Scenes from the Third Annual Salinas Asian Festival

I recently attended the Third Annual Salinas Asian Festival. I was mainly interested in the Salinas Chinatown Renewal Project, plans to build an Asian Cultural Center, and eventually link back Main St. Salinas with the Chinatown area that has been physically cut off from the rest of town for many years. This is a project that could be significant on many levels for the community. I met a lot of nice and caring people who are putting a lot of effort and heart into working with and helping the people of the Salinas Chinatown area.

If you are interested in volunteering, check out the Salinas Downtown Community Board (SDCB) and the CSUMB service learners’ website for the Chinatown Renewal Project.

For more photos, go to the SCCEC facebook page.

Filipino Community Center on Calle Cebu St., members doing country line dancing to “Achey Breakey Heart”! Hmm, where have I seen this before?! (inside joke).

Hero Shots, Fil Community Ctr
I have to explain this one in a little detail. When I was a teen, I went to the Filipino dances in the Salinas Filipino Community Center. What set the Filipino dances apart from any other is the fact that there would be a band that played music for the older folks, and a band for the teens, which, during my youth would play R&B, Motown, or Rock. So coming back into the Filipino Community Hall after decades to find a Filipino band playing music for the older folks first, followed by an Indie band called Hero Shot playing music for the younger set (I’m talking post-punk Pixie’s style flailing guitar) was a kick for me. The teens loved it. The older Filipinos nearby were gritting their teeth in aural pain.

Here’s a youtube of Hero Shot’s demo video… (see what I mean?)

However, some were also trying to get into it, and were actually nodding in time to the drumming. After it was over they clapped politely and sighed with relief. I love the fact that at Filipino events the different generations are so inclusive.

Jesse Tabasa, FANHS
JessTabasa, educator, tireless resource for Filipino American history, and President of FANHS (Filipino American National Historical Society of Monterey Bay) — with part of his exhibit about the history of Filipinos in the Monterey Bay Area. When I was a kid, my mom used to hang out with Jess’ mom, Rosita Tabasa.

Salinas Chinatown Community Gardens 1
Salinas Chinatown Community Gardens — part of the Chinatown Renewal Project

Salinas Chinatown Community Gardents 3
One of the Community Garden volunteers (sorry I didn’t get her name!)

Eugene & Van of Peter Maurin Co-op

Eugene and Van of the Peter Maurin Co-op, busy screen-printing tee shirts.

Mia Ferreira

Mia Ferreira in the @risK gallery standing in front of mosaics created by at-risk members of the gallery who have been commissioned to create the art by a local housing development.

@risK Workshop area
A section of the @risK gallery workshop.

Mosaic @risK
Closeup of a mosaic piece.

Ted Ponton, the “Mayor of Chinatown,” Harley aficionado, glass worker, and all-round good guy, with Bogey.

The big bell in front of the Buddhist temple and center.

More photos to come!

Categories: Communities Connecting | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Scenes from the Third Annual Salinas Asian Festival

  1. Michael K of RP CA

    Great article. My wife is a Pinay and will soon be moving to Salinas to teach. Nice to read of a continuing Philippino presence in Salinas. Thanks for posting – Michael K.

  2. Pym

    Thanks for your comment! There is definitely a Filipino presence in Salinas, although I’m sorry to say that the best Filipino food in the Monterey Bay area, formerly at the Lumpia Hut in Salinas, is no longer there (now you have to go to the Filipino/Mexican taco/lumpia truck at Pezzini’s on Nashua Rd. for lumpia. Or go to Lola’s in Marina.

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