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Portantino Honors AAPI Community

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, state Sen. Anthony Portantino recognized AAPI women, businesses and nonprofit organizations May 31 in Pasadena. Among those honored from Glendale were the Filipino American Business Association of Glendale, FABAG-GLAC’s Vice President Arleen Penaflor and Max’s Restaurant.

The event highlighted the rich cultural heritage of the AAPI community and the achievements and contributions of the community’s leaders in the 25th Senate District.

Since 1990, the U.S. government has designated May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Founded in 1990, the FABAG-GLAC is a nonprofit organization that was organized under the Cultural Exchange Committee of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. Its vision is to improve intercultural relations among the many ethnic communities within the city and the county, and to reach out to diverse communities. 

FABAG-GLAC also works toward providing business leadership and collaborative community services that are based on trust and integrity, while preserving cultural heritage and history. The organization engages the community through inclusive annual events, programs and projects.

“Taking time to raise awareness and appreciation of our broad communities in our state helps us remember that we all play a part in working towards creating inclusivity and understanding in our society,” Portantino said.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino honors the Filipino American Business Association of Glendale for its commitment to providing business leadership opportunities and collaborative community services.

Also recognized was Penaflor who Portantino’s office said not only excels in her professional endeavors but also dedicates her time and expertise to serving her community. In her role as vice president of the FABAG-GLAC, Penaflor plays a vital part in contributing to the betterment of her community, demonstrating her commitment to making a positive impact. Through her involvement with FABAG, Penaflor works toward creating a stronger, more vibrant community for all its members.

“During AAPI Heritage Month, I am proud to recognize our community champions throughout the 25th District who are dedicated to serving our cities and neighborhoods with distinction,” Portantino said. “It is important to recognize our diverse and rich cultural heritage, as well as the ongoing challenges they face, not only during the month of May, but year-round.”

Additionally, the senator honored Robert Trota, owner, and Elvie Suavillo, branch manager, of Max’s Restaurant, one of the oldest Filipino American restaurants in Glendale. Originally located in Manila, the Max’s Restaurant chain traces its roots to a country teeming with culture and heritage. Max’s Restaurant has established itself as a household name in the Philippines, an institution and a proud Filipino tradition. The key to its success is its commitment to high-quality Filipino food, excellent service, and a clean and welcoming atmosphere.

May was chosen as the annual AAPI Heritage Month by Congress because of two significant historical events for the AAPI community in the United States. On May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrant arrvied in the United States; and on May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed and the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Along with the Glendale honorees, Portantino recognized 20 deserving community members who have positively contributed to their communities and the state of California.

First published in the June 15 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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