November 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter Index
Editor's Message Events A Year Without Taiko and Lion Dances Let's Cook Kalamay Like It's 1949 Featured Books

Editor's Message

Hello Everyone.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Seems like ages since I last wrote to you. Every month, week, and day of this year seems pack with happenings.

Since our last newsletter, we elected the first person of Asian and African American descent to be our next Vice President. Congratulations Kamala Harris!

I think I’ve written in a past newsletter articles that I don’t think people should vote for someone merely because they happen to be of the same ethnicity as you. What a person supports and fights for does matter and should be in line with your own beliefs too.

However you voted, Kamala Harris’ win is truly another ground breaking moment. Thinking about her election made me think about what I had written in 2008 when Barack Obama got elected. Please take a look at it, I think it’s rather good.

The 2020 election is a reaffirmation of Abraham Lincoln’s words delivered in his first inaugural address,

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Are we in equally difficult times as Lincoln would soon encounter after his first inaugural speech? We must not forget that nearly half of those that voted did not favor Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

As we celebrate another step towards true equality for all, we must guard against those that wish to use hate and anger to divide us. Unfortunately, this is a never ending struggle.

Let us use this holiday season, like all the previous ones, and hopefully all future ones, remind us that love and compassion are the things that keep our social fabric stitched together.


Thank you to all the volunteers that helped keep AACP stitched together this year. Thanks also to all the people that support us in so many ways including Gene Takahashi of Takahashi Market.

I am so thankful that we have found ways to stay relevant in a time when we really could use more comfort, empathy, and true wisdom.

If you found some value with what we have to bring you and have some means to share with us, please help support AACP so that we can continue to serve you and the wider community for another 50 years.

We hope to be with to you all again in January.

Take care and have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season!

Leonard Chan

Executive Editor



Teachers for Social Justice is continuing their virtual conference on December 12th. To learn more about it and to register go to Note that they also have videos from their first two day of the conference at

If you have an event that you would like us to mention and or to participate in, please feel free to let us know.

A Year Without Taiko and Lion Dances

What We Missed This Year

By Leonard Chan

For those of you that only know AACP through our online presence, our normal operation usually includes going to events throughout the year. We go to conferences and conventions, festivals and celebrations, remembrances and pilgrimages, and educational and school events. We’ve even gone to county fairs and farmers’ markets. We work with libraries and authors to create book presentations, readings, and signings. We even use to create our own Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration event with partner Asian American community organizations.

At these events we exhibit, promote, and sell Asian and Pacific Islander American books and educational materials. Although some casual observers of AACP at these events may think we’re just a commercial operation that sells books, I often tell the event goers that we’re there to let them know that these books exist. Even if they didn’t end up buying the book from us, our mission is accomplished by just letting them view and take note of these great materials.

In the last four years, before this year, we averaged 28 events per year. In some years we go to many more events, travel thousands of miles (including to events in neighboring states), and meet tens of thousands of people. In 2020, we went to three events.

Here are some memories from my twenty two plus years with AACP and what we may have missed during this lockdown year.

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Let's Cook Kalamay Like It's 1949

Part 3 of AACP's Comfort Food Series

Mga Lutong Pilipino cover

By Pia Ceres

I found the cookbook by accident. I was home from college for the holidays, bored and rummaging around the house for something to read. I was surprised that I had never noticed it before: a slim paperback, a modest contrast to the thick, glossy volumes by Martha Stewart and Julia Child on my mom's bookshelf. The pages were browned and veined with age. They felt soft, more like leather than paper. The book was titled Mga Lutong Pilipino: Aklat ng Pagluluto, which roughly translates to Filipino Dishes: A Cookbook. On the cover was an illustration of a dark-haired woman in a butterfly-sleeved blouse and apron. Filipina Betty Crocker, I thought.

My mom explained that the book has been in our family since 1949. My great-grandmother, who passed when I was young, had left notes in the margins in an elegant cursive. I felt like I was holding a treasure.

Like a lot of kids of the Asian diaspora, I often struggle to feel like I have a connection to my ancestors at all. We go years without seeing our family in the Philippines. I don't know much about Philippine history. My Tagalog is really bad. But holding a cookbook that belonged to my great-grandma, that she used to nourish our family, felt like taking her hand across generations.

I asked my mom if we could try out a recipe. We picked kalamay—not because of any sentimental value, but because it looked easy and short. My mom translated it with me, and we cooked it for Noche Buena, the feast that's traditionally served after the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The taste of sweet sticky rice and coconut reminded me of the desserts that my grandparents would buy me from the roadside stands in Nueva Ecija; of the smell of dirt after a tropical rainstorm; of the place that I left when I was a baby but that was still, as moments like this reminded me, a part of me.

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Featured Books

View full descriptions of all these featured books at where you'll also have the opportunity to purchase them.

Children's Books

General Literature