To the Editor:
I am a Filipino-American, Washington resident for the last 14 years and avid reader of Northwest Asian Weekly. I was intrigued by your recent article in the latest edition (Vol. 27, No. 48) regarding the addition of Maria Arcega-Dunn to the Q13 Fox News team in Seattle.
As a Filipino American, I am very proud of her storied career and accomplishments in the field of journalism. She is an inspiration to us all.
At the same time, however, I was dismayed about her comments regarding the Filipino community in Seattle. She asserts that she does not see her people on the street, that there are no Filipino restaurants or stores, and that Filipinos have no voice.
I do agree to an extent that the Filipino American community is largely apathetic to civic involvement and lacks in political clout. However, to say that we have no voice at all is a distortion of reality.
Seattle has such a rich history of Filipino activist and organizers — people such as Carlos Bulosan, Silme Domingo, Gene Viernes, David Della, Alma Kern and Bert Caoili. Seattle has also been marked by several firsts with regards to Filipino achievements. In 1979, Dolores Sibonga became the first member of the Seattle City Council of Filipino ancestry. Uncle Bob Santos was appointed in 1994 by the Clinton administration as the regional representative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1992, Velma Veloria became the first Filipina in the continental U.S. to be elected to a state Legislature.
Washington is home to about 80,000 Filipinos. Filipinos make up the second largest Asian group in this state, behind the Chinese.
I, and I am sure many others in the Filipino community of Seattle, certainly welcome Ms. Arcega-Dunn’s desire to shed light upon our people and issues that affect us. I will be the first to agree that we would be well served to have our concerns brought to the forefront.
I would therefore like to offer an invitation to Ms. Arcega-Dunn to introduce her to the numerous movers and shakers of our community. Rather than being sad, I think she will be elated to see that our community does in fact have a voice.
— Florian Purganan, attorney at law, Hanis Irvine Prothero, PLLC, from SeaTac
Editor’s note: Mr. Purganan is referring to this story.