Asian Avenue Magazine - October 2022

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October 2022 Volume 17 | Issue 10 Manila Bay Filipino Restaurant Celebrate Filipino American History Month A Long March: Documentary of Filipino American Veterans Coffee Sarap Mobile Coffee Cart

History Colorado

We Are Colorado

museums and historic sites acros

the History Colorado Center in Denver

TUES FRI 9am 6pm SAT: 9am 1pm

Hello October! This month we celebrate Filipino American (FilAm) History Month! Learn more about Filipino American history and how this month came to be nationally recognized. Check out the lists of Filipino organiza tions and Filipino restaurants in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas. Also, see the list of five Filipino authors and read their books to learn more about the Filipino American experience.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Mary Jeneverre Schultz for covering many different angles about this FilAm History Month and our local Fil Am community. Mary highlights two Filipino-owned businesses including Coffee Sarap, a mobile coffee cart in Castle Rock, and Manila Bay Filipino Restaurant, a new and popular eatery in Aurora.

A Long March is a documentary that shares the experience of Filipino Amer ican veterans. It is currently being shown at screenings across the nation, in partnership with local communities. Lastly, we take a look at a Filipino-in spired wedding in Colorado that provides ideas on how to incorporate cul tural aspects into your special day.

The November 8 General Election is around the corner! Check to make sure you are registered with the Secretary of State: Help oth ers in your family to get registered and engaged in the voting process. Join the Asian Pacific Development Center and The League of Women Voters for a presentation to learn about Colorado ballot issues (more information be low). Sessions will be in English, Spanish, Karen, and Arabic. Let’s encourage our community members to exercise their right to vote!

October 2022 | President’s Note4
PRESIDENT’S NOTE Annie Guo VanDan, President Asian Avenue magazine Connect with us! @asianavemag Colorado elections are on November 8 Voting is an important right, and your voice can make a difference! At the Voting Presentation, we will explain the topics that we can vote on COLORADO BALLOT ISSUES L E A R N A B O U T T H E B A L L O T I S S U E S F O R Q U E S T I O N S , P L E A S E C O N T A C T : A L E X B I S G E S 3 0 3 6 1 7 2 5 6 7 A L E X A N D R E A B I S G E S @ A P D C O R G OCT 11 OCT 12 English Spanish Tuesday, October 11 6:00 8:00 PM Wednesday, October 12 6:00 8:00 PM OCT 13 OCT 17 Karen Arabic Thursday, October 17 6:00 8:00 PM Monday, October 17 6:00 8:00 PM Join us at APDC, 1537 Alton Street, 80010 or on Zoom: Meeting ID 894 5634 3862 Happy Filipino American History Month!
Mortgages Online and Mobile Banking Business Services Savings Accounts And Much More! Checking Accounts 1 800 964 3444 NMLS ID # 458768 | Member FDIC Visit us online or at any convenient location. See us for all your banking needs.

on the cover

The celebration of Filipino American History Month in October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States.

Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine

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Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.

6 October 2022 | Table of Contents ASIAN AVENUE MAGAZINE P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303.937.6888 E-mail: Find us @AsianAveMag #AsianAveMag OCT 2022 15 COVER STORY: Filipino restaurants and food trucks in Colorado 16 COVER STORY: Filipino-inspired wedding in Colorado 18 FEATURE: Great American Beer Festival returns to in person 20 FEATURE: The Asian Vote: Candidates to vote for 22 ON SCENE: Seniors Day in Aurora celebrates and honors local Chinese seniors 23 TAIWAN UPDATE: Call to support Taiwan’s participation in ICAO 7 EVENTS: October events 8 COVER STORY: A Brief Look at Filipino American History Filipino American organizations in Colorado 10 COVER STORY: Five Filipina authors and their books to read this month 11 COVER STORY: A Long March: Documentary about FilAm Veterans 12 RESTAURANT PEEK: Manila Bay Restaurant attracts diners to Aurora 14 CAFE PEEK: Coffee Sarap features Filipino specialty coffees in Castle Rock 14 16

upcoming events

The Chinese Lady Showing through Oct. 16 Singleton Theatre at Denver Performing Arts Complex

1400 Curtis Street, Denver the-chinese-lady

Let’s Talk! Let’s Eat! Book Signing with Gil Asakawa Friday, Oct. 21 | 6:30pm to 8pm

The Hub in Sakura Square Tickets: $15 - space is limited so RSVP early!

Send community events to

Trunk or Treat at Far East Center

Thursday, Oct. 27 | 5pm to 8pm Far East Center, 333 S Federal Blvd, Denver Free and open to the public

Intriguing, powerful, and based on a true story, The Chinese Lady is a play unlike anything you’ve seen before. The 80-min ute play (with no intermission) sets the stage for the year 1834. 14-year-old Afong Moy is the first Chinese woman mainland America has ever seen. Her translator, protector, and only interlocutor is Atung, a Chinese man who has been living in America for decades. The cast of two shine a light on parts of our history that aren’t so black-and-white.

Sammy Seung-min Lee: Taking Root October 1, 2022 – February 5, 2023

Denver Botanic Gardens 1007 York St, Denver

Sammy Seung-min Lee reinvents traditional Korean paper-felting techniques to create cast paper sculptures that explore the immigrant experience, focusing on traditions surrounding home and family.

Sammy Seung-min Lee: Taking Root, on view Octo ber 1, 2022 – February 5, 2023, features her ongo ing project A Very Proper Table Setting and other works. Lee creates cast sculptures using “paper skin.” a material felted out of sheets of hanji (a Korean mulberry paper), this material is created by soaking the paper, then pounding, kneading and squeezing it until the fibers interlock and mesh into a thicker, leather-like material. A Very Proper Table Setting is a series that features

Join Gil Asakawa for a tasty event where he will read excerpts from his new book, “Tabemasho! Let’s Eat! The Tasty History of Japanese Food in America,” followed by a discussion of his favorite Denver-area Japanese restaurants. Gil is a journalist and history buff who focuses on Japanese and Japanese American issues and identity. Light refreshments will be served. Get a foodie favor at the end of the event! Books will be available for sale at the event.

