San Jose, California will name a new community park “Delano Manongs” in honor of the city’s Filipino American community and their role in advocating for farmer’s rights, CBS San Francisco reports. Delano Manongs Park will be the first park in San Jose to honor Filipino Americans.
“Our Filipino population in the city of San Jose has contributed greatly not only to the city, but to the country,” Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco, representative of the district where the park will be located, said. “To be able to recognize our Filipino ancestors in such a way is a great honor.”
The location of the park was intentional. According to a council report, the zip code of the area the park will be situated (95133) has a Filipino American population of 13.6% compared to 5.5% in San Jose and 3.3% in California as a whole.
“I am proud to represent a district with a large Filipino American population but it is incumbent upon us to remember them not just in words but in factual, concrete moments like these,” Carrasco said, according to KRON4. “To name the newest park in the Eastside to Delano Manongs feels like the perfect name and the perfect time to do so.”
The name “Delano Manongs” was similarly intentional. The word “Delano” is in reference to the 1965 Delano Grape Strike, during which over 1000 Filipino farmworkers part of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee protested poor pay and working conditions.
The word Manongs is a term of respect from Illocano, a language spoken in the northern Philippines. It translates to “older brother” and was used to describe the wave of Filipino immigrants to the U.S. in the 1920s and 30s, according to the council report.
The name was chosen through three surveys conducted over several months with over 300 voters. In December 2020, the final survey resulted in 72% of the votes cast in favor of “Delano Manongs.”
Many members of the Filipino American community celebrated the naming initiative.
“The recognition of the Filipino farm workers and especially those who stood for equality, justice, and human rights in Delano of 1965 is overdue,” Ben Menor of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, said to KRON4.
Some recognized that while community support was a step in the right direction, there was still much to be done.
“We know that simply naming a park won’t immediately solve the racial tension in the world, but we also know the symbolic gesture is a strong step in celebrating Fil-Am history,” Alexandria “Alex” Chu of L.E.A.D Filipino said to KRON4.
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