In 2006, the San Francisco Giants started an annual Heritage Week to celebrate diversity in baseball and in the San Francisco Bay Area in general. This year, we will find ourselves immersed in ballpark diversity the week of May 12th, with the first-ever Filipino Heritage night taking place on Wednesday, May 14th.
According to the official SF Giants website, tickets are being sold at a discount of $20 to sit in the special Filipino Heritage section. The night will consists of Filipino entertainment and a customized item themed after Filipino heritage. Overall, the night will appreciate Filipino-owned businesses and families.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I think it’s pretty cool that the Filipino culture is being recognized and celebrated at a national baseball game that will hopefully be televised. (Let’s hope that if it is televised, they actually express that it is Filipino Heritage night.) I actually haven’t heard about Heritage Week until my parents told me last night that they bought tickets for it. I’m not going because they only bought tickets for themselves (lame), but it would be interesting to see how this pans out, and what they mean by “Filipino entertainment.” Is there going to be a dance team that goes out to the field during the seventh-inning stretch to perform the tinikling? And what exactly is this special item that they speak of?
In all honesty, although it sounds pretty cool, I also question the validity of reducing the celebration of Filipino heritage to one night. But then again, look at Pilipino Culture Night (PCN). Even though people have their criticisms about whether or not it is entirely feasible to truly celebrate culture in one night, it still happens and participants work really hard to put it on. I have been fairly satisfied with all the PCNs I have seen in my past (minus one that is a different story entirely) and it takes a lot to make me happy with stage productions and like events.
Let’s hope that the Giants have a consultant of Filipino heritage helping them out with this so that it is less commodified and wrapped in a pretty $20 discount package than it currently sounds like on the website.
– C. Fiel (the pessimist)
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