Filipino unity as a proud race, rich in culture, is typified by the togetherness, friendly gatherings, and hard work of Delano area citizens who have built Philippine Weekend into a celebration that has become an icon within the community of Delano..
The birth of this program on July 25, 1975, marked the beginning of an annual tradition – a meeting of local Filipinos and friends of all cultures joined by people from throughout the state who come to view basketball games and examples of the Filipino culture.
In its preparation, Philippine Weekend has brought together the American-born with the Philippine-born, the mestizos with the pure, the established families with the recent arrivals, the hard working manongs in the camps with the young pinoys in town.
The participation of many Filipino basketball teams from various locations, along with the several cultural and recreational events, has brought people closer together. It is the desire of the Philippine Weekend committee to provide each year a basis for the growth and enrichment, through various displays of history, culture, sportsmanship, and good cheer, of those who attend the event.
Much Philippines history has been integrated into the various events, keeping in mind the spirit and character of Dr. Jose Rizal (1861-1896), a man whose beliefs in the Filipino cause were so strong that his death gave life to the hopes and dreams of Filipinos everywhere. He continues to be revered as a national hero and has had greater influence on our people than any other man.
Philippine Weekend serves as an avenue for elders to pass along their heritage to their offspring through cultural events and activities. Youngsters are given the opportunity to acknowledge and accept the beautiful tradition and pageantry of their people.
Felix Aroy, one of the originators of the Weekend, recalls how Fred Dulay, a member of Caballeros Dimas Alang, proposed the group help organize basketball teams for young Filipinos to unite American-born and Filipino-born and to show other nationalities “our identity and deep love we have for our culture and heritage.” The proposal was supported by a $500.00 donation. Then, said Aroy, came the basketball tournament and accompanying activities.
Realization of the tournament and other events of the Weekend came about because of persistance and hard work of a dedicated group of youths dubbed the Vanguard Task Force. That group planned, organized, and implemented all of the events and forged the community relationships to create the celebration.
The core group included – but was not limited to – Rogelio Gadiano, Alex Edillor, Herb Delute, Johnny and Eddie Cristobal, Chris Bernido, Max Bacerra, Rolando Gadiano, Arcadio Jose, and Marilou Fruta. Also participating with the Delute, Ordiz, Mina, Jose, Galan, Dahilig, Rabanal, Calip, Velasco, Reyes, Salim, San Antonio, and Madrid families was the United Filipino Organization of Delano High School.