Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc.

How We Got Started

  Looking Back:  77 years of Filcom's History

  By Diosdado Macaraeg, FILCOM President 1996-2000

 Source:  FILCOM Souvenir Book, December 30, 1959

The Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc. has been in existence for seventy-six years which qualifies it to be one of the oldest, if not, the oldest Filipino organization in the United States.

In 1933, seventy-six years ago, a handful of hard working Filipino immigrants in San Jose, realizing the need of unity and solidarity among themselves with the high hopes and strong desire to be part of a multi-cultural community  with whom they lived and enjoyed daily contact, decided to form and organize a social club then known as the “Filipino Circle.”  From this humble beginning, this social club took root and grew into a solid group which had gained immediate popularity and prestige among Filipino farm-hands working the rich and fertile soil of Santa Clara Valley, and in the same token, it had earned themselves the well-deserved respect, esteem and admiration of not only the American people but as well as those other nationalities.

As the years passed by the mounting growth and popularity of this society could no longer be stopped nor ignored by the vast majority of the Filipinos in the surrounding areas.  The name “Filipino Circle” of this society seemed inadequate to cope with the fast growing membership:  hence, its name was changed to “Filipino Community of San Jose and Vicinity.”  This new name earned a distinctive national tone---a Philippine entity thousands of miles away from our own land!  A big name indeed with a big moral, spiritual and material responsibilities on its tag!  Can the Filipinos of San Jose survive the difficult tasks and face the challenges ahead?  Well, the course of the events had proved that they can.  When World War II broke out, majority of its members joined the 1st and 2ndFilipino Infantries of the United States Army-two American Regiments with Filipino tags.  Members who were too old to join the service stayed home but worked and tilled the rich agricultural lands of Santa Clara Valley to provide for Uncle Sam’s soldiers and civilian corps.

After the war, in keeping pace with the rapid growth of the City of San Jose, the Filipino community expanded its views and programs to accommodate its large membership.  There were more Filipino families with permanent homes in San Jose and its neighboring cites than during the pre-war.  More Filipinos came aboard and became active in promoting the cultural welfare of the Filipino community.  They were a part of the city’s progress, a part of its society, culture and education.  So, again, the Filipino residents fell that the name “Filipino Community of San Jose and Vicinity” needed final improvement and legal status.  Hence, under the Corporation Laws of the State of California, this organization was incorporated on March 31, 1953 under a new name “Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc.”

On April, 1953, exactly eight days after it was incorporated, Antonio L. Vertodes, an active member of the organization, donated a parcel of lot to the organization.  Sometime in 1959, members of the Filipino Community contemplated of constructing a Filipino Community Center for the facilities and recreational use of its members and their families.  A fund-raising drive was initiated with sole objective of completing the project.  After a short period of time, with the help of the dedicated members with their unwavering determinations to conquer all obstacles and tribulations, the Filipino Community Center was erected.

Several years later, Malvar Lodge Number Seven C.D.A. donated a parcel of lot which is located adjacent to the already owned by the Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc.  The two parcels of lot were combined which is now called the Filipino Community Center.

In 1996, almost after more than a half a century, Diosdado “Mac” Macaraeg was elected President of the Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc.  One of his agendas was to unite and solidify Filipino organizations within the County, he reached out and offered them free use of the Filipino Community Center.  But their response to his offer was, “the facility is old, dirty and inadequate for our meetings and activities.”  In the early months of 1998, then FILCOM President Mac Macaraeg with the full support of the officers and members of the organization have agreed that a renovation of the building was needed.  A building construction plan was drawn and an application for a grant for the renovation of the building was submitted to the City of San Jose.

In September, 1998, Mayor Susan Hammer awarded $100,000 to the Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc.  but it was not enough to staff with the project.  So a major fund raising drive began.  In two years, they were able to raise enough money and were ready to renovate the building but due to some building requirements, restrictions, codes, and current laws, it took a while before the building construction permit was approved.  A Lot Line Adjustment between the two parcels of land and a new Grant Deed were required before the San Jose City Planning approved the building construction permit.

In 2002, under the leadership of Dr. Arline G. Macaraeg who carried on her husband’s vision of a better, safer and healthier meeting place a major construction of the Filipino Community center started and was successfully completed on June 2003.  As expected from the Filipino community, there were minor problems motivated by dirty politics but the officers and members were more united, stronger and determined to finish one common goal, the construction of the building.

The Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc. under the new leadership of Mars Soriano is proud to invite everyone young and old alike, to join us in promoting the goals and objectives of this great organization.

Our younger generation seems to have forgotten that we can’t just enjoy the fruits of hard labor those handful of Filipinos have done more than seven decades ago.  We have to cherish everything they have passed along to us, the admiration and respect they earned from other people.  We must not forget the three indivisible words of our Founders:  FAITH, LOVE and HOPE!

Filipino Community of Santa Clara County, Inc.

Past and Present Presidents


1933-1935                                 Severino Rustee                                    

1935-1936                                 Pacita Bobadilla

1936-1942                                 Primo Villaruz

1942-1946                                 Baldomero Cuaresma

1946-1950                                 Andy Aganad

1950-1952                                 Vicente Laron

1952-1956                                 Emil Bautista

1956-1963                                 Max Peralta

1963-1964                                 Gilbert Emata

1964-1968                                 Unknown

1968-1972                                 Max Peralta

1972-1973                                 Wilfredo Piedad

1973-1974                                 Silvestre Valdez

1974-1978                                 Esmenia Reboja

1978-1980                                 Max Peralta

1980-1982                                 Benny Argel

1982-1986                                 Ernesto Aglipay

1986-1988                                 Roger Bautista

1988-1990                                 Flo Miranda

1990-1992                                 Eddie Arabe

1992-1996                                 Perla Aglipay

1996-2000                                 Diosdado Macaraeg

2001-2004                                 Arline Macaraeg

1/2005-2/2005                           Warlito Patricio

3/2005-12/2010                         Mars Soriano

1/2011-3/2012                            Diosdado Macaraeg

4/2012-6/2012                           Beth Locquiao

7/2012-3/2013                           Diosdado Macaraeg

4/2013-present                          Romulo Gaoiran


Officers for 2015 to 2017

President                                   Romulo Gaoiran

Executive Vice President            Claudio Blanco

1st Vice President                       Dory Guevara

2nd Vice President                      Zell Corpuz

Recording Secretary                  Ellie Caday

Corresponding Secretary           Carlina Blanco

Treasurer                                  Yolanda Gaoiran

Assistant Treasurer                  Sally Panis

Auditor                                      Zeny Soria

Assistant Auditor                      Ernie Sacman

PRO                                         Mylah Spears

Peace Marshall                        Tannie Caday

                                                 Victor Lain

Board of Trustees               

                                                Arline Macaraeg

                                                 Romy Soria

                                                 Fred Estimada

                                                 Gina Bobier

                                                 Adelina Mendoza

                                                 John Estillore

                                                 Ana Andres

                                                 Andy Andres

                                                 Faye Martinez

                                                 Beth Locquiao