Image Source: history.com
Image Source: history.com
It was a long ride to Lansing, Michigan but we were all excited to respond to an invitation of State Rep. Martin Howrylak to attend a House of Representatives session and witness a historical moment, the approval of the House Resolution No. 220.

During the session, Congressman Howrylak introduced HR No. 220 which seeks to declare October as Filipino American Heritage Month in the State of Michigan. He had earlier acknowledged the presence of the NaFFAA-Michigan delegation composed of this writer, Nieves McRoberts-Lukasik, Sofy Bole and Amy Risvold.

In introducing the resolution, Howrylak said, “Filipino Americans have a rich and diverse background in this country, and I am honored to help make this Filipino-American Heritage Month to honor the contributions they have made to our state.”

The resolution was co-sponsored by 17 representatives and was approved in the House last Wednesday, October 2. The state representatives who co-sponsored House Resolution No. 220 were

Denby, Kelly, Victory, Franz, Barnett, Lauwers, Callton, Brown, Darany, Durhal, Geiss, Heise, Price, Roberts, Santana, Singh and Slavens .

Following is the complete text of House Resolution No. 220:
“A resolution to declare October 2013 as Filipino-American Heritage Month in the state of Michigan.

“Whereas, We are proud to join with the Filipino-American community of Michigan as they celebrate contributions they have made hroughout the entire state. This recognition is a reflection of unselfishness and commitment to the common good that is most commendable;

“Whereas, It is with pride and gratitude that we welcome this opportunity to salute the many ways in which the Filipino-American community has given its time and energy for the betterment of our state;

“Whereas, The Filipino-American community of Michigan continues to foster understanding through the development, promotion, and preservation of Filipino values, culture, and tradition. These concerned citizens have truly made a difference, and their professional and civic involvement will continue to enrich our state;

“Whereas, The members of the Filipino American community give to the American people and to the citizens of Michigan a very important gift of a rich culture based on traditional values of family, religion and a strong work ethic. A strong political, cultural, and economic bond exists between us as a result and is cemented by the mutual respect and admiration we have for one another;

“Whereas, The heritage of the Filipino people enriches our own culture, for America is a melting pot and America’s culture is a rich blend of many cultures. This legislative body welcomes the heritage, culture, and contributions of the Filipino-American community to our state and our nation;

“Whereas, Like their counterparts across the country, the Filipino-American community in Michigan is committed to strengthening the public institutions that promote the cultural heritage of Filipinos, as well as eliminating prejudices, stereotypes, and ignorance. By promoting awareness of Filipino-American contributions to social, economic, cultural and political life in the United States, everyone can take great pride in their effective community service;

“Now, therefore, be it resolved by the House of Representatives, that the members of this legislative body declare October 2013 as Filipino-American Heritage Month in the state of Michigan. We thank the Filipino-American community for their many contributions that enhance our quality of life in Michigan, and we encourage all citizens to do the same.”

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Willie is a teacher at the Detroit Public School. A very popular and influential leader in the Filipino-American community in Michigan, Dechavez is the incumbent Michigan state chairperson of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) and public relations officer of both the Filipino-American Community Council (FILAMCCO) and the Philippine American Community Center (PACCM). A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he is also vice president of the Bicol Association of Michigan. He is recipient of numerous awards.

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