San Diego’s House of the Philippines looks to expand, share culture

SAN DIEGO, CA — Welcome to Balboa Park. Among the zoo, museums, and tourist destinations is a group of bungalows known as the House of Pacific Relations’ International Cottages.

“All the culture, and all the things related to the different arts and cultures, are here in San Diego. The House of Pacific Relations has been here for over a hundred years. Some of these buildings were built for the 1915 opening of the Panama Canal,” said Rom Sarno, President of the House of the Philippines.

Among the 36 countries represented is the house of the Philippines, which shares this cottage with France.

“We have been in the current space now for over 56 years, and we have Filipino artifacts. We hold lectures, we hold lawn programs with our art and culture,” said Sarno.

But by next year, the House of the Philippines is going to be even bigger, moving a few yards down to a nearby empty lot.

“We’re going to be a stand alone house here. We have exposure to the organ pavilion and folks will walk through here, we’ll also have a courtyard here, and we can use the hall of nations for events.”

With some 200,000 Filipinos in the county representing the largest Asian group, community leaders are excited to showcase their culture.

“It just seems appropriate that we have a larger house, because we have such a large impact on this community,” said Ed Pamintuan from Cavite Association.

The House of the Philippines is continuing to fundraise for the building through houseofthephilippines.com. The groundbreaking is expected to begin in August, and its projected to be completed in August 2018.

While at about 80 percent of their $350,000 goal, they’re hoping to get even more donations for an even bigger chance to showcase Philippine culture to America’s 8th largest city.

 

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