NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
The Seattle City Council voted 8-0 on Sept. 5 to mention historic Filipino Town — alongside Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon — in a resolution recognizing the history of the International District (ID), in conjunction with an upzone of the neighborhood.
“This edited resolution has gone a long way in making our Filipino community whole again,” said Frank Irigon. “Once again, we feel welcomed, rather than unwelcomed and our presence denied.”
The words “historic Manilatown” were removed from a sentence in the original resolution — raising the ire of Filipinos in the ID. They expressed their outrage at a Aug. 7 council meeting and urged council members to bring back the language recognizing Filipinos’ presence and history in the ID.
Council President Bruce Harrell expressed regret and called the omission a mistake.
“A heartfelt ‘Salamat Po’ (thank you) for the Resolution 31754 amendment,” said Maria Batayola. “The sentiments are true and close to our hearts and reflective of our collective Filipino contributions in Chinatown-International District.”
“Shakespeare wrote that ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’” said Irigon. “But a Chinatown-International District, without historic Filipino Town, would not have been the same. Names are markers. Identifiers. They defined a neighborhood. And this revised resolution will once again reinstate that historic Filipino Town was part and parcel of Chinatown-International District’s neighborhood, culture, and history. Once again, Chinatown-International District will have the smell of the sweetly scented fragrance of the Philippine national flower, the Sampaguita!” ■
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