Come to the Far East Center Trunk or Treat to celebrate Halloween at this safe, fun, and free event for the whole family to enjoy! There will be music, games, food, entertainment, and of course, decorated trunks full of candy! Come dressed in your best outfit. Top three costumes will receive a prize! Want to host a trunk, sponsor, or volunteer at the event? Contact Mimi at

a selection of Korean tableware cast in paper. Each table setting was arranged by a community participant while imagining they were preparing a familiar meal for a loved one, using only unfamiliar Korean dishware. Lee then cast the table setting in paper. Through recontextualizing the comfort of a favorite meal with unfamiliar tools, Lee hopes to inspire empathy for the challenges and uncertainty immigrants face.

Taking Root also features Lee’s Street Art Cart.

Inspired by Asian street food carts, the cart acts as a mobile gallery or art studio, featur ing A Very Proper Table Setting in its making.

Sammy Seung-min Lee is a Colora do-based artist, born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She studied fine art and media art at University of California, Los Angeles and architecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A recent res ident artist at Redline Contemporary Art Center, Lee serves as an ambassador for Asian art at the Denver Art Museum and operates a contemporary art project and residency space called Collective SML | k. Lee’s work is held in museum collections including the Getty Research Institute, Spencer Museum of Art, and the Spanish National Library in Madrid.

7Event Calendar | Asian Avenue Magazine
Image credit: Sammy Seung-min Lee, A Very Proper Table Setting (detail), hanji (Korean mulberry paper), ongoing series, 2017-present.

“Through grassroot advocacies and campaigns of vari ous Filipino American organizations and allies, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) established Filipino American History Month in 1992,” said Giselle Rushford of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. “Then in 2009, through the same community lobbying efforts, Congress declared the month of October officially as Filipino American History Month in the U.S.”

Let’s look at history.

“Filipinos were among the first Asians to set foot in the Americas,” said Dr. William Wei, state historian and profes sor at University of Colorado in Boulder. “They and Chi nese sailors worked on the Manila galleons that had sailed between Manila, Philippines and Acapulco, Mexico from 1565 to 1815. Several of them had settled in Acapulco by the late 16th century.

Notable Settlements

Journalist Lisa Ling reveals through the premiere epi sode of HBO’s “Take Out with Lisa Ling” that Filipinos were the first Asian settlement, inventing the shrimp industry in the bayous of Louisiana.

“Filipinos, known as ‘Manilamen,’ living in the marshlands of Louisiana’s Barataria Bay, about 30 miles south of New Orleans, during the 18th century were descendants of sail ors, who had worked on the Manila galleon,” said Dr Wei. “They fought at the famous Battle of New Orleans (January 8, 1815) during the War of 1812.”

While Spain ruled the Philippines for more than 300 years, the U.S. colonized the island country. Dr. Wei shares how the U.S. took over.

“The Philippines-American War is sometimes known as America’s first Vietnam,” Dr. Wei said. “The United States annexed the Philippines following the Spanish-American War, and Filipinos fought to achieve their independence from foreign domination. American forces engaged in a ruthless counterinsurgency to suppress Filipino guerrillas.”

A Brief Look at Filipino American History

The month of October celebrates the first time Filipinos entered the United States through California in 1587.

As the third-largest Asian ethnic group in the country, Filipinos or Pinoys have migrated in several different waves during their centuries long history in the US.

The American Dream

Huge migration to the US can be traced during the 1920s, when borders opened for professionals such as nurses, accountants, and engineers. “Filipinos migrated to the United States in large numbers to work to support their families back in the Philippines,” said Dr. Wei.

Sending boxes of American goods became an annual tradition during the holidays. These boxes were known as the ‘Balikbayan Box.’ Most times, they contained cosmet ics, footwear, canned food of Spam, corned beef, and Vien na sausages.

There is no middle class in the Philippines, only rich or poor classes in the country of thousands of islands.

“Growing up in the Philippines and witnessing my fam ily struggle and work hard for everything gave me the foundation for tenacity and the drive to be and do bet ter,” said Sheilah Troiano, entrepreneur of Foxy Flower. “The strength to keep going in the face of challenges and failures I certainly attribute to my mother’s quiet resolve. Now living in the US, I appreciate all the opportunities that come my way -- be it having a great career or starting my own business, I am mindful about the fact that not every Filipino is given that opportunity.”

Most Filipinos arrived in Hawaii and California to work in agriculture, primarily on fruit and vegetable farms.

“Filipino migrant laborers were some of the most militant farm workers in Hawaii and the American mainland,” said Dr. Wei. “Under the leadership of Phillip Vera Cruz, who found ed the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, merged the National Farm Workers Association to form the famous United Farm Workers. In the UFW, Vera Cruz and the Filipi nos were as important as Cesar Chavez and the Mexicans, though they never received the same recognition.”

Learning the History

Filipino Americans are taking a stance and want their history taught in social studies and U.S. history. In fact,

October 2022 | Cover Story8

Marissa Halagao is paving the way for the development of the Filipino Curriculum Project in Hawaii, along with other high school student lead ers. They successfully lobbied for their state legislators to pass a resolution to implement an elective social studies course on Filipino Americans.

“I will continue to support those who are advancing Filipino Ameri can Studies,” said Rachele C. Espiritu, managing partner of Change Matrix based in Denver. Espiritu is the aunt of Halagao.

Other community leaders are also hoping for change.

