The Filipino American Community Empowerment (F.A.C.E.) hosted a historic mayoral debate in San Diego

Give Your F.A.C.E. a Voice

By Elaine Valdez

On March 24, 2012, the Filipino American Community  Empowerment (F.A.C.E.) hosted a historic mayoral debate specifically aimed to address the Filipino community and their needs as Americans, as San Diegans and as Filipinos.  Presidents and leaders from active and prominent Fil-Am organizations throughout San Diego joined and over one hundred fifty members of the community ranging from students to seniors were in attendance.  Attendees eagerly awaited to hear what the Mayoral candidates plans were for San Diego.  Of the four attendees invited and confirmed, City Councilman Carl DeMaio was unable to attend due to a last minute conflict in schedule. 
Like most Mayoral debates, the jabs and banter were thrown back and forth 
amongst the three candidates.  The community not only received information but a little bit of amusing entertainment. 
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The event was beneficial for both the candidates and the audience because both experienced a hopeful glimmer of what the future of San Diego could be for the Filipino-American community especially when they get engaged and hold elected public officials who serve them accountable. 
Where do we go from here?
In 2012, FACE is going to use research, data and community dialogue to voice out to elected officials the needs of the Fil-Am Community.  More importantly, through a series of engaging and informative events, the young board members of F.A.C.E. hope to reach out to the thousands of American-Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in San Diego County asking them to become more engaged and involved in creating what will be the future of San Diego. 
Ultimately F.A.C.E. is going to endorse candidates and propositions that best express the needs of the community as a whole.  The fact that this organization is endorsing is very controversial but in order for our community to have a voice, we need to take a stand.  Having a voice begins with deciding which people we like to represent us, which initiatives and propositions are supportive of our long term growth of our Fil-Am / Am-Fil communities and our greater regional San Diego community as a whole. The real work truly begins when we hold those we elect to represent us 
accountable to the promises that they made before they held public office.  
In the bigger picture, endorsement is minor compared to the massive undertaking of mending fences, building bridges and uniting the Filipino American community.  
Is the community ready to put their differences aside to come together and act as One? Or will that take a miracle? I guess you can say in a sense that I am very Filipino in a lot of ways.  Ruled by my heart (seemingly at my own expense like many Filipinos), and like my parents, I want to see a better, brighter tomorrow.  One where, despite our differences, we can find common ground and begin to stand for something.  One where my family and kids one day can have a voice and know that they are a necessary and integral part of San Diego’s history, present and future.   
I am American but my heritage calls me back.  The legacy that our parents have left us making us uniquely Filipino is simple but very profound and can be found in the 3 F’s of what it means to be Filipino: Food, Family and Faith.  I hope and have faith that we can come together, celebrate our struggle and growth, and reunite as a family to make a positive change for tomorrow. 
We cannot do this alone.  We need your time, your dedication and your love for the community.  Please participate by attending and joining us to “give your face a voice”?  Every person, especially when we all come  together, makes all the difference. 
F.A.C.E. is comprised of passionate, young, dedicated leaders with diverse 
backgrounds and professions: Jay Montenegro, Julius Alejandro, Femie Cupit, Alyssa Deguzman, Lauren Garces, Antonette Paguio, Norliza Rodriguez, Marlon Saria, Art Teodisio Jr., Elaine Valdez and hopefully, YOU. 
To join F.A.C.E. or for more information, log on to