On Tuesday, October 30, 2012, the Filipino-American youth in Carson, Califorinia, unveiled a mural centered on the spirit of “Bayanihan”. Bayanihan refers to the Filipino community’s spirit of unity, togetherness, and effort to achieve a particular objective. The AADAP, Inc., Carson Student Movement youth, Carson HIgh School, the Office of Councilman Elito Santarina, Habi Arts, and the Carson FIlipino community, in cooperation with CHS Principal Dr. Wendy Warren and Mr. Gary King of the Carson Colt Resource Center, came together to continue the bayanihan tradition for the purpose of designing, developing, and painting a “Filipino Heritage Mural” at Carson High School.
The mural’s objective is to educate, inspire, and create awareness about the Philippines’ history and social issues for young Filipino-Americans and children of immigrants. Images of Philippines heroes such as Lapu-Lapu, Gabriela Silang, Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Melchora Aquino de Ramos drape the background. Also, the Philippine Tarsier, Pawikan (Sea Turtle), Maya Bird, and Philippine Eagle blend seamlessly into the art. Raw materials and resources such as land, sugarcane, rice, seafood, pearls, metals, and fruits show the Philippines’ rice land resources. Fil-ams and migrant youth are illustrated in the midsection of the mural to portray unity to build a brighter future for the enrichment of society. It expresses the ideals for the next generation towards a future rich in social awareness and community involvement.
“Young people go through an identity crisis. Not knowing their heritage would make them unaware of issues going on locally or in the Philippines and unaware of what to be proud of,” said CSM Chair Jazmin Aquino. The heritage mural aims to address issues directly affecting the youth. “In my experience, seeing people growing up with the absence of heritage, they don’t know where they belong. The only influence they have is gangs. They don’t live up to their potential.” says CSM recruit Manuel Vargas. CIty of Carson Councilman Elito Santarina added, “This project demonstrates the active participation of the students of the Fil-Am community who want to make a positive difference in the community. The mural speaks uniquely of the Philippine culture, history, and values championed by Dr Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, who believed that “the youth is the hope of the future.”