“There is not much recognition about this month even among Filipi nos let alone the rest of the American society,” said Edith Pasion, president

of Philippine American Society of Col orado. “We as leaders should make a more concerted effort to spread the significance of this month.”

Local Filipinas are sharing their cul ture and heritage to their children.

“In October, I plan to continue my own learning about the stories of my past by spending time with my parents and relatives and encouraging my own children to ask questions,” Espiritu said.

For others, celebration should not just be in October. “We should lead our lives imparting our collective ex perience and wisdom to our descen dants,” Rushford said.

According to Pew Research, as of 2021, there were 4.2 million Filipino Americans, making them the third largest Asian ethnic group in the US

after Chinese (5.4 million) and Asian Indians (4.6 million).

“They constitute 19 percent of the nation’s Asian Pacific population and 13 percent of Colorado’s Asian Pacific population,” said Dr. Wei.

In Colorado, the Filipino community is growing with several Filipino com munity organizations and businesses, mainly in Denver, Aurora, and Colo rado Springs. Learn more about the organizations and their work to share Filipino culture.

“Filipinos have much to celebrate, and I hope that others will take the time to participate in activities and events that celebrate the significant role that Filipinos have played and will continue to play in America,” said Espiritu.


Celebrate Filipino American History Month with these organizations by: participating in a fundraiser or event, donating to their cause or joining the organization as a member.

Filipino American Community of Southern Colorado

FACSC raises awareness of the Filipino culture in southern Colorado.

Global Seed Savers

GSS collaborates with many of the 110 ethnolinguistic Indigenous Peoples groups and non-indigenous peoples of the Philippines

Filipino American Community of Colorado FACC is the oldest Asian American organization in Colorado, established in 1954.

Mending Faces

Mending Faces was founded

by a group of medical professionals and others to make a life-changing difference for children with facial deformities in the Philippines and around the world.

National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region V NaFFAA promotes the welfare and well-being of the four million Filipinos and Filipinos throughout the US. (Region V includes Colorado)

Northern Colorado Filipino American Association Serving Fort Collins, Greeley, and Loveland, this organization is dedicated to combining understanding and appreciation of the great cultures through history,

arts, and communication.

Philippine Nurses Association of Colorado

The goal of PNACO is to provide an organization that enhances image, professionalism, and unity to foster the welfare of Filipino nurses in Colorado.

Philippine American Society of Colorado

Based in Aurora, PASCO is dedicated to cultivating, preserving, promoting and sharing the Philippines culture and heritage through educational and cultural opportunities that would enrich and enhance the lives of its members.

Pinoy Pals

This group assists those looking for Filipino culture by sharing the culture, language, music, family values and taste authentic Filipino food.

Sibol: Filipino Student Association

Sibol is a student organization at CU-Denver intent on creating a community of service.

Uplift Internationale

UI aims to give a lifechanging gift to children with facial deformities by mending faces... one child at a time.

9Filipino American History Month | Asian Avenue Magazine


Filipina Authors to Follow and Connect With

Read their books in celebration of Filipino American History Month. Learn more about the Filipino experience through their work.


A San Diego-based award-winning author, Marivi often draws inspiration for her writings from her 20-year job as a Tagalog-English telephonic interpreter. She has shed light on the racist laws against Filipinos and is an advocate for writers of color.

Learn more about Marivi at:


The Mango Bride

Spooky Mo: Your Scary C-nt


A resident of New York, Reine’s work focuses on the Philippines and the lives of Filipinos both at home and abroad. She won a Philippine Nation al Book Award for her fiction that was translated into French in 2003.

Learn more about Reine at:


A Normal Life and Other Stories

The Betrayed


Resident of Chicago, Mia loves books, baking, and badass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queer ness, and her millennial love for pop culture.

Books: Arsenic and Adobo

Learn more about Mia at:

Homicide and Halo-Halo Blackmail and Bibingka


Born in 1949 in Manila, Jessica Hagedorn is a modern play wright, poet, and writer. She came to the United States in 1963 to get her education at the American Conservatory Theater training program. She lives in New York City and has won an American Book Award and the Lucille Lotel Founda tion fellowship.

Learn more about Jessica at:

Books: Dogeaters Toxicology

The Gangster of Love Dream Jungle Danger and Beauty Manila Noir

Books: America Is Not the Heart

How to Read Now: Essays


Born in San Francisco Bay Area, she is a graduate of the Univer sity of California, Berkeley. She is passionate about equality for the people of the Philippines, and that comes out in her work. She was named one of “30 of the Planet’s Most Exciting Young People” by the Financial Times.

Learn more about Elaine at:

October 2022 | Cover Story10
Photo credit: Jamilla Yipp Photography

‘A Long March’ educates about the Baatan March

Uncovering historical relics in a base ment led to the long-awaited documen tary called A Long March.

Film producer, director, and writer T. S. Botkin is sharing Filipino American histo ry after her uncle, Victor Fulford, discov ered a crate of paintings from World War II in his basement.

“It’s a story of imperialist abuse,” said Botkin, who started the project in Novem ber 2018. “It has galled me to no end.”

Many migration stories from the Phil ippines are linked to the thousands of Filipino American soldiers who went to war to defend the US and the Philippines during World War II. In an honest and heartfelt directorial debut, T.S. Botkin fol lows Filipino American veterans as they emotionally trace their paths from war to erasure by the U.S. government, march ing from an obscured history to the Fed eral Courts, right up to the steps of Con gress in search of promises denied.

Because of the documentary, Botkin is collaborating with Giselle Rushford of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Region V. Rushford is assisting Filipinos in Colo rado to obtain resources and benefits for aging veterans.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA14), chair of the House Armed Services

Military Personnel Subcommittee, and Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) have intro duced the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2022 to ensure our brave Filipino WWII veterans and their families receive the benefits to which they are entitled, and in celebration of October being Filipino American History Month.

