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Keeping traditions alive: Filipino American History Month in Unalaska

Earlier this year, Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a bill proclaiming October Filipino American History Month. It’s a month that’s been celebrated around the country for years, but this is the first time Alaska’s officially recognized it. The honorary month celebrates the Filipino American community and their significant contributions to the state and nation.

In this episode of “Island Interviews,” Bernadette Oller Namasivayam — a former member of the Filipino American Bayanihan Association of Unalaska — discusses Filipino American culture in Unalaska.

Although the Filipino American Association of Unalaska group dissolved a few years ago, Oller Namasivayam said the Ballyhoo Lion’s Club helps keep some of the group’s traditions, like cooking and fundraising for the community, alive.

This interview originally aired on KUCB on Oct. 19, 2023.

Sofia was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She’s reported around the U.S. for local public radio stations, NPR and National Native News. Sofia has a Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism from the University of Montana, a graduate certificate in Documentary Studies from the Salt Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder. In between her studies, Sofia was a ski bum in Telluride, Colorado for a few years.
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