Smithsonian APA "Day in the Life"
This Saturday, 10 May 2014, I participated in the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's "Day in the Life Asian Pacific America."

Thanks to the Chinese Historical Society Museum and to Eddie Wong for inviting me into the project. I had a wonderful time presenting a photography workshop with Lenore Chinn and Bob Hsiang--it was such an honor to be with highly talented photographers and artists!

And most of all, thanks to the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center for creating this project and inviting photographers from all over the United States and the world to document in photographs the lives of Asian Pacific Americans.

It was also wonderful to attend the workshop for the Smithsonian Institute at the Association for Asian American Studies and to meet the directors of the Smithsonian APA Center and Smithsonian Latino Center.

The focus of my photography was the Bahala Na Martial Arts, a group to which I have belonged for over 12 years.

Sgt. Leo Giron, a decorated World War II combat veteran, commando (reconnaissance) and member of the 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiment (U.S. Army), was the founding grandmaster of the Giron Arnis Escrima Bahala Na Martial Arts organization. “Bahala Na” (literally, “Come what may”) was the motto of the Filipino Infantry Regiments of the United States Army in World War II, which were made up of Filipinos in America who volunteered for this segregated unit.

The Daguhoy Lodge is a historic lodge of the Legionarios del Trabajo Fraternity in the Little Manila district, which is the home of earliest community of Filipinos Americans in the United States. At one time, Little Manila was home to the largest Filipino American community.

Today, however, the area around the Daguhoy Lodge has suffered social and economic hard times, triggered in part by an “urban development” project of the City of Stockton in the 1960s and 1970s to build a cross-town freeway, which in turn led to the destruction of a large part of Little Manila. Still, Filipinos maintain a foot-hold in Little Manila, and today the Bahala Na Martial arts organization still hold weekly practice at the Daguhoy Lodge, which is now nearly 100 years old.

Special thanks to Steven Montalvo, my partner in photography, who also participated and helped me with editing and selecting the photographs. And most of all to Master Joel Juanitas and Master Kirk Mccune and to all the members Bahala Na School of Giron Escrima Arnis for their support in this project. And thanks to Alyssa 'Ali' Alcantara for inviting me to her graduation ceremony.

Muchisimas gracias!
Maraming maraming salamat!

Peace/metta,

James

Stockton and Sacramento, California
Photos for the Smithsonian APA “Day in the Life”
© James Sobredo 2014
5 photos · 366 views