Category Archives: San Francisco/Bay Area Events


Thursday, October 11, 2012
Contact: Melissa Josue, KAYA National Communications Director


GOTV campaign featuring prominent Filipino American celebrities premiers during Filipino American History Month.

San Francisco, CA – With the start of Filipino American History Month, political grassroots organization KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress (KAYA) debuted a get-out-the-vote public service announcement (PSA) featuring several prominent Filipino American celebrities to help encourage voter registration and awareness in the Filipino American community.

“ We need to make sure that our rapid population growth translates into increased electoral participation. Voter registration and voter turnout is the only way to ensure that the right leaders who make decisions about our livelihood, safety,and the future of our community get elected into office.” said KAYA National Co-Chair Genevieve Jopanda.

The video features actors Dante Basco and Michael Copon and singers Jasmine Villegas and AJ Rafael in a thirty-second spot that touches on their ties to the Philippines and the diverse reasons they vote, ranging from immigration reform to special education advocacy.

Short but powerful, the first-of-its-kind PSA hopes to reach and connect with Filipino American voters during Filipino American History Month, a time of pride and celebration for the Filipino American community, through a mix of art and activism.

“I think it’s important for us as Filipino Americans to vote because we have a low voter registration rate. We can have a lot of influence and need to voice our opinion,” said Villegas. “It’s especially important for young people to vote because unless you speak up you won’t be heard – voting is our chance to be heard.”

The Filipino American community represents a significant voting population. According to the 2010 Census, Filipinos number more than 3.4 million with the largest share being in California and fastest growth shown in Nevada. Filipinos are the second largest Asian American group after Chinese Americans.

In 2008, a National Asian American Survey (NAASurvey), showed that Filipino Americans were registered to vote at a higher rate to other Asian American groups (61% vs.54%). The NAASurvey also found that Filipino Americans were more likely to support a campaign, contribute money, and do community work.

Despite the promising numbers, however, efforts to increase Filipino American voter registration and turnout rates remain an important focus.

“The Filipino American community’s size has long been disproportionate to our political empowerment in the United States,” said Victor Zapanta, who directed and helped produce the video. “I hope that in some small way, this video helps fix that disparity by sending Filipino Americans to the voting booths this November.”

About the artists:

Danté Basco is an actor, voice actor, poet, and dancer. He is best known for playing Rufio in the 1991 live-action Peter Pan film , Hook. He is also well known for voicing Zuko in the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko’s grandson, General Iroh II, in The Legend of Korra, and Jake Long from the Disney series American Dragon: Jake Long.

Jasmine Marie Villegas, also known as Jasmine V, is an R&B/pop singer who was recently signed to Sony Music.

AJ Rafael is a musician and Internet celebrity. He is best known for his original songs such as “I Just Want You” and “We Could Happen”.

Michael Copon is an actor, model, producer, and singer. He is known for his role of Felix Taggaro in the television series One Tree Hill, playing Vin Keahi in the television series Beyond the Break, and starring in Power Rangers: Time Force.

Production Team:

Vida Benavides , Executive Producer
Victor Diaz Zapanta, Producer, Director
Jian Zapata, Associate Producer
Daphne Domingo, Production Assistant
Terrina Gogue, Production Assistant

About Filipino American History Month:
Filipino American History Month, also known as the Filipino American Heritage Month, is celebrated in the United States during the month of October. The Filipino American National Historical Society established Filipino American History Month in the year 1988. In California and Hawaii, where a large number of Filipino Americans reside, Filipino American History Month is widely celebrated. Many Filipino American organizations in these states often initiate their own independent celebrations.

For more information and to register to vote, visit


Fil Am artists join KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress in GOTV PSA campaign


KAYA has a new website at

Visit for election information and KAYA’s new website!


Celebrate Oktoberfest with Hydra Mendoza at Social Kitchen & Brewery

Come celebrate Oktoberfest with Hydra Mendoza at Social Kitchen & Brewery
Thursday, Oct. 28 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Social Kitchen & Brewery
1326 9th Avenue (cross street Irving)
San Francisco, 94122. Continue reading

Can we count on your support?

It’s less than two weeks until the November election. KAYA is mobilizing to make an impact this November and we will train and provide the tools necessary to turn out a win for our endorsed candidates.

Click here to sign-up and join our mobilization efforts for Rob Bonta and Hydra Mendoza.

By joining our mobilization efforts, you’ll be learning valuable organizing skills, participating in helpful networking opportunities, and working with a knowledgeable and supportive team while making a difference in your community.

The need right now is critical. To make this successful, it is crucial we turn out in numbers and as a team.

Can KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress count on your support?

RSVP at the link below and reserve a spot for this weekend or October 30 to help inform voters about important issues and the people running for office who are committed to our community.

Click here to sign-up and join our mobilization efforts for Rob Bonta and Hydra Mendoza.

Join Phil Ting at the Reset San Francisco Launch Event

There is still time to RSVP for the Reset San Francisco Launch Event on Saturday, September 25!
Meet current Reset SF members and community leaders who have already joined the conversation online and discuss your own ideas on improving our schools, fixing transportation and making city government more effective. Continue reading

Filipino Americans in Law and Politics: A discussion on Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Join the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of KAYA: Filipino Americans for  a general meeting and an important and engaging discussion hosted by the Pilipino American Law Society (PALS) at UC Hastings.

Click here to RSVP on Facebook.

Time: 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

It is free and the leadership committee and KAYA San Francisco Bay Area core team will be hosting a delicious potluck with food, beverages, and dessert for our meeting attendees.

Location: UC Hastings, College of Law, 198 McAllister Street, Room B, San Francisco, CA. Click here to view a map.

Filipino Americans in Law and Politics

A discussion about current issues critical to our community, Filipino American political identity, and the next steps for our community in increasing our electoral power, advocating policies that affect our community, and developing  leaders to represent us at every level of government.

  • What are the top issues in the Filipino American community in labor and workers rights, public education, and other important concerns affecting our community today?
  • What are the implications for our community and for organizations like PALS and KAYA?
  • And what can we do about it?

Join PALS, KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress, and our guest speakers in a panel and facilitated discussion about Filipino Americans in Law and Politics and our role in moving our community forward.

Confirmed guest speakers include:

Rob Bonta, Deputy City Attorney of San Francisco, Chair of the City of Alameda’s Economic Development Commission, President of the City of Alameda’s Social Service Human Relations Board, Director of the City of Alameda Hospital Board

Hydra Mendoza,  Vice President, San Francisco Board of Education

At this meeting you”ll also have the opportunity to learn more about PALS and KAYA , meet the leadership of the organizations, find out what our plans are and how you can get involved.

Click here to RSVP on Facebook.

August 4th Eviction Commemoration and Dedication of I-Hotel Mural

Join the community on Wednesday, August 4 at 5:30pm at the I-Hotel Manilatown Center, 868 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA for the dedication of the Dedication of I-Hotel Mural. The mural commemorates the history fo the International Hotel’s decades-lonf struggle for low income housing, honoring the manongs who lived, fought, and created a home together in the I-Hotel.

I-Hotel Mural Dedication PDF Flyer