FilAm youth summit to dig deep on issues of history, identity

Filipino youth attend a January 2014 SCPASA workshop

Filipino youth attend a January 2014 SCPASA workshop

By Cecile C. Ochoa

All roads lead to the University of California in Riverside Saturday February 8 when hundreds of Filipino American college youths attend the 7th annual conference of the Southern California Pilipino American Student Alliance (SCPASA).

Billed as “Tomorrow in Retrospect,” the youth summit will once more bring groups from the western region — California through the Nevada region — to form alliances on common issues that confront their generation, such as sexual identity and generational divide.

Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, associate professor of Asian American Studies (AAS) at the Department of San Francisco State University, keynotes the conference. She is also program coordinator for the AAS Master of Arts Program. Cubales’ scholarly researches have focused on “Pinayism; Ethnic Studies pedagogy; community responsive pedagogy among others. Her research has stimulated brainstorming issues within the region that “Pinays” (Filipino women) deal with on global, local, and personal levels.

Cubales is expected to draw questions on her “Pinayism” study particularly on any possible correlation between sexism and sex-trafficking with suicide rates, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, mental health issues, media representation, lack of mentors, and pressures of conforming to standards of beauty.

Meanwhile, SCPASA Public Relations Director Jeffrey Surban said Summit 2014 hopes to encourage and inspire attendees to look toward a future “reconnecting them with history.” Surban is a junior from Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.

“It’s about taking what we learned from the past and to take initiative and action for a better tomorrow,” Surban added. He said attendees, through workshops, will tackle questions such as: “If you could change your tomorrow, if you could improve it, what would you do”?

SCPASA is home to nearly two-dozen organizations and affiliates, ranging from Filipino student groups to Filipino-based interest fraternities and sororities.

This year’s annual meet has set the following agenda for the day:

7:30 AM – Registration begins
9:00 AM – SCPASA Opens Summit 2014
9:20 AM – Keynote Address: Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales
10:15 AM – Roll Call
10:40 AM – Workshop Session I
11:40 AM – FUNcilitator Group Session
12:00 PM – Lunch
12:30 PM – Halftime Show
1:30 PM – Workshop Session II
2:30 PM – FUNcilitator Group Session
3:00 PM – Workshop Session III
4:00 PM – FUNcilitator Group Session
4:15 PM – Closing Activities
5:00 PM – Katipunan Closes Summit 2014

Khryztine Ilagan, the Programming Director of SCPASA said “Tomorrow in Retrospect” promotes themes of leadership, self-identity, activism, community outreach, among others. “Summit 2014 becomes a way for the youth in the California and Nevada region to discover not only what they would like to change, but also what they can take back with them in the real world when the conference is over,” she said.

There are more than one million children of Filipino American families in the West Coast. These youths grow up confronted by issues of their diverse heritage, cultural identity and the usual controversies met by their mainstream counterparts such as self-esteem, sexual identity, and generational identity, among others. Many of these topics will be points of discussions in the various workshops throughout the day, said Surban. These workshops plan on guiding youth in forging paths to discover their identities and redefine existing “labels.”

Surban is calling on the youth to connect with peers, collaborate ideas, and celebrate culture. For more information and registration, log on to

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