Although long overdue, I was delighted and honored to attend s special event honoring my late grandfather Carlos Bulosan, famous writer, poet, essayist, labor union leader who was honored and recognized during the City of Vallejo’s declaration of November 24, 2018 (his birth anniversary) as CARLOS BULOSAN DAY through a City Proclamation by Mayor Bob Sampayan last Tuesday, 7:00 pm, November 13, 2018 at the John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo Room, 505 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, California.
During the historic evening, the California State Legislature presented a Certificate of Recognition to Carlos S. Bulosan jointly issued and signed by Assemblyman Tim Grayson and State Senator Bill Dodd. Here’s excerpts of the Certificate of Recognition from the California State Legislature.
“We join with others in honoring the legacy of an exceptional and courageous man, Carlos S. Bulosan. Born in Mangusmana, Binalonan, Pangasinan, Philippines. Mr. Bulosan immigrated to America in 1930 where he endured racism and discrimination from unjust employers and was forced to take low-wage jobs that harmed his health. Despite these obstacles, Mr. Bulosan rose to become a leader of the Filipino-American community, helped to organize labor unions and became a prolific author, giving a voice to the plight of his people. Carlos S. Bulosan’s legacy stands as a memorial and reminder of true American values that we should all strive to live up to.”
From the U.S. Congress, Assemblyman Mike Thompson, Member of Congress, also issued and signed a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Carlos Bulosan. Here’s excerpts of the Certificate of Special Recognition from the United States Congress:
“In recognition of the late Filipino American author, activist and humanitarian – Carlos Bulosan, for his heroic activism on behalf of labor unions and for his historic novel “America is in the Heart” that told the struggle of early Filipinos who faced discrimination and economic hardship in 1930s America.”
During the historic event, Vallejo Mayor read his proclamation honoring Carlos S. Bulosan and dedicating November 24, 2018 (and every year thereafter)as CARLOS BULOSAN DAY in Vallejo in the presence of Vice Mayor Katy Miessner, Council members Pippin Dew-Costa, Jesus “Jess” Malgapo, Robert H. McConnell, Hermie R. Sunga and RozzanaVerder-Aliga. Here’s excerpts of the Proclamation:
“WHEREAS, Carlos S. Bulosanws born on November 24, 1911 in Binalonan, Pangasinan, Philippine Islands and died on September 11, 1956; and
WHEREAS, on July 22, 1930 due to economic depression in the Philippines, he left his homeland in search of a better life in America; however, upon arriving in Seattle, Washington, he discovered no jobs other than low paying service worker positions, encountering racism and discrimination; and
WHEREAS, Carlos Bulosan discovered the many inequities shown to Filipino fieldworkers such as lesser pay, fewer breaks, fewer meals, substandard housing but most of all racism, which he chronicled in one of his best-selling novels, “America is in the Heart:; and
WHEREAS, due to these injustices, Carlos Bulosan began to organize labor, becoming a staunch supporter of human rights and began writing about his journey, authoring seven published books with many unpublished writings that are used today in Asian American studies at many U.S. universities; and
WHEREAS, today, Carlos S. Bulosan is remembered as a progressive anti-colonial, pro-labor activist and humanitarian by many Asian-Pacific Islanders, organized labor, academia and wide range of social justice, ethnic and activist communities; and
WHEREAS, his works are on display at the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections where they will be preserved and that his life’s work is being honored and studied at the University of California, Davis in the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, that I, Bob Sampayan, Mayor and the Vallejo City Council, hereby recognize and honor the life and times of Carlos S. Bulosan and dedicate November 24, 2018 as CARLOS S. BULOSAN DAY in the City of Vallejo.”
After the reading of the Proclamation, Dr. Robyn M. Rodriguez, Director, Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies (BCFS) at UC Davis, shared a special tribute to Carlos Bulosan. RomualdoCerezo, President of Binalonan Association of Nortnern California (BANC) shared a brief talk and acceptance of the Proclamation.
As grandnephew of Carlos S. Bulosan, I was privileged and honored to read a portion of his poem “I Want the Wide American Earth,” which was the theme and poem for the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month celebration in 2013, when then U.S. President Barack Obama shared a fitting tribute to Carlos S. Bulosan with a Presidential Proclamation. Here’s a portion of the poem:
Before the brave, before the proud builders and workers
I say I want the wide American earth
For all the free.
I want the wide American earth for my people.
I want my beautiful land.
I want it with my rippling strength and tenderness
Of love and light and truth
For all the free.
Carlos S. Bulosan, through their Seattle-based labor union, fought not only for Filipinos but also for workers of other races including the Latinos, the Japanese, the Chinese and other ethnic minorities.
Special guests who attended the historic event include Deputy Consul General Raquel Solano and Consul Vanessa Bago-Llanto from the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, California, local and community leaders, friends and Binalonantownmates and relatives of Carlos Bulosan who are now residing in San Francisco Bay Area like Elena SampayanGabotMadlaing, the only living cousin who will celebrate her 100th Birthday in Binalonan, Pangasinan, Philippines on January 21, 2019 and her children Josie M. Lewis, Salvador GabotMadlaing, his wife Ursula Talon Madlaing and Virginia Jimenez Madlaing.
PLANNING TO GO TO THE PHILIPPINE CONSULATE? If you are thinking and planning to go to the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco for the notarization and authentication follow-up of Affidavits,Special Power of Attorney (SPA), Proof of Life and other documents needed in the Philippines, make sure to request and read first your free copy of “AVOID GOING TO THE PHILIPPINE CONSULATE AND SAVE ON DOCUMENTS NOTARIZATION AND AUTHENTICATION.” For your free copy, just send a self-addressed-stamped envelop to: MOBILE SIGNING SERVICES, 730 Madrid Street, San Francisco, CA 94112
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*ART GABOT MADLAING is a commissioned Notary Public and licensed Real Estate Broker (BRE#00635976) in California since 1981. He is accredited Notary Public by the Philippine Consul General in San Francisco. Art is the founder of FITNESS FOR HUMANITY (aka FITNESS FOR CHRIST)and ACAPINOY. He is active Evangelist with the GOLDEN GATE CHURCH OF CHRIST in San Francisco, California.