“I am honored to join my colleagues in calling once again for our country to honor the promise made to Filipino vet erans who fought alongside our service members during World War II,” Rep. Case said.

“In my Hawai‘i, we are home to 361,597 Filipinos, fully a quarter of the total pop ulation in the islands, by far the largest percentage of any state or territory, and among these are the last of these veter ans who were willing to give the last full measure of devotion in the fight against aggression to preserve the peace and freedom we all enjoy. Time for them and their families and for those they honored is short and we must deliver now.”

When the U.S. came under attack in World War II, 250,000 brave Filipinos volunteered to fight alongside U.S. forc es and under the command of U.S. mili tary officers. As American nationals, they were promised all the benefits afforded to U.S. troops. Yet in 1946, Congress in

explicably stripped these benefits from Filipino veterans, overturning President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s commitment.

The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2022 rectifies that injustice by restoring full veterans benefits to all Filipino WWII veterans who served under U.S. com mand, especially providing widows and children of Filipino veterans the same el igibility for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation provided to the families of all other veterans.

It also directs the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to consider alternative military documentation when deter mining eligibility, removing a significant hurdle that has kept many deserving dependents from receiving their rightful benefits due to a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center.

A Long March is partnering with orga nizations and communities to bring the film to audiences across the US. To learn about the film, visit

A Long March recognizes a million Filipino veterans, while rehabilitating the narrative of WWII to include all who served under the US flag.

I dedicate this article to my grandfa thers: Victoriano E. Herreria, who died during World War II; and Juan Tagorda, who served as a policeman in Manila, and experienced immense atrocities during war times. - Mary J. Schultz

11Documentary | Asian Avenue Magazine

Taste the Philippines at the newest Filipino restaurant in Colorado: Manila Bay

For Filipino Americans, are you craving home-cooked food from Lola’s or Nanay’s kitchen? Do you miss the smell of grandma’s cooking? Or the simple question: ‘did you eat?’ Then, head over to Manila Bay in Aurora on Tuesdays to Sundays.

“We wanted to create an enjoyable atmosphere and trans port our diners back to the Philippines,” said Benny Pankla ng, entrepreneur and one of the owners of Manila Bay.


With Filipino chefs and servers, Panklang is bringing au thenticity into the Filipino cuisine with a menu of options in cluding seafood, chicken, pork and vegetarian.

Pork and chicken adobo is offered with rice, of course. These savory dishes are filled with flavors of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, topped with dark, green onions. Die-hard ad venturous eaters can take a go at ordering dishes such as ‘Dinuguan’ or ‘Oxtail Kare Kare.’ With the black liquid ap pearance, first-time diners will likely hesitate to sample this dish made with pork belly and offals cooked in a savory blood stew.

“The Oxtail Kare Kare is one of our best-selling entrees,”

said Hazel Balajonda, staff member of the restaurant. This dish is cooked in peanut sauce, accompanied by long, green beans, blackish-purple eggplants, and green Bok choy. On the side, shrimp paste, pungent in smell, is best served with this dish for a punch in salty flavors.

Pancit Bihon, full of glassy thin rice noodles, is one of the best types of vegetarian dishes, filled with bright-orange carrots strips, generous portions of light-green cabbage, plus crunchy celery, and dark-green snow peas. Meat eaters can add chicken, shrimp, or pork in the dish.

Vegetarians can also order any of the noodle dishes with out protein, or order grilled eggplant, chop suey or even ‘Pinkabet,’ stir-fried vegetables cooked in shrimp paste shrimp. The restaurant even serves their specialty, Manila Bay’s Fried Rice filled with eggs, onions, crab meat, green onions, and garlic. The soup called ‘Sinigang’ is the classic Filipino soup with Asian vegetables of Bok choy, daikon rad ish, string beans, plus onions and tomatoes.

If you are bringing your non-Filipino family and friends, the famous crunchy egg rolls, or ‘lumpia,’ and pork and chicken skewers are highlights on the menu. The fresh aromas en courage eaters to try new flavors from the Philippines.

October 2022 | Restaurant Peek12
Photos provided by: Manila Bay Restaurant
Manila Bay Filipino Restaurant 13800 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora Tel: 303.751.2561

Manila Bay features Filipino dishes including silog lunch specials, pancit noodles, and liempo.

The restaurant offers a rotating seasonal menu that in cludes Filipino favorites such as Chicken Tinola, cooked in a ginger broth and filled with green squashes.


Manila Bay Restaurant is designed for Filipino families to gather in large groups. Tables of six, eight, and ten seating arrangements are available. Décor of wooden spoons and forks are displayed on the walls. Other images show Filipino cuisines in an appetizing flair.

Weekends and peak dining times are busy with customers sometimes eaiting up to 40 minutes to get seated. The staff recommends planning for a leisure dining experience.

“I love it when it’s busy,” said Maey Biscante, one of the hostesses. “It shows the community enjoys Filipino food.”

During the pandemic, Panklang and his team renovated and retrofitted the current building, which was an old Village Inn since the 1970s. Before that, the restaurant operated as the breakfast chain Denny’s. Now the parking lot is often packed with a diverse customer base, some trying Filipino food for the first time.

“It’s a great way to revitalize the area,” Panklang said.

Unique Traits

Visitors often have to forego the dining experience due to long waits, but can still enjoy treats from the Filipino bak ery. Manila Bay stands as the only authorized reseller of fa mous brand names of Goldilocks and Magnolia ice cream. Goldilocks is known for its baked pastries such as ube cake rolls, leche flan custards, polvoron, and hopia. Magnolia Ice Cream is known for its tropical flavors of Ube, Mango, Buko Pandan, Avocado and Ube Macapuno.

If you are bringing dessert for a potluck, it’s the best place to pick up one of these Filipino favorites. Located by the en trance, the desserts are showcased in an open display. Kitch en dishwares and tools are also displayed for sale.

