Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Neil Frank R. Ferrer (second from right) is joined by Mrs. Miriam M. Ferrer (second from left), Vice Consul Adrian Audrey L. Baccay (left), and Filipino Education Center Galing Bata Bilingual Program Director Charm Consolacion (right) during the program’s 20th anniversary at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on 12 November 2021. (San Francisco PCG photo)

SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Philippine Consul General Neil Frank R. Ferrer and Mrs. Miriam M. Ferrer joined the milestone 20th anniversary celebration of the Filipino Education Center (FEC) Galing Bata Bilingual Program, an after-school education program for the Filipino and Filipino American youth, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on 12 November 2021.

Consul General Ferrer keynoted the event, where he touted the program’s efforts “to foster love for the Philippines among the Filipino youth in San Francisco, many of whom only know about Philippines from the stories and memories of their tatay and nanay, or their lolo and lola.”

“Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, FEC Galing Bata continues to serve the community… through various activities that cater to the needs of the community, especially in teaching the Filipino language, and Philippine history, culture and values to the Filipino youth,” Consul General Ferrer said.

“We very much appreciate your continued support for the community and your participation in various Consulate and community events such as the Filipino American History Month, Paskuhan, the e-Pilipino Natin Virtual Learning Camp, the summer camp with the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, and the most recent‘Move With Malong’ cultural workshop of the Department of Foreign Affairs,” Consul General Ferrer added.

The Philippine Consul General also noted that the FEC Galing Bata’s 20th year coincides with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the United States.

“The friendship between our two countries is further strengthened by people-to-people relations made more robust and resilient by organizations such as FEC Galing Bata, by fostering understanding and harmony within the larger American society regardless of race, color or creed,” Consul General Ferrer said.

Since 2001, FEC Galing Bata has been promoting bilingual and multicultural education to Filipino and Filipino American K-8 students at Bessie Carmichael Elementary and Middle Schools in San Francisco’s South of Market Area (SOMA). Supported by a dedicated team of volunteer teachers, the program follows a pedagogic thrust of quality guidance, care, and protection (gabay, lingap, and bantay).

For one night, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts resembled a school fair ground featuring student art displays, interactive exhibits, children’s games, and Filipino food. The celebration also reunited past and present volunteer educators, or ates and kuyas, who have turned FEC Galing Bata into one of the institutions of the Filipino community in San Francisco.

Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Neil Frank R. Ferrer delivers his remarks during the 20th anniversary celebration of the FEC Galing Bata Bilingual Program at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California on 12 November 2021. (San Francisco PCG photo)