I didn’t know that saying yes over the phone to a teacher friend of mine from L A U S D
inviting me to come aboard FCS would jumpstart my love for my own cultural heritage
followed by many succeeding years of intense involvement in teaching and planning. Since
I stepped foot in the classroom to team teach at Carmenita Middle School , with one of its
cofounders, Lita Clamor, I was fascinated with relearning for myself some of the songs I
knew as a kid teaching them now to the eager Filipino American youth. I gained greater
appreciation for what may have been dust collecting-items stashed away as memorabilia
brought over from the Philippines, now being presented in a show- and- tell sharing.
Tagalog phrases, riddles, Filipino games, heroes were integrated in my teaching. My fervor
for the traditional values was awakened as role playing became the means to express theme.
Thus each summer, I would dabble in scriptwriting for a skit for the students to perform
on stage to an audience during the culminating event, we fondly called as Graduation
Day. Of course, emceeing this much awaited day also meant introducing dances with their
background trivia. Even Filipino food became tastier when prepared and shared by the
parents with their children actually being engaged in cooking some of their recipes with the
teacher. Most of all seeing bonds of friendship effected by the summer experience of letting
kids learn and have fun together with no pressure of earning a grade , was for me the best
deal about being a teacher in FCS. The reward at sessions’ end was a beach trip…why not?
I found myself not only teaching, doing fundraisers as going caroling, recruiting
volunteers and teachers to teach, but just wanting to do more. FCS was now in my blood ---
time to make an official logo to identify our “blood” relationship as it were, being bonded
by our Filipino heritage. I doodled and came up with the FCS logo using the colors of the
flag. Our insignia made us known to our community ; thus we had it was printed on a
tarpaulin to hang at the place we would hold our classes. Whether we were in Cerritos at
Carmenita Middle School, ABC Unified School District lobby, or Artesia at Holy Family
Parish classrooms and finally at Norwalk , St Linus School classrooms, FCS found its
More than fourteen years have passed since I said yes and I continue to say yes to the
brave and amazing young adults , some of whom, may have grown from being a part of
FCS. They are charged with the ardent desire to prove FCS’s weight in gold by continuing
its mission to preserve the Filipino cultural heritage. I have grown too in realizing that as my
being a retired teacher . Though my changing role has demanded of me to shift gears, I
continue to teach with the district schools and as a grandmother, I enrolled one of my six
grandchildren with FCS last summer and will again, this coming summer.