It’s only been open a little over six months since opening and already, Manila Bay has become a destination restau rant with visitors driving from across town.

Panklang has been collaborating with Filipino and Asian organizations to support and cater community events. With the holidays around the corner, the restaurant offers party trays to create a Kamayan feast for large groups or families.

Visit Manila Bay at or follow them on their social channels: @manilabayco.

13Manila Bay | Asian Avenue Magazine
Entrance of Manila Bay Restaurant Manila Bay Bakery is inside the restaurant

Coffee Sarap brings Filipino coffee flavors to Colorado

Beyond frappuccinos and lattes, coffee is getting a little kick of Asian flavors from the Philippines as two Filipino American women are introducing unique caffeinated brews from this island country.

Originally from Seattle, the business partners founded Coffee Sarap, currently a mobile coffee cart offering Filipi no-flavored brews to communities in Castle Rock.

Filipino Pride

“We wanted to embrace our Filipino culture and share with the community our brews with flavors from the Philip pines,” said Hannah Cambronero, 30, adding that the coffee cart debuted on June 12, which is the Independence Day of the Philippines from Spain, to honor their cultural heritage.

“Growing up in the 90’s, Filipino American History Month wasn’t even acknowledged,” said Chelsey Solemsaas, 31. “In fact, our parents were told to set aside their Filipino culture when they immigrated and were pressured to assimilate.”

Cambronero did not want to deny her Filipino culture. “But being Filipino is something that no one can take away from us. From the food, traditions, and communal way of life, Filipino Americans deserve to be recognized and it wasn’t until we were adults that we started to see it becoming more mainstream,” she said.

“Filipino American History Month gives us the opportunity

to be proud of who we are. And with this month, we get to showcase and educate those around us about who we are, what we have to offer, and the diversity of Filipinos. We are proud of our heritage, and we hope to continue to pass that sense of pride to our kids.”

One of their busiest venues is in front of daycare centers. The foot traffic is dependable, and the flow of ordering is seamless as parents order their coffee, then drop their child(ren) off and pick up their coffee order from the cart on the way back to their car.

The cart is open three to four hours in the morning, serv ing an average of 50 customers.

Specialty coffee is a coffee experience recognized for its distinctive attributes, and because of these attributes, has significant extra value in the marketplace.

Long-time Acquaintances

Back in Seattle, Cambronero and Solemsaas first met each other during their high school years. But it wasn’t until they both moved to Colorado that they connected through a cousin. The duo are both mothers with young children around the same age, so they gather weekly with other moms on Thursdays for ladies’ night as a chance to wind down and decompress.

Brewing coffee was something both of them knew how to

October 2022 | Cafe Peek14
To celebrate Filipino American History Month, Coffee Sarap introduced a new Bubble Tsaa drink called the Bruha Bubble. Follow Coffee Sarap on Instagram @coffeesarap or Facebook @coffeesarapco

do from their days living in a suburb outside of Seattle. Cambronero’s experience came from working at Jewel Box Cafe, while Solemsaas has worked at Peet’s Coffee and Tea and espresso stands.

In fact, espresso stands were commonplace in the northwest territory, so bringing this concept to Colorado paved a way to penetrate the Cas tle Rock market.

They both experimented with recipes, collaborated with local sourc ing, and conducted cold calls to businesses around Castle Rock. These cold calls landed the coffee cart business at regular weekly spots includ ing Iron Mule Brewery, Crush Wine Bar, Pinnacle in Crystal Valley Ranch, and KinderCare Castle Rock.

“We created Coffee Sarap to showcase Filipino culture to our commu nity by sharing our flavors through specialty beverages and food items,” said Solemsaas. “We aim to create an inviting and inclusive space for anyone to feel welcome when they visit Coffee Sarap.”

Looking Ahead

Coffee Sarap’s newest drink is a Bubble Tsaa (tea). Coffee Bubble Tea originated in Taiwan in the 80’s and is a mix of tea, milk, flavor, sweetener and contains chewy tapioca pearls in the bottom.

Looking ahead, Cambronero and Solemsaas are eyeing the possibil ity of owning a brick-and-mortar site, but still operating a coffee cart for festivals and community events.

Curious about Coffee Sarap’s Filipino flavors or their October sched ule? Check them out at or connect with them on Ins tagram @coffeesarap or Facebook @coffeesarapco.

Mary Jeneverre Schultz is excited about the Ube lattes, not because of their purple color, but because ube is made of a delicious yam from the Philippines.

Filipino Restaurants in Colorado

Adobo Restaurant and Food Truck

3109 N. Federal Blvd., Denver 1309 26th St., Denver

Chibog (Food Truck)

Facebook and Instagram: @chibognow


830 S. Buckley Rd., Aurora, CO 80017

Filipino Belly (Food Truck) (720) 645-5088

Filipino Food Truck

4305 E. Platte Ave., Colorado Springs (719) 321-1316

Ihawan sa Colorado (Food Truck)

See schedule at:

Julie’s Kitchen

3750 Astrozon Blvd., Colorado Springs (719) 596-4019

Manila Bay Restaurant

13800 E Mississippi Ave., Aurora, CO 80012 (303) 751-2561

Boracay Dreams Halo Presko Mestiza Morena

Visit to learn about their ingredients and see their full menu of these specialty coffees from the Philippines.

Rj Foodies and Catering Services (Filipino Food Truck)

4102 Harrison Rd., Colorado Springs (719) 217-5093

You-Ka Café

3743 Blooming St., Colorado Springs (719) 309-6934

Colorado Facebook Groups:

*Tindahang Filipino sa Colorado (TFC): Home-cooked chefs

Taste of Filipino Food

15Coffee Sarap | Asian Avenue Magazine
Palawan Dreams Pandan Latte Pandan Milk Pandan Presko The Lola Ube Latte Ube Milk Ube Presko Boracay Dreams Pandan Milk Ube Latte COFFEE SARAP MENU

Colorado wedding with Filipino flair

Kaylah Malillos and her husband Alex Medlock cele brated their wedding this past July in Colorado with Fil ipino influences inspired by Malillos’ heritage.

