tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC August 18, 2019 5:30am-6:01am PDT
♪ robert handa: hello and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozi tv. today we are featuring some fun entertaining events that celebrate the diversity of our bay area community. we start with a unique global event happening here in the bay area. check out this combination: the world buddhist women's convention, partnering with the yerba buena gardens festival present american bon dancing. those of you who have been to a bon festival know what kind of dancing that we're talking about. the event also celebrates the introduction of bon dancing in the us 88 years ago by reverend yoshi iwanaga and today his daughter-in-law, bay area obon dancing legend, reiko iwanaga, will join us. and then we go on to the big upcoming silicon valley pride
parade and festival, a celebration of the lgbtq+ community in the south bay. this started as a gay rights rally in the '70s. wait until you hear what you can experience there now. next, it's time to discover one of the bay area special events, if you haven't already. it's undiscovered sf, a market festival designed to showcase soma pilipinas, the soma pilipinas cultural district at folsom street between 6th and 7th street in san francisco. and we wrap up with a special reunion. the original san francisco dakila band was a hot band in the '70s playing all the big venues, including the fillmore and winterland. the band has now reformed, led by legend david bustamante and we are proud to have this band of rock, latin, jazz, pop, and funk here in our studio to play live. all of that on our show today. well, we have an interesting partnership on our first event. we're gonna talk about covering bone dancing and the world buddhist women's convention. joining us now is first our friend who has taught us a lot on our show, reiko iwanaga, the head teacher and choreographer
for the san jose obon odori. and also we're glad to have yumi hatta, the publicity chair for the world buddhist women's convention, all happening september 1 in san francisco. welcome to the show. reiko iwanaga: thank you. yumi hatta: thank you. robert: that is some synergy going on here, isn't it? reiko: most definitely. robert: how does it--first of all, give us an idea in terms of bone dancing, why that's sort of the common denominator. reiko: well, we're joining with the yerba buena gardens festival. they're presenting us and it's an event open to the entire public but it also celebrates the 88th anniversary of the obon dancing coming to the united states. robert: yeah, i know, and of course, your father-in-law was the one that brought it here. reiko: he is the one that brought it here, and we will start with his original choreography with one dance. robert: oh, very nice. tell us a little bit about the convention. i just think that that is such an interesting thing and especially for people who just culturally i think it's very much something that when they hear it they're kind of intrigued by it. yumi: well, it's the 16th world buddhist women's convention and it's presented by the federation of buddhist
women's associations here in the us, in the continental us, which is part of the buddhist churches of america. and so it's part of a network of buddhist women's associations worldwide. so we're gonna have people coming from japan and hawaii and canada and brazil and all over the continental us. so we're really excited about it. we only get to host it maybe every 20 years and it was hosted here in 1975, here in san francisco, and it's kind of interesting for it to be hosted this time around because it's the 120th anniversary of the buddhist churches of america when the first buddhist priest came to san francisco and introduced this school of buddhism. and so the convention is happening. people are gonna be gathering and this is the end of the obon season so it's kind of, you know, the--
after all the summer festivals, you can go to one more and it's open to the public and, i mean, they're all open to the public but this is a different venue and so it's kind of a huge after party for the convention people and it's open to the bay area community and anyone who has ever been to obon dancing and wants a little bit more or who want to see what that is about. and it is for everyone to participate. it's not a show. it's people jump in and reiko will be showing the steps. reiko: and we have other-- yumi: yeah, and everyone, performers too. robert: yes, i used the word "synergy" before. reiko: we have shirley miramoto who is the--teacher and pj hirabayashi who will teach us ei ja nai ka, which is everyone's favorite in san jose taiko. robert: you're right, she's from-- helped start san jose taiko. all right, it is great. looking forward to seeing it. it's gonna be a very interesting combination. reiko: and we will be dancing with our nbc fans.
robert: oh, there you go, okay. nothing like a little plug for us, right? thank you very much. tokyo olympics 2020. yumi: so everyone will be getting-- robert: that's right. it is going to be quite a sight, the american bon dancing. in joy and remembrance taking place september 1 at the yerba buena gardens in san francisco from 1 p. m. to 3 p.m., and that is at mission street between 3rd and 4th streets. for more details go to nbcbayarea.com. robert: now stay with us as we dive into silicon valley pride, south bay's big lgbtq+ celebration coming up on august 24 and 25, that's next.
