul University Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban.
Consul General Jamoralin and Dr. Esteban also awarded three Filipina visionaries – Ms. Venus Veronica B. Leighton, Ms. Adeline A. Fajardo, and Ms. Estrella R. Alamar – for their significant contributions to history and for paving the way for the Filipino American community in the Midwest.
Consul General Jamoralin expressed appreciation to the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) for organizing a film showing of the award-winning Philippine movie “SIGNAL ROCK”, directed by Filipino director Chito Roño and with the presence of lead actor Christian Bable, right after the kick-off ceremony.
The Chicago Filipino Restaurant Week (FRW) was capped by a block party at Mora Asian Kitchen in Bolingbrook, Illinois. The block party was well-attended by diners of participating restaurants, who were awarded by ISFFA and the Consulate raffle prizes courtesy of the restaurants and partner enterprises. Participants danced the afternoon away to the live upbeat music of Filipino-American band SamaSama Project, which also flawlessly performed OPM songs. World Martial Arts Academy USA also delighted the crowd with an electrifying arnis demonstration.
A total of 22 participating restaurants offered prix-fixe menus and other Filipino cuisines to their diners during the FRW, which is a cultural diplomacy initiative of Consul General Jamoralin. FRW originated in New York and has expanded to other cities such as Washington and Honolulu, through the initiative of Philippine Foreign Service Posts in those jurisdictions.
The following were participating restaurants: Mora Asian Kitchen (Oak Park and Bolingbrook), Mora Asian Fusion (Plainsfield), Yelo (Geneva), Kusina de Manila (Des Plaines), Pinoy Grill (Arlington Heights), Chicken Ati-Atihan (Niles), Lola Tining’s (Oak Park), Bacolod Chicken Haus (Lincoln Ave), Uncle Mike’s Place (W Grand), Unimart One Stop Shopping (Woodbridge), Meat on the Street, (Milwaukee, WI), and Jennivee’s Bakery (N Sheffield Ave). Partner restaurants were the following: Bayan Ko (W Montrose Ave), Sunda (W Illinois St), Isla Pilipina (W Lawrence Ave), Grand Café (Bloomington), Finley Dunne’s Tavern (N Lincoln Ave), Mesa Manila (Naperville), and Kawayan (N Milwaukee Ave).
Consul General Jamoralin thanked FRW partner companies – Mama Sita’s, Tanduay Rhum, GMA Pinoy TV, Adelfia LLC, Madrid Crost Law Group, Crowe, Morgan Stanley, and Megaworld International. The Consulate also thanked partner organizations – Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), Gawad Kalinga USA, Philippine American Cultural Foundation – Midwest, Philippine Medical Association in Chicago, and SamaSama Project.
Consul General Jamoralin also thanked PACF and other community partners, including the Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Asian Pop-Up Cinema, Filipino American National Historical Society, National Federation of Filipino American Associations Midwest, ISFFA, Joy Dance Club, BIBBAK, AFIRE, CIRCA/Pintig, Fil-Am Group of Mundelein, Filipino American Association of South Du Page, and Santacruzan Group, for organizing other events throughout October.
These included the film showing of Miss Granny and Call Her Ganda, participation in the Southeast Asian Film Festival through three short films such as Jodilerks Defa Cruz, Employee of the Month, Baguio Address No. 10, and We Still Have to Close Our Eyes, book launch of Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong, carbo-loading and meet-and-greet with Chicago Marathon Filipino runners, cheering of said runners during the marathon, Santacruzan at Columbus Day parade, indigenous dance celebration, parol making, and Mass celebration.