Born in California, Malillos moved to the Philippines when she was three in 1996. She learned Tagalog and re mains fluent today. Her grandparents on her father’s side helped raise her while her parents worked. She grew up very close with them, her aunts, and her cousins. Just be fore turning seven in 1999, she moved to Colorado to re unite with her parents. Her family would continue to visit the Philippines in the summers; visiting the Philippines always felt like returning home for her.

She and Medlock met in college at the University of Den ver. They both enjoyed traveling and learning about cul tures. He embraced her Filipino culture quickly, especially loving Filipino food. “For one of my birthdays, while I was busy with school, he made me sinigang, which meant a lot.”

Sinigang and tinola are their favorite dishes that they often make for dinner. During the holidays, they also love rolling “lumpia” with her family.

“Alex first visited the Philippines and met my extend ed family there in 2017. It was then I knew we would be lifelong partners, and so did my family,” Malillos said. “He embraced them so quickly and they welcomed him with open arms right back.”

During their engagement party, her aunt or ”ninang” (godmother) said: “Alex, we welcome you to our family. The first time you went to visit us in the Philippines, we knew you would be the one for Kaylah.”

In 2019, the couple returned to the Philippines for Ma lillos’ cousin’s wedding, where they were both involved in the wedding party.

After they got engaged in June 2021, Malillos knew she wanted to incorporate her culture in her wedding.

In March 2022, they celebrated their engagement party at the Sonya’s Garden Bed and Breakfast in the Philippines, where they stayed in a traditional cottage. Since Filipinos love to dance, they brought in a dance instructor during the reception. “Dancing with my grandmother was one of my favorite parts of that celebration,” she said.

October 2022 | Cover Story16

Even though I grew up in Colorado, I’ve always felt strongly connected to my Filipino roots and I wanted my wedding to reflect that. Colorado is such a beautiful backdrop for any wedding, but I wanted to add Filipino touches as a nod to my ethnic background.

While we were in the Philippines in March, we brought back items for our July wedding.

We got personalized embroidered handker chiefs or “panyos” as a small detail to remem ber the Philippines during our special day. The art of intricate embroidery in the Philippines dates back since the Spanish colonial period.

To keep our guests cool during the ceremo ny, we got “pamaypays,” a traditional handheld fan from the Philippines, made from woven palm leaves in a technique known as sawali (twilled).

The men and boys wore “Barong Taga logs,” commonly known as barongs, an em broidered long-sleeved formal shirt for men and a national dress of the Philippines. Bar ong tagalog combines elements from both

the precolonial native Filipino and colonial Spanish clothing styles.

The barongs were from my aunt and uncle’s small business, Barongs ‘R Us, and I wore my mom’s wedding dress that was designed by Lou Razon.

During the cocktail hour, fresh coconuts were served to give guests a taste of the tropics.

Our decor included tropical foliage and “capiz” (windowpane oyster) shells, which are found abundantly in the Philippines and are harvested and transformed into various deco rative products.

For gifts for our parents, we gave them “pa rols,” a Filipino ornamental lantern displayed during the Christmas season.

Wedding | Asian Avenue Magazine 17
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The Great American Beer Festival returns to an in-person event in downtown Denver

This year, 40,000 brew lovers will descend in Denver at the 40th Anniversary Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

About 500 breweries from all over the US will bring more than 2,000 beers to downtown Denver at the Colorado Convention Center from October 6 to 8, 2022.

Local Breweries Look Forward to the Festival

“The Great American Beer Festival is just that — the great est beer festival in America. There is nothing like it,” said Skip Schwartz, head brewer at WeldWerks Brewing Com pany. “To have that many amazing breweries in one place at one time is something special. To be able to have it in person again, in Denver, and in our home state of Colora do, is just an amazing thing to see.”

WeldWerks Brewery, based in Greeley, Colo., will show case boba pearls in their sour beer line at their booth.

“I truly think we have captured the boba tea experience in beer form, with months of trial and error,” said Schwartz. “With the help from our amazing head chef, Tim Meador, and sous chef, Raj Patrawala, whose passion constantly pushes us in the brewhouse, we think we have found an awesome way to showcase modern culinary arts with beer.”

Post Pandemic Festival Planning

Back in-person after a two-year hiatus, the 40th anniver sary GABF is not one to miss!

“I think it’s time, and I’m cautiously optimistic about the crowds. It’s always interesting to see how things bounce back after the pandemic, and I’m glad they limited the number of booths (and I’m assuming attendance) this year,” said Jeff Smith, co-founder and head ringmaster at LUKI Brewery. “There’s no reason to completely pack every one in there on the show floor. Just knowing the booths are spaced out 8-ft wide instead of the traditional 6-ft already feels like we have room to breathe.”

Hosted by the Brewers Association and American Home brewers Association, GABF is the nation’s largest-ticketed beer festival and collection of U.S. beer ever served, in the format of a public-tasting event, including a privately judged competition.

Brewers of Colorado are excited to showcase their local ingredients. Take Our Mutual Friend Brewing.

“We use local ingredients whenever possible,” said head brewer Jan Chodkowski at Our Mutual Friend Brew ing. “All our base malt comes from Colorado, and we also

18 October 2022 | Feature

incorporate Colorado hops into our beers as well.”

Asian Brewing Companies Join the 2022 GABF

There are local brewers choosing to attend as competitors, rather than exhibiting or hosting a table.

