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San Jose Names Park In Honor Of City's Filipino American Community

SAN JOSE (CBS SF/BCN) - The San Jose City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved naming a new park Delano Manongs as a tribute to the city's Filipino American community and farmworker justice movement.

Delano Manongs Park, on Gimelli Way near North Capitol Avenue in East San Jose, is the first San Jose Park to honor Filipino Americans.

"Our Filipino population in the city of San Jose has contributed greatly not only to the city, but to the country," said Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco, who represents the district where the park is located. "To be able to recognize our Filipino ancestors in such a way is a great honor."

The name pays homage to the 1965 Delano Grape Strike in which more than 1,000 Filipino workers in the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee protested poor working conditions and low wages. The strike would eventually get the support of Cesar Chavez, the leader of the National Farm Workers Association.

"This created an unprecedented collaboration between the Filipino American (Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) and Mexican American (National Farm Workers Association)," Director of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Jon Cicirelli wrote in a memo.

Manongs is a term of respect from the northern Philippines dialect, Ilocano, which is best translated as "older brother." It is frequently used to describe the wave of Filipino immigrants who came in the 1920s and 1930s, according to Cicirelli's memo.

Carrasco emphasized that the name for this park was ideal because it is located in a ZIP code with one of the highest populations of Filipinos in San Jose.

In ZIP code 95133, where the park is located, the Filipino community makes up 13.1 percent of the population, according to census data.

In comparison, Filipinos in San Jose make up 5.6 percent of the population.

Carrasco credited the community at-large for getting the name approved.

The name was chosen through community outreach over several months. Three surveys were taken in which more than 300 participants voted.

In the final survey, taken in December, Delano Manongs Park received 72 percent of the votes, beating out names Pala Park and Muwekma Ohlone Park -- both of which would pay tribute to the indigenous people of the area.

The public park includes a children's playground, a gathering plaza, an open sporting lawn, seating and tables and is expected to be open to the public by summer 2021.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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