SF State’s League of Filipino Students to celebrate 25th anniversary
SF State’s LFS, the first in the US, reflect on their experiences prior to the celebration.
October 24, 2022
SF State’s League of Filipino Students will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Oct. 25 in Jack Adams Hall. The celebration will feature cultural performances, guest speakers and presentations on LFS’ history