Taiwanese American David Lin of Comrade Brewing Company in Den ver is competing this year. He shares the festival is smaller in attendance and is opting to attend local events around downtown Denver.

“I’m looking forward to the festival, but there will also be a lot of events going on around town that we’ll be participating in,” said Lin.

“It is sure different, without Falling

Rock Tap House around anymore.”

Comrade Brewing was named the 2019 Small Brewing Company of the Year at GABF.

Their beer, Superpower IPA, was awarded a gold medal in the Amer ican-Style Strong Pale Ale category, which had 131 entries.

Jade Mountain Brewing Company in Aurora, will not exhibit their beers or enter any of the categories for competition. Rather, the Chinese-in spired brewery that uses Asian ingre dients of lychee or rice, will host a tap takeover at Bao Brew House on Lar imer Square.

Follow Mary Jeneverre Schultz on Twitter @Jeneverre.

Wild Basin Seltzer releases its island-inspired “Paradise Pack”

Comrade Brewing, owned by TaiwaneseAmerican David Lin, will be competing at the 2022 GABF.

WeldWerks Brewery, based in Greeley, Colo., will showcase boba pearls in their sour beers at the festival.

“These tiki-inspired tropical flavors take you away to an island locale,” said Wild Basin Brand Manager, Margaret Mannion. “Flavors like lime, coconut, orange, and guava are sure to be crowd pleasers. These slim 12 oz cans are ready for a sunny afternoon at the beach or by the pool.”

• Passion, Orange and Guava (P.O.G.): A beach chair with your feet in the sand pairs perfectly with this juicy, tropical and citrusy combination.

• Watermelon Mojito: Summer time in drink form - melony sweet ness mixes with mint and a hint of lime to send your taste buds on vacation.

• Lime Coconut: A surprise fusion of two well-known tropical ingre dients creates a new spritzer-style classic.

• Blue Hawaiian: As blue as the waters in Hawaii and just as refreshing with hints of pineapple, coconut and other tropical notes.

Learn more about Wild Basin Hard Seltzer at:

Great American Beer Festival | Asian Avenue Magazine 19
Pretzels, Advil, bagels and chips are part of the attire when sampling brews at GABF. Photo Credit: Chad Mitchell


3 Democratic Senate Candidates to vote for

As we approach this November’s election, historically, Asian Amer ican Pacific Islander (AAPI) voting rates have never been high, espe cially in midterm elections like we are coming upon.

However, in 2018 we saw record increases in midterm election vot ing rates among both Asian Ameri cans (28% in 2014 to 42% in 2018) and Pacific Islanders (33% in 2014 to 44% in 2018), according to AAPI Data. And though we saw around the same leaps in voting rates from 2016 to 2020, midterm elections never see the same turnout as pres idential elections. So will AAPIs turn out in this year’s election?

In a study by APIAVote, the top issues AAPIs care about are: health care, jobs and the economy, ed ucation, gun safety and the envi ronment, which they considered “extremely or very important” issues along with voting rights and ad dressing racism.

More than half of Asian American registered voters prefer voting by mail or drop off rather than in per

son at a polling place. And it’s no surprise 73% of Asian Americans worry about experiencing hate crimes, harassment and discrimina tion at least “sometimes”.

While Congress and the Governor elections draw the attention in the November election, there are three competitive State Senate seats we should focus on.

Districts 20 (Lakewood/Littleton), 24 (Thornton) and 27 (Centennial) have higher Asian and Pacific Islander voters than other Senate elections this year.

In these districts, all three Demo cratic candidates have been State Representatives since 2019 and have passed bills that address the concerns that AAPI voters care about mentioned above, while none of the Republican candidates have any legislative experience.

State Senate District 20 covers parts of Lakewood and Littleton in Jefferson County, where State Rep resentative Lisa Cutter is the Demo cratic candidate.

She is a fierce defender of protect

ing Colorado’s environment and mit igating and preventing the wildfires; and she is a driving force for mental and behavioral health systems.

A prime sponsor for Wildfire Mit igation and Recovery (HB22-1121) Lisa is also the prime sponsor of bills that cover healthcare (HB19-1269), jobs and the economy (HB20-1413, HB20-1346), education (HB19-1277) and the environment (HB22-1355, HB22-1159, HB22-1345) just to name a few.

In Senate District 24, which covers

October 2022 | Feature20
By Howard Chou Vice Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party LISA CUTTER State Senate District 20

most of Thornton in Adams Coun ty, Democratic candidate House Representative Kyle Mullica is also a trauma nurse. He has focused on bills lowering health care costs, low ering cost of living, protecting envi ronment and water, and promoting economic development.

A prime sponsor for School Immu nization Requirement (HB19-1312) to ensure public health and to pro tect our students and educators, Kyle has been a prime sponsor for

many healthcare bills (a few include HB19-1154, HB19-1105, HB20-1078) and higher education (HB21-1173), housing (HB22-1282), and gun safety (HB21-1106).

In Senate District 27, which covers mostly parts of Centennial, Auro ra and Inverness area in Arapahoe County, Democratic candidate State Representative Tom Sullivan is a former postal worker and Air Force veteran looking to serve working families all over Colorado. As the fa ther of a son murdered in the Aurora Theater Shooting in 2012, he cham pioned the gun safety bill known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (HB19-1177) along with other gun safety bills (HB20-1356, HB21-1299).

Some of his other prime sponsored bills are in jobs and the economy (HB21-1264, HB21-1007), voter pro tection (HB22-1086), and education (HB19-1236).

All three Democratic candidates have sponsored bills like the Cli mate Action Plan to Reduce Pollu tion (HB19-1261) along with others

to protect our climate and environ ment, improve our healthcare and lower its cost, stimulate economic growth, improve public education, and promote public safety.

