DAVIS, CA — Students and community members packed the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre at the University of California, Davis for the latest edition of TFCU Talks.
The theme for this event was “Embracing Identity.”
Transgender Pinay and folk dance artist, Sydney Loyola, was first to speak.
Loyola said the only way to embrace her art and identity was to live her truth and she hopes that despite the taboos surrounding sexuality — the Filipino community can be more supportive.
“What is very important is for us to be courageous. We have to come out because there’s always strength in numbers. If we know we have a community that will always support and always be with us we know are very strong then we know we are on the right path.”
Rudy Corpuz — who is founder of San Francisco’s youth anti-violence program United Playaz — followed.
Corpuz, who has lived through crime and gang violence, said that the only way true way to combat hate is through love.
“That doesn’t mean love is a soft word though. It doesn’t mean you stand there and get slapped around and beat up. You got to stand up for what you believe in. You dig what I’m saying?” Corpus asked participants. “The love I’m talking about is that unconditional love, that agape love that God talked about. And so that’s what we need more love is this world and us, Filipinos, got it. Believe that!”
Personal development and career coach Mike Sagun also took the stage.
Sagun has a career in helping underserved communities in Northern California make safer and healthier choices in life. He said that this generation has a tendency to rely on social media for the wrong reasons.
“I think there’s this romanticized idea of what it means to be famous or what it means to have a lot of money. The reality is that is just reaching out for something that is unauthentic. And I think what we need to get clear about is who we are first.”
Finally, comedian Christine Gambito, also known by her youtube screen name “Happy-slip” closed out the event.
Having a career thanks to social media, Gambito echoed Sagun’s concerns about the younger generation’s infatuation with becoming social media celebrities.
“What I get concerned about is what if young people only focus on, I just need that fame or fortunate or whatever it takes to get those views, and what concerns me about that is I just think everyone has a unique gift or talent and yes use the tools but don’t sort of in a way sell out just to get fame.”