Iloilo Circle regroups after internal conflict, promising better services for Fil-Ams

SAN FRANCISCO — Holiday celebrations, pageants, and too many get-togethers to count.

These were the good times for the members of the Iloilo Circle.

In 1938, Ilonggos who migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area created the Iloilo Circle as a social club.

But there was trouble within the club in the last three years — a lawsuit was filed, when members locked out other members from the building.

The Superior Court of California ruled in that case that the election was not valid and that access to the building was granted to the other members.

The court also wanted to have the board of directors to hold an election to determine proper leadership.

“They are put in charge of this organization now to preserve it, to keep it going. And their plan is to increase membership, increase participation by folks who are younger, and to groom them to take over this organization so it can move forward and continue some sort of it in perpetuity. There really is no mechanism to sell this property.”

Some members of the club said they are pleased with the results and are turning this situation into an opportunity to regroup and improve services.

Plans are already being put together to ensure that the youth will continue to uphold the legacy of the Iloilo Circle.

“I would like to move forward and be able to work with the community and maybe have our children learn the heritage that was brought down to us so our heritage can continue,” said Lorna Binaley. “Hopefully they can learn the language and with the right connection flourish throughout the community.” 

The Iloilo Circle was originally founded in Alameda, California, and this house in San Francisco was purchased by the club sometime in the 1950s.


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  • Tiago Del Mundo
    2 December 2019 at 2:13 am - Reply

    During a Fil-Am get together in Suisun City, California, Angelo Boholst (moderate Democrat) expressed his disbelief on the Iloilo circle (also known as the “Ginapiko-Ginapala” group, known for their flashy and conceited style of living, although barely making ends meet…The original members were predominantly conservative at the onset of their migration in California, but the Ginapiko-Ginapala circle emerged as other members began expanding their social status.