It must have been serendipitous that I met Lita Clamor at Holy Family Church 

in Artesia, one of the pioneers and founders of Filipino Cultural School that 

one year. She asked me if I could help her find classrooms so that FCS could 

continue to exist and be operative. At that time FCS was like a bunch of 

nomads moving from Cerritos Regional Park to Shadow Park, wherever there 

would be an available space as venue.  Coupled with wanting to help as a 

friend, I also had my own personal interest—having grandchildren whom I 

wanted to enroll that summer in FCS. And whom did I providentially meet in 

one of those community events but ABC Unified School District Board 

Member: Armin Reyes, a proactive Filipino! He had the clout to help get 

Carmenita Middle School as the FCS site. It was there that I first assisted Ms 

Clamor who was a certified teacher from LAUSD with preparing for her 

lessons for FCS primary level. I not only enjoyed dipping my hands, so to 

speak, in learning how to help educate Fil-American children but also to have 

fun : singing Filipino songs, reciting short rhymes and verses, dancing folk 

dances, show and tell.  I helped parent volunteers who took turns in manning 

the table outside for snacks and refreshment for the students during the 

breaks.  It was at this time that I met Malu Garcia, a committed teacher 

volunteer who was teaching the intermediate level. She became my partner in 

continuing FCS  when Lita Clamor decided a couple of years later to step aside 

and let us hold the baton. Though it was not easy for Malu and myself, we had 

the strong support of the community especially Armin Reyes, wife Lilibelle;Mrs 

Esther Pulido, and others. When we could not afford the increased rates of 

Carmenita Middle School, the lobby at the ABC district office became our 

venue.. To supplement our finances,  we went caroling in December and it was 

also a way for the youth to experience being in homes with traditional Filipino 

families, like making mano to the lolo’s and lola’s  and experiencing the value 

of  Filipino hospitality – eating and socializing. It was most fun for those who 

participated and for us who chaperoned the carolers.

FCS grew on me and so I helped coordinate the succeeding venues 

with Malu’s assistance. We had continued sponsorship from community 

organizations like Philsela, Sunnyside Optimist Club of Cerritos and other civic 

conscious leaders like Mark Pulido, Joe Vicente  as well as personal donations

that helped us in our expenses.  It was also time for making sure that we were 

recognized as a non profit organization so I facilitated that for FCS. Our 

enrollment fees for FCS students were never high for as long as we got greater 

participation in the surrounding communities. Our former students have grown 

with us too, becoming FCS instructors,  and now, are the new FCS leaders as 

we take on different roles. We have reaped what we have sowed.