When it’s time to vote for State Senators, choose those who share our values in the AAPI community and already have a proven track re cord at our State Capitol. If you live in Senate District 20, 24 or 27, Lisa Cutter, Kyle Mullica and Tom Sullivan are the clear choices to represent AAPIs.

Voting | Asian Avenue Magazine 21
TOM SULLIVAN State Senate District 27 KYLE MULLICA State Senate District 24


On September 21, the Chinese seniors at Happy Living Adult Daycare in Aurora showcased their talents in celebration of Seniors Day at Regis Jesuit High School.

Seniors Day, known as the Double Ninth Festival, is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar. It is traditionally a day to celebrate, honor, and pay respect to the community’s seniors.

Performances included a tai chi demon

stration, chorus songs, and several danc es. Red envelopes were given to seniors over the age of 100.

Special guests included City of Auro ra Mayor Mike Coffman and Englewood Judge Joe Jefferson.

The event was organized by Happy Liv ing Adult Daycare, Denver Chinese Cul ture Center, and Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.

Colorado General Election Day

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Register to vote and get voter resources at:

E-mail if you have questions or need support to better understand Colorado’s election process.

To register in Colorado you must:

- Be a citizen of the United States;

- Be a resident of Colorado 22 days prior to Election Day;

- Be 18 years old on or before Election Day; and - Not be serving a sentence of detention, confinement, or parole for a felony conviction.

Colorado voter registration deadlines

- In Person: Election Day

- By Mail: Postmarked 8 days before Election Day

- Online: 8 days before Election Day.

Election Day Registration:

You can register and cast a ballot up through Election Day by appearing in-person at a Voter Service and Polling Center during the Early Voting period or on Election Day.


Join CACEN at upcoming events and trainings to get our community registered! And to educate the AAPI community about the voting process. Learn more at

22 October 2022 | On Scene

Call to support Taiwan’s participation in ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organiza tion (ICAO) develops common regulations and standards for civil aviation. Countries around the world abide by ICAO’s direc tives to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation.

The 41st session of the triennial ICAO Assembly, to be held September 27 to October 7 this year in Montreal, Canada, will be ICAO’s biggest event since the pandemic. Thus, the meeting will be sym bolic for supporting the recovery of the aviation sector. It further showcases the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders in the international aviation community. We call on ICAO to recon nect with Taiwan in a collective effort to achieve the goal of a seamless sky.

Reconnecting the world and facilitating Taiwan’s technical participation

ICAO, an important forum spurring the development of aviation, is where civil aviation authorities discuss issues such as aviation safety, air navigation services, avi ation security, environmental protection, and aviation economics. All of these bear on the development of each country’s civ il aviation sector. As the global aviation in dustry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, collaboration among all stake holders in support of passenger health and safe travel is more important than ever. No civil aviation authority should be excluded. ICAO will hold the 41st As sembly session with the stated goal of “re connecting the world.” Including Taiwan would help the world meet this aim.

Taiwan’s Taipei Flight Information Region (Taipei FIR) is part of ICAO’s network of over 300 FIRs. The Civil Aeronautics Administra tion of Taiwan (Taiwan CAA) is the sole en tity overseeing, and is responsible for safe air traffic management throughout, the Taipei FIR. It offers a comprehensive range of information services and streamlines air routes to ensure the safety and efficiency of all aircraft and passengers arriving in, departing, and transiting the Taipei FIR. The Taipei FIR’s efforts have been hampered by the recent actions of China.

From both a risk and safety manage ment perspective, ICAO should allow the Taiwan CAA to participate in ICAO so that it is able to communicate with other FIRs and provide and obtain timely informa tion via ICAO.

Sharing Taiwan’s aviation experiences to achieve the ICAO goal of seamless aviation

Despite the severe effect the pandemic has had on the world over the past two years, the Taiwan CAA has made every ef fort to maintain the strong safety record of the Taipei FIR while diligently adhering to relevant antipandemic measures and complying with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices. With a joint ef fort by civil aviation stakeholders and the government, Taiwan’s national carriers have been among the few airlines around the world to have remained profitable and not cut jobs. In addition, according to Airports Council International statistics for 2020 and 2021, Taiwan Taoyuan Inter national Airport, Taiwan’s largest, was the fourth-busiest airport in the world for in ternational air cargo.

Technological advances have caused unprecedented development and chang es in aviation. Drones are one such ex ample. As the wider use of drones poses

a potential risk to aviation safety and air port operations, ICAO has been revising or adopting provisions in related guid ance materials regarding unmanned air craft systems. Despite a lack of access to ICAO information, the Taiwan CAA has established relevant management mech anisms in a timely manner so as to main tain aviation safety within the Taipei FIR while also helping spur the development of drone-related industries. Taiwan is will ing to share its aviation experiences with other countries and hopes to learn about theirs to improve aviation safety.

Urging the international community to support Taiwan’s participation in ICAO

Taiwan’s call to be included in ICAO has been increasingly recognized by the in ternational community. As an important stakeholder in the international aviation community, Taiwan takes seriously its re sponsibility to safeguard aviation safety. Participation in ICAO would allow Taiwan, together with all other countries, to con tribute to the further development of global aviation and the well-being of all humankind.

For many years, the Taiwan CAA has maintained the highest standards of ser vice and safety for the Taipei FIR. It has also worked hard to comply with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices. ICAO chose the theme “reconnecting the world” for this year’s Assembly to promote a global aviation recovery. Now is the time for ICAO to reconnect with Taiwan. To further contribute to international civil aviation, the Taiwan CAA aspires to share its professional experiences and to partic ipate in ICAO’s 41st Assembly meaning fully and professionally so as to help the world meet the ICAO goal of a seamless network for aviation safety.

By Wang Kwo-tsai Minister of Transportation and Communications Republic of China (Taiwan)

Taiwan Update | Asian Avenue Magazine 23