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Staging the Art of Health Wellness a New Draw at Pistahan - CANFIT’s Nadal Featured

August 12, 2007

Staging the Art of Health Wellness a New Draw at Pistahan - CANFIT’s Nadal Featured

Staging the Art of Health Wellness a New Draw at Pistahan
by Cherie M. Querol Moreno; Featured in Asian Journal - View Full Article Here

SAN FRANCISCO — Form and function were never this mutually inclusive. For 13 years, Pistahan Parade and Festival has showcased the best of Filipino American arts and culture. This year the much-awaited annual open-to-the-public FilAm festival in San Francisco will unveil yet another feature to draw the community from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12. Call it the art of health, because staying well does take creativity and skill. Like learning about illnesses now found pervasive in the Filipino and Asian communities. Understanding that these ailments can be deterred with timely interventions, such as altering diets and lifestyles. Acknowledging that prevention is still the secret to longevity. That education is the best form of prevention.

And that each human being is a lifeline. An urgent lifeline, as in the case of Christopher Padua, who suffers from biliary atresia and needs a liver transplant, and for whom organizers are hoping for a big turnout. “We thought it a good idea to have non-profit health-related Filipino organizations address the growing numbers of obesity, diabetes, and other health-related issues within our community,” said Lloyd Nadal, who is spearheading the new component at the festival. “Pistahan would be an opportune time to celebrate
life and a chance to support our people to live longer. I truly believe that we need to work together to support all organizations that work with Filipinos. Health, especially that of our children, is a great way to unite our people.”

Nadal, by day program manager of California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program or CANFit, sent feelers to agencies he thought would want to reach out to a thousand people who typically attend the event to savor the sounds and sights of both the ancestral homeland and the new country. His hunch proved accurate. Nonprofit health care providers based in San Francisco and beyond obliged Nadal’s invitation to set up booths for physical and mental well-being: Asian American Recovery Services (AARS), API Wellness, SOMA Health Center, SOMA Childcare, OnLok Senior Health, Pilipino Senior Resource Center, Vietnamese Youth Development Center, Children’s Organ Transplant
Association (COTA) and Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) eagerly rose to the occasion. While offering resources for abuse survivors and their children,
CORA is assisting with the recruitment of respondents for the Life Calendar Project, a survey being conducted by the Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Institute
to inform policy recommendations for best practices in API cases. The availability of health and resource providers adds significant dimension to the annual summer tradition that
provides “connection with the Filipino American community, discovery of Philippine artifacts, art, crafts and dance, and celebration” of all things Philippine via a genuine town
fiesta.

The 2007 extravaganza will star General Antonio Taguba as the parade grand marshal, entrepreneur Greg and Gig Macabenta as hermano and hermana mayor, movie actor Cesar Montano in his other persona as visual artist, journalist Leslie Guevarra as emcee and a host of FilAms venting their creative spirit like Bernardo Bernardo, Danny Kalanduyan, Stephanie Reese, Bambu, Angelo Pizarro, Tita Aida, For U, Aris Garcia, Florante Aguilar, Likha Pilipino Folk Ensemble, Martin Nievera, Laurie Abucaya, Koponang Kolapo, Barangay Dance Company, Leila Ponce, Roscoe Umali, Sandamukal Bad Boys, and Chaya Miranda. Helmed by award-winning designer Al Perez, Pistahan
is a collaboration of community organizers and cultural activists including Braulio Agudelo, Christine Padilla, Cyril Sola, Edward Aquitania, Fay Olylmpia, Florence Mendoza, George Bauto, Gerard Talampas, Jun Galicha, Kai Delen-Briones, Paule Tenchavez, Pearl Parmelee, Richard Mendoza, Rita Rodriguez and Rudy Asercion.

Leave it to event founder Luz De Leon, who has stepped down as festival director but continues to make her presence felt by bringing in former acolytes who have become leaders in their own right. She doffs her hat to Nadal, Maria Luna, Daniel Toleran and their cadre of wellness advocates. She confides to being inspired by the courage and optimism of Christopher Padua’s mother Jenille. The torch is passed and burns bright. “We thank the nonprofit agencies cluster for their great participation,” said recently
appointed festival business manager Rita Rodriguez. “We’re fortunate to have dedicated Filipino staff in nonprofits, who are there every time we need them.”

Cherie M. Querol Moreno is CORA Community Outreach Coordinator. CORA’s 24-hour toll free support line: 800-300-1080

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