VALLEJO 08 January 2019 — Carlos Bulosan, famous writer, poet, essayist, labor union leader and activist, was honored and recognized posthumously when the City of Vallejo declared his birth anniversary on 24 November 2018 and every year thereafter as Carlos Bulosan Day.
Mayor Bob Sampayan and the City Council issued a city proclamation on Carlos Bulosan Day on 13 November 2018 at the John F. Kennedy Library.
The California State Legislature also presented a Certificate of Recognition in honor of Mr. Bulosan. The certificate was jointly signed by Assemblyman Tim Grayson and State Senator Bill Dodd.
“We join with others in honoring the legacy of an exceptional and courageous man, Carlos S. Bulosan. Born in Mangusmana, Binalonan, Pangasinan, Philippines. Bulosan immigrated to America in 1930 where he endured racism and discrimination from unjust employers and was forced to take low-wage jobs that harmed his health. Despite these obstacles, Mr. Bulosan rose to become a leader of the Filipino-American community, helped to organize labor unions and became a prolific author, giving a voice to the plight of his people. Carlos S. Bulosan’s legacy stands as a memorial and reminder of true American values that we should all strive to live up to,” the California States Legislature said in its Certificate of Recognition.
From the United States Congress, Representative Mike Thompson also issued and signed a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Mr. Bulosan.
“In recognition of the late Filipino American author, activist and humanitarian – Carlos Bulosan, for his heroic activism on behalf of labor unions and for his historic novel, ‘America Is In The Heart’ that told the struggle of early Filipinos who faced discrimination and economic hardship in 1930’s America,” the certificate of Special Recognition of the U.S. Congress said.
Vallejo Mayor Sampayan read his proclamation honoring the Filipino writer and labor leader, and dedicating November 24 as Carlos Bulosan Day in the presence of Vice Mayor Katy Miessner, Councilmembers Pippin Dew-Costa, Jesus Malgapo, Robert H. McConnell, Hermie R. Sunga, and Rozzana Verder-Aliga.
University of California Davis’ Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies Director Dr. Robyn M. Rodriguez shared a special tribute to Bulosan, while Carlos Bulosan’s grandnephew Art Gabot Madlaing read a portion of the poem “I Want the Wide American Earth.” Mr. Romualdo Cerezo, President of the Binalonan Association of Northern California, was also present at the historic event.
Deputy Consul General Raquel R. Solano and Consul Vanessa G. Bago-Llona also attended the event.
Mr. Bulosan discovered injustices faced by Filipino fieldworkers such as low pay, few breaks, few meals, substandard housing, and racism. His best-selling novels, “America Is In The Heart,” detailed such inequities. He organized labor and became a human rights activist, authoring seven published books, among many other unpublished works.
The Filipino author’s works are on display at the University of Washington Libraries, Special Colllections. His life is being honored and studied at the University of California, Davis in the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies.