Thursday July 1, 2021

By: Naiia Lajoie The thread used to sew California’s cultural tapestry is changing, strengthening. The change is reflected in the educational materials made available, media content being consumed as well as created, and within the wake of the Biden administration, in leadership. The nation has witnessed Kamala Harris, the first female Black and Asian-American become Vice President. On a more local level, in vacating her previous post she paved the way for California’s first Hispanic Senator Alex Padilla. Another California native, Xavier Becerra, became the first Latino Secretary of Health and Human Services. Making available the position of Attorney General of California, Governor Newsom tapped the first Filipino-American to hold the title: Rob Bonta. Attorney General Bonta was born at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, Philippines. His mother Cynthia grew up in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. Her father was a professor at Silliman University, and later moved the family to Los Baños, Laguna. Having graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman, at 28 Cynthia embarked on a three-week boat ride to California where she landed in the Bay Area. There she met Bonta’s father Warren, both attending the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Hailing originally from Ventura County, Warren was involved in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Civil Rights Movement. He marched in Selma, met Stokely Carmichael, fought and organized for voting rights. United by the desire to help the less fortunate, the pair moved back to Cynthia’s homeland where they worked as missionaries. First born was AG Bonta’s older sister Lisa, then himself, followed by his younger brother Marcelo. Born on September 22nd, Bonta’s first birthday fell nearly on the same day as President Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines; Sept. 21st, 1972. During that year, AG Bonta’s parents...... Read more on Full Issue!

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