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Women from Holy Trinity – St. Benedict’s Church in Alhambra dress in traditional Filipino clothing for the third Asian Immersion Experience sponsored by The Gathering: A Space for Asian-American Ministries. Photo: Peter Huang

MORE THAN 70 PEOPLE attended the third Asian Immersion event presented by The Gathering: A Space for Asian American Spirituality, this time focusing on introducing the rich and diverse cultures of the Philippines. The event was held at Holy Trinity-St. Benedict’s Church, Alhambra.

Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce models a traditional Filipino skirt, a gift from Holy Trinity – St. Benedict’s Church.

Attendees also came from All Saints, Pasadena; St. Paul’s, Pomona; St. Thomas’, Hacienda Heights; St. Mark’s, Van Nuys; St. George’s, Laguna Hills; St. Athanasius’, Los Angeles; St. George’s, Hawthorne; St. Francis’, Palos Verdes; Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel; as well as special guests from the Diocese of Guam and four visiting bishops from the Philippine Independent Church, with which The Episcopal Church is in full communion. The program began with presentations on “Who are the Filipinos in our midst?” covering topics such as Filipino history, immigration to the United States, and the role of the church in Filipino community by Rev. Brent Quines, Rev. Gerry Engnan, and Bishop Cruz.

Members of Holy Trinity-St. Benedict (HTSB, as it is affectionately known), led by Senior Warden Cherrylin Longid, shared their Filipino and Igorot (mountain people) culture through delicious food, cultural dance (with audience participation), and stories.

Special focus was given in the afternoon to the Filipino-American experience through the eyes of second-generation youth and young adults. HTSB youth Kaitlin Aquino, Auleen Padua and Doris Mangangey, with Mel Soriano from All Saints, Pasadena, shared their stories of finding the significance of their Filipino identity and countering ignorance about what it means to be Filipino and American.

The afternoon concluded with a panel conversation with Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce, Soriano, Cherrylin Longid, the Rev. Peter Huang and the Rev. Brent Quines, reflecting on what attendees had learned and exploring ways to serve Filipino communities, in light of issues related to education rights, undocumented immigrants, and human trafficking.

—Reporting by Peter Huang

Peter Huang, Cherrylin Longid, Diane Jardine Bruce and Brent Quines listen as fellow panelist Mel Soriano speaks during a discussion of ministry in Filipino communities.