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Filipino plate lunches helping build House of PH in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO -- Throngs of ethnic food enthusiasts were treated to Philippine dishes on Memorial Day, Sunday, May 29, and helped to support the building fund for a new House of the Philippines (HOP) in Balboa Park's International Cottages enclave.

Currently the House of the Philippines shares its residency with House of France and needs a place of its own.

The aroma of plates of pansit, chicken adobo and lumpia filled the air and mixed with scents from the other ethnic food venues nearby. The yearly tradition of Balboa Park's Ethnic Food Festival brought thousands flocking to the park on the holiday weekend.

The House of the Philippines (HOP) and eight other members have undertaken to build a new house. The new house will be located in the lawn area next to the House of Iran, across the street from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

The House of the Philippines announced last January its campaign to construct a new standalone cottage in Balboa Park and has since raised over $100,000. The campaign goal is $350,000 for construction, new displays, audio/visual equipment and an endowment for operations.

The campaign has received growing community support starting with the Filipino American Women's Club, the Fil-Am Cultural Organization, COPAO and over 50 private donors.

The new cottage is part of a major expansion of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park, which includes cottages for Colombia, India, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Palestine, Panama, Peru and Turkey.

For over 50 years since 1961, the House of the Philippines has promoted Filipino culture in Balboa Park. HOP, along with 32 other Houses representing various countries and cultures, make up the House of Pacific Relations, a unique organization that maintains the International Cottages, a section of Balboa Park dedicated to sharing cultures with the public.

With a dedicated building, HOP leaves the House of the France with whom it shares the current building. The new cottage provides an improved display area, expanded hours and increased programming to better serve visitors to Balboa Park and the Filipino community.

Remie Estepa Brown, an active HOP volunteer said: I want a nice place where my grandchildren and their cousins who were born here can learn about their home country and culture and be proud to be Filipino American.

Sam Besa, treasurer for the HOP, stated, The House of the Philippines is a showcase of Filipino culture in Balboa Park, the cultural heart of San Diego. While we are one of the larger ethnic communities, most people are unfamiliar with our culture and history. HOP serves to educate both non-Filipinos and Filipinos about the story of the Filipino people.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 4, 2016
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