robert: there is still a long way to go, of course, but the lgbtq+ community has made big strides on some big issues and social obstacles. and it really does feel like there is definitely something to celebrate. with me now are saldy suriben, the chief marketing officer for the silicon valley pride events coming up on august 24
and 25 in san jose. saldy was born in the philippines but raised in san jose. he is an event coordinator for giant creative and that skill certainly helps with silicon valley pride 'cause there's a lot happening there. welcome to the show. saldy suriben: thank you for having me. robert: now we talked about the fact that this was-- started out as just a rally in the '70s, and now look what it's become, huh? and that must take a great pride in your pride events, now, huh? saldy: yes. robert: so what is going to happen this year? saldy: so this year our date is august 24, 25, at plaza de cesar chavez park. we're gonna have headliners. one of our headliner is macy gray on sunday. another one is, if you're familiar with rupaul's drag race season 11 winner, yvie oddly, will be performing on the main stage. we also have other areas such as the high tech pavilion for all of our high tech companies.
we also have the family garden for family with their kids. we also have the hey girl area where it's for the queer women community. robert: hey girl area? saldy: yes. robert: okay. is it my imagination or is there quite a bit of a high-tech kind of element to this year's event? has that always been the case or-- saldy: so this is our second year activating high tech pavilion just to reach out to the high tech community 'cause we're in san jose and there's other lgbt people, employees, within the high tech companies. robert: is the south bay lgbtq+ community unique in its way from other similar communities because of being in the south bay or being in silicon valley? saldy: unique, i-- robert: is it influenced much by the fact that it is such a high-tech area of silicon valley or not? robert: not really? saldy: not really.
robert: okay, what would you say is gonna be the mood at this year's? we were talking a little bit about a lot to celebrate, a lot to still be concerned about. we know it's a celebration. what do you expect the mood to kind of be like? saldy: i would say it's a celebration 'cause it's silicon valley pride parade and festival. we're reo ay. we're here and queer and we're loud and proud. robert: how about for you? how important is this event for you personally? saldy: it's very important because, of course, i help plan this festival. also, being asian, asian american, you know, i'm very proud to be an asian american and being gay asian american, to celebrate this event. robert: we talked a little bit before about the asian american and pacific islander community within the community, but you feel like it's pretty blended in now, that it's a very much a easy mix, right? saldy: it's easy mix, yes, it's very blended, yeah, now. robert: yeah, how about in terms of the kind of that cultural input?
does that help a lot, though? saldy: i would say so, yes. robert: in what way? saldy: in terms of culture, like, there's a lot of families now, especially the asian community, who are very accepting of their lgbtq children. robert: yeah, and that is a big thing, right? i mean, culturally speaking, i remember doing this before and we were talking about that being one of the things that asian american and pacific islander youngsters kind of had to deal with and it's a little bit better now, huh? saldy: yes. robert: what would you like to see the event become? it's already gotten so much bigger than it was before. where would you like to see it go now? saldy: i would say ten years from now or five years from now, i am hoping we could expand it similar to san jose jazz where there's many stages, i would say more than 2; maybe, like, 12 or more stages. and more activation. robert: are you getting a lot of community involvement these days? does the pride parade and festival help in that way?
saldy: community involvement, yes, in a way that after the festival we also partner with different organizations such as the san jose public library where we do every third sundays of--every third saturdays of the month we do drag queen story time. robert: very good, okay. well, thank you very much. good luck with your event. saldy: thank you for having me. robert: okay, the silicon valley pride parade and festival will be the first saturday, august 24, from 4 p. m. to 11 p.m., then sunday, august 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at plaza de cesar chavez in san jose. for more information go to nbcbayarea.com. next up, it's time to discover undiscovered sf, a festival to boost filipino businesses in san francisco. stay with us to hear how.
they feel more people need to discover what is happening there. joining me now is the co-founder and event producer for undiscovered sf, our friend gina rosales. she is an entrepinay, very clever. she is a well-known entrepreneur now focusing her efforts on boosting businesses and awareness in that strip of filipino businesses on folsom street. welcome back. it's good to see you again. gina rosales: thank you for having us back. robert: i know, it's great. i really--i just think it's such a--i mean, it's such a unique event. i was there last year and this--the camaraderie, the feeling, and the different atmosphere's really unique. gina: yeah, my favorite comment or piece of feedback that people say about undiscovered is it feels like coming home. and that's the biggest purpose of why we throw this event, is we want all filipino americans and filipinos to feel that they have a home in soma pilipinas where they can be themselves, no matter how filipino they are, a quarter, full, whatever. don't speak tagalog, you're welcome here. robert: right, my wife's half filipino, see, so she--
but she enjoys it fully. gina: yeah. [laughing] i see what you just did. robert: yes, the lineup is always the-- that's what i always enjoy, too, is that it is a fun event. it is to help boost businesses awareness but, really, people go there and they have fun. gina: totally, and featuring amazing local talent is kind of why it's called undiscovered sf. people who have been there and also really big names that are filipino and really, just like, breaking barriers doing what they're doing. robert: right, and i mean, like, for example, we have dakila that has reformed and they're gonna be performing a little later on our show. and they're featured at your event, right? gina: totally, sunday, they'll be headlining at sunday streets where we're at on folsom street. it's a special one where we kind of partner with another big san francisco festival and then in september, october, we go back to our new venue for this year is taking over stevenson street between 6th and 7th and a giant parking lot. robert: yes, just follow the crowd, really, is all we were doing, basically, last time. gina: yeah, just smell the food and you'll find it, yeah.
