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New York's Filipino-Americans: 'Our Time Is Now'

In this video, 14 Filipino-Americans discuss the moment that changed their lives in story-slam style.

It isn’t often that a DJ, restaurateur, journalist, and composer appear on the same stage — especially to participate in a story slam. But on Friday, members from these four worlds, and many others, will gather at Asia Society for "A ‘Golden’ Opportunity", a unique event recognizing one element that all 14 participants do have in common: their Filipino-American heritage. Each will have five minutes to convey, in as exuberant a fashion as they wish, the moments that shaped their lives.

According to Nancy Bulalacao-Leung, the principal of the Filipino-American Museum — with whom Asia Society is hosting the event — the performances will convey a warmth, openness, and family feeling unique to the Filipino-American community. “I wanted to capture this amazing cross-section of talent,” she said.

This cross-section includes Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist famous for revealing his undocumented immigrant status, the acclaimed photographer Christelle De Castro, and DJ Neil Armstrong, a turntablist who performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. “There’s just something special about promoting unity and solidarity across a very diverse range of people,” Bulalacao-Leung said.

Friday’s event comes at a time when Filipino-Americans have assumed a higher-profile place in the American cultural landscape. In October, 34 members of the community — including Armstrong and Bulalacao-Leung — were profiled in BuzzFeed.

“It’s our time now,” said Bulalacao-Leung.

Prior to the performance, which begins at 8:00 PM, guests will be able to purchase Filipino “pica pica” food at the Garden court cafe from 6:00 PM, as well tour of Asia Society’s Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms exhibition. Following the performance, guests will be treated to a reception and music from guest DJ GetLive.

For more details about the show — including a complete list of performers — please click here

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