Tuesday, December 18, 2007

in a holiday mood...

Hosted the FANHS Sonoma County holiday party last Sunday. Since this is a new chapter organized by mostly 2nd and 3rd generation Fil Ams, there were a lot of new faces for me, the relatively recent arrival. Some interesting folks:

1. There's the humble Marce Becerra, Filipino Pomo and long time cultural activist, who says she doesn't know how she got an academy named after her. She's still alive, after all, and most naming rights are given posthumously.

2. Jeannette Anglin and her mom, Lee Tipon. Jeannette is also Filipino Pomo and is on the tribal board of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

3. Bob Issel, jazz pianist and singer. He said my piano is out of tune but I said only to his fine-tuned ear. We had a great time singing along.

4. The officers of FANHS who are on top of the Oral History Project -- Delia, Alicia, Pat, Flori, Priscilla, Noemi, Lee, and many more. Our project will be completed in Fall 08.

5. Frida Macam, from Mabalacat, Pampanga, came with a cassava cake which we auctioned off and it fetched $50 with proceeds going to FANHS.

6. Ed Taan and his wife, Doris, a pastry chef at a fancy Healdsburg restaurant, brought a gourmet version of bread-pudding, which disappeared in a flash.

Interesting tidbit:
At this potluck party, no one brought a Filipino main dish. We did have kalamay, which Jeannette said she's been trying to perfect. Frida's cassava cake was yummy. And I served my home-made achara with the ham.

After we got excited about auctioning off the cassava cake, I offered five of my hand-made/crocheted alpaca winter scarves and they went on the auction block as well and FANHS was $150 richer. If I had "made by Leny Strobel" labels, they said we could have fetched more dollars. If I had thought of it sooner, I could have bottled my achara and sold those, too. Obviously, I don't have the business-brain; otherwise, I could have thought of these much sooner.

It is said that it is hard for Pinoys to part with their money unless there's something received in exchange. Perhaps. But with this group, their generous spirit kicked in quickly. Some even apologized for not having cash with them that day. Fun. Fun. Great community spirit across generations and all kinds of differences. Feels good.

Next event: Date with Noah on Friday. We'll ride the Napa Valley Wine Train's Santa Express. Yippee!

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