robert: what is it that you wanna make sure people sort of understand about that? when we say, "boosting awareness," i mean, people kind of know that it's there but what do you want them to kind of understand about what's going on there? gina: the biggest thing we want people to know is that undiscovered is a festival celebrating filipino culture but we're really there for more than just entertainment. we're really here about building a strong base for filipino businesses to thrive and create their own businesses that will hopefully become brick and mortars so we can create a cultural district similar to chinatown or japantown. we have a lot of businesses but they're kind of spread out all over and so we really wanna condense so people can come to one street and just walk it and see filipino businesses. robert: and i don't think that people are necessarily aware of that because everybody sort of knows that there's a large filipino population in the bay area and there are places like in daly city and other places where you really see a lot of concentration. but you don't really-- the awareness hasn't been as strong for san francisco. gina: totally.
i mean, the cultural district is new. it's only the fourth year that it's been in existence so-- and there's a lot of people to educate about it. but i think we're doing a good job. i mean, last year--last month. it feels like last year. we launched for our third season and we had over $83,000 in economic activity, like, people coming and spending money at these businesses so that's what excites us. robert: yes, yes, and the pistahan and some other kind of events that go on, all helping raise awareness for the filipino aspect of it, huh? gina: totally. all the filipino festivals have their strong purposes. pistahan's really focused on heritage and they've been going for so long and, for us, we're really focused on the economic development piece. robert: how about in terms of reaching out beyond that too? i mean, you know, to me, i mean, some of my friends went to it as well. they're not filipino but they enjoyed it. it isn't, like, geared toward any one community, right? it's wide open. gina: not at all, it's for anyone. it's for all of san francisco and even beyond. we actually--we take rsvps and we see people rsvp-ing from all over the country and if they happen to be in town they wanna
come to the festival so it's really open to everyone and everyone loves filipino food. so how could you not wanna come? robert: absolutely. how about the businesses there? you know, some of them are probably long-time businesses or, you know, and they're not as familiar with, say, you know, the marketing online. they're more traditional kind of businesses. that's a tough thing to do. that's why you have to kind of have these kind of events, right? gina: and that's why the non-profit exists. so i'm the event planner. we have another partner that's the non-profit and their whole purpose is to find those businesses and help them, you know, help them with their accounting, help them with their marketing. so cultivate labs is the non-profit that focuses on helping those, like, mom and pop shops to really get them into that technology era and getting them more business so they can stay open. robert: yeah, it really is kind of works both ways, huh? it's like the people who you want to go there and then the people that you want them to help, it all has to kind of-- everybody has to kind of come up to the times a little bit, huh?
gina: exactly. it's a fun party but it's really strategic at the same time. robert: yeah, and anyway, it's always a fun event. that's what i think is a great thing and it's great for the filipino community and the awareness of the community. so thank you for coming here and talking about it. gina: yeah, thanks so much. robert: all right, people still have time. they gotta get ready now so they can get out there, right? gina: yeah, sunday, august 18, but if not, if they miss it, they can catch us september 21 is also our next one and then october, of course, we're celebrating filipino american history month. robert: very good, okay. if you're watching our show this morning on nbc bay area, then relax and then go on out to the undiscovered sf pop-up at sunday streets, starting at 11 a.m., going on 'til 4 p.m. at folsom street between 6th and 7th street. need some more details? go to nbcbayarea.com. you've watched us so now it's time to get moving. you can also catch us on facebook and twitter. we'll be back with a little bit more. dakila is coming up next so stay with us. ♪
- ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program visit right now or call during business hours. performance and we're so proud to have the group dakila with us. the man behind the second chapter of this band is singer-songwriter, david bustamante. david, great to see you again. david bustamante: thank you. robert: what's it like reforming the group? david: oh, it's wonderful. it's like rebirth, you know? bringing a band back together. touching and sharing with a new generation of listeners. robert: sounds good. who's in the group this time? david: wow, gonna start from right to left this time. stage right is our newest member, is tam sigayan on percussions. i've been looking at this guy for a long time. now he's with us. behind me is amado tuazon on drums. on bass is gabe delrosario on bass. and of course, ace on keyboard. he's also our producer. ace olfre on keyboards. robert: all right, and what's the song we're gonna hear? david: this song is entitled mag ka sama, which means "come together and come with us." robert: okay. there's no better way to end this show than to go out with dakila.
they will get it >> i don't encourage or discourage >> we are extremely blessed and fortunate. >> my speaking outlet to the partnership. >> good morning. welcome to sunday today on this august 18. i'm willie geist all is quiet in the streets of portland, oregon this morning a day after clashes there between a far right protesters and a masked group president trump writing on