Donating to help the Philippines


After being discontinued last school year due to most of its members graduating, the Diamond Bar High School Filipino Cultural Club rose from the ashes last September with the help of sophomore Ryan Garcia and senior Maia Tordillo. 

Advised by Pathways Communication Academy teacher Mario Enriquez, the Filipino Club seeks to introduce Filipino culture to anyone on campus. The club’s roster of leaders consists of co-presidents Garcia and Tordillo, vice president junior Haillie Tekawy, treasurer junior Jadyn Luk, secretary junior Dani Del Barrio, co-technology representatives junior Anika Del Castillo and sophomore Christopher Reyes and IOC representative junior Timothy Blanco. 

“The goals of our club all aim to get students from backgrounds, Filipino or not, to learn more about the culture and what it means to be Filipino,” Garcia said via Discord.

Started last year by then-senior Zion Abendano, the club was discontinued until early September of this year. 

“I wanted to bring the club back onto campus. It didn’t feel right letting the club die out, and that certainly wasn’t an option for me,” Garcia said.

This year, the club has hosted the balikbayan boxes; a donation of food, clothing, toys and other miscellaneous items to poor families in the Philippines. Running from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9, the club’s iteration involved a drop box for students to donate, and the club hopes to host another event next semester. This practice was popularized by Filipino Americans in the 80s and these boxes have embedded themselves in the culture of overseas Filipinos as a way of sending gifts to those back home. 

“Balikbayan translates to return to the Philippines,” Garcia said. “We’re honoring our culture by giving back to families in the Philippines through this event that’s well-known among Filipinos.”

Held in room 271 every Tuesday or Thursday; the day depends on the schedules of the club’s members and members are notified via Instagram and Remind. General meetings in the club discuss traditions or events that make up Filipino culture. In addition to cultural presentations, the club participates in karaoke, a popular activity in Filipino culture. During their first general meeting, the club passed out chicharrones (fried pork rinds), ube cakes and Filipino-style cheese chips. 

“Food has always been a great way to share our cultural identity,” Garcia said. “We’re also planning to start catering actual Filipino meals instead of just snacks.”

For the spring, the club has planned the Kaba (nervous in Tagalog) Games—an event parodying the Hunger Games—in collaboration with other Filipino clubs to whom the previous leaders had reached out, including Walnut High School, Rowland High School, International Polytechnic High School and more.

“Our club strives to inform students about ongoing Filipino culture. With the activities we offer and at least 30 people having come to our first general meeting, we’ll have much to offer to anyone on campus.”