Bahay Kubo Center is a registered section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the San Fernando Valley, founded in 2005 with the vision of enriching multicultural communities through Philippine culture & arts.
Bahay Kubo Center for Philippine Culture and Arts is a modern-day cultural center, brought to fruition by the labors of a family of volunteers and the commitment and dedication of its co-founders, all graduates of the University of the Philippines. From its humble beginnings in the backyard of its co-founder’s home, Bahay Kubo Center (BKC) has evolved to a center that imparts the Filipino experience every Saturday, located at a school in Granada Hills. Many volunteers have joined and shared their commitment to building something great, and leaving a legacy that will be carried on through generations of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans.
The Original Co-Founders are alumni of the University of the Philippines:
Marie Anne Bernardo Diamond
Maria Angeli Llamzon
Bahay Kubo Center has two sessions of the Learn Filipino Program and Filipino Martial Arts, and workshops for Learn Kusina and the Summer Art Workshop. All of these programs are currently on winter break. But we invite children, teens and adults for our upcoming Spring session, to join in some of the activities and workshops we offer.
The LEARN FILIPINO program teaches conversational Filipino, history, culture and arts, while the KUSINA program teaches Filipino cuisine and features hands-on cooking of Filipino dishes. The FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS program is an introduction to the unique martial arts of the Philippines that has become known to be a martial arts system that focuses on simple and practical self defense techniques as well as health and fitness. Together with California State University Northridge’s Filipino-American Student Association, also known as CSUN FASA, we teach children the art of folk dance from different regions of the Philippines. They will then showcase what they learn at Bahay Kubo Center’s annual fundraiser and cultural shows.
Since Bahay Kubo Center’s founding in 2005, a yearly major fundraising event entitled, “Bisperas: Traditions of Christmas”, is held in the San Fernando Valley, that showcases the Philippine culture through artistic performances and cultural presentations. The Philippine culture is heavily influenced by religious ceremonies and rituals, and Bahay Kubo Center holds true to this tradition by holding this major event during the holiday season. Bisperas is Bahay Kubo Center’s way of sharing our Filipino culture, not just to the Filipino-American community, but to all citizens from all communities.
In 2006 and 2007, our Bisperas show featured a Philippine lantern display, Filipiniana arts exhibition, and a procession of models featuring traditional Filipino attire. In addition, there were singing and dancing performances by both well-known Filipino performers and BKC’s very own students.
In June of 2008, in celebration of Philippine Independence month, BKC presented “Harana: Songs from the Motherland at iba pa” as a fund-raising event to present this unique all-men’s choir to the community. The concert featured ten pop songs in English and the rest were the traditional Filipino songs, the kundiman. The event was well-received by the community, and further established Bahay Kubo Center’s goal of promoting pride and appreciation of the Philippine culture, arts and language.
In August of 2009, Bahay Kubo Center produced a much-awaited show, proudly presenting for the first time, a tribute to a Filipino Maestro, Composer and Arranger, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab. This was a milestone because this was the first time ever that a Filipino composer was given tribute at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, California.
In 2010, we returned to our traditional Bisperas annual fundraising show where we featured a Filipino Martial Arts performance by our Bahay Kubo kids. They also performed cultural dances with CSUN FASA–the Vinta and Katsudoratan, two dances combined to tell the story of the arrival of a prince and princess on a vinta boat.
In addition to these major events, BKC is continuously participating in community events, such as the partnership with Census 2010; Donation efforts for Typhoon Ondoy relief; Mending Kids International and PAL Foundation medical missions, where our Bahay Kubo members actively volunteer to host children with medical needs; Larong Pinoy, a partnership with the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Couples for Christ and FilAm Arts where children from BKC and participating parishes joined in integrated arts and traditional “Larong Pilipino” games.
The goal of Bahay Kubo Center is to develop and maintain programs that promote and enhance the pride and appreciation of the Philippine culture, as well as promote the knowledge and use of the Philippine language. Initially, Bahay Kubo Center attracted mostly families with children who had grown up in America without having the experience and knowledge of their parents’ and/or their grandparents’ culture and upbringing. As Bahay Kubo Center continued to become known to the community, others came with their own needs to either reconnect or identify what was unique about having a Filipino influence. Individuals with their own Filipino roots or connections, such as having a Filipino spouse, in-laws and friends, came seeking to discover what the Filipino experience was about. Bahay Kubo Center’s presence was much-needed to bring together Filipinos who needed to impart knowledge of their culture to others and to those Filipino-Americans who longed to participate and immerse themselves again in the Filipino ways. Through its programs, Bahay Kubo Center supports the well-known Filipino custom of “bayanihan” which is a sense of community and helping others who are in need. On a weekly basis, Bahay Kubo Center offers families an opportunity to share their common heritage with each other, with their children and with their friends. The Bahay Kubo Center community is basically Filipinos, Filipino-Americans, and other members of the community coming together and welcoming others, learning and enjoying the Filipino culture, very much reminiscent of the Filipino tradition of weekend family get-togethers. We would like to think that the indelible mark we leave would be our legacy, our ability to impart to our younger generation, the interest and the desire to continue to learn, promote and live the Filipino culture, arts and language in their own lives, on a daily basis.