Friday

Chula Vista to UCLA and back

This is attempt no. 2. My previous post was saved and then I erased it because I was quite informal on it and was being overly nostalgic.

My name is Ivan, PTSP alumni 2006 fall (History/English). I was formely a PTSP Bayanihan peer advisor (High School Specialist, 6 months), but a vacancy opened up for the Assistant Director. I officially took the position in November 2005, but before all that during the summer and the fall I think I was already unofficially filling that position.

In my first year at UCLA I went out to a few Samahang meetings and participated as a script writer for PCN, it was a learning experience. However, I didn't really feel in the right place. Aside from cultural performance, I wanted to get more involved with the Pilipino community on campus. Luckily I knew Theresa (through PCN) and JP (my SPEAR counselor). They coerced me into doing PTSP, jk.

I felt that working with transfer students was something I can do, because I remember how difficult it was for me to transfer. So I stepped up and became a peer advisor, then an Assistant Director. It wasn't easy handling internal direction for an outreach project, nor was it easy to relate the needs of the project to Executive Board. It was challenge to be apart of leadership, but it was an experience I am completely grateful for. So thanks goes out to JP and Theresa, for pulling me outta the weeds into student/community organizing.

Of course I cannot speak favorably about PTSP without mentioning the bonds that I have built from my time with the org. Of course it also did help that I lived on Kelton Ave in close (and I mean close) proximity to other PTSPers.

Being a few years out of UCLA, I now understand the opportunity that I had in front of me while I was there. I am currently a community organizer here in the San Diego area, mainly working out of Mira Mesa area (aka 'Manila Mesa'). Without putting down San Diego, I tip my hat off to Los Angeles for what they have. San Diego is in catch-up mode with respect to community organizing in the Pilipino community. We got a different flavor down here (as we should). Each city is different. I am happy that I can I apply what I learned here in my own community.

Currently I am apart of three organizations:

FAVE (Filipino/a Americans for Veterans Equity) - In FAVE we organize youth around the demand for recognition and benefits for Filipno Veterans and their families.

Anakbayan - Anakbayan is a youth organization oriented around social justice issues of Filipinos across the diaspora. Our concerns lie mainly with the National Democratic movement in the Philippines.

KAMP (Kuya Ate Mentorship Program) - KAMP is a collective of Filipino/a youth teaching Philippine History and Culture to High School students (most in Filipino language class), with the intent of establishing Filipino Studies as an elective.

The interesting thing is that my gateway into KAMP and the rest of the orgs I am apart of came from my connections with PTSP alumni. So I currently organize in the San Diego area with PTSP alumni Ana Bravo and Eugene Gambol.

Furthermore, KAMP intially takes it's cues from PEP (Pinoy Educational Partnerships) in SF State. PEP is ran by Professor Allyson Cubales. If I am not mistaken, she is one of PTSPs founding mothers. So imagine my surprise when I join up and I am doing the unity clap again and talking about doing "Sala Talks". Moreover, we base our methodology on Frierean Critical Pedagogy. In short, these connections matter.

If anybody has any questions about my orgs, please feel free to ask me.

In Solidarity,

Ivan

2 comments:

Brian J. Delas Armas said...

Wow, I just realized that you are the first guy to rep SD...so we got Central Coast covered by Dom, a bunch of people in LA, and Pens repping the dirty south.

LOL, WTF I took a sneak peak at what you were going to publish and you shoulda published that. I was laughing my ass off, especially the part about our first meeting.

But anyhow, we should invite Ana, Eugene, and Allyson.

Wow, I didn't even think about introducing the organizations I know and previously did something with.

And also some meta-commentary on Freirian critical pedagogy: Don't bank us and lecture us mother-effer, converse with us.

Ivan said...

"And also some meta-commentary on Freirian critical pedagogy: Don't bank us and lecture us mother-effer, converse with us."

rofl!

I'm glad you like the second 'meeting' story. Our first meeting was at debut and I forgot everyone's name after that except Jasper, Ana, Dom, and Brandon.

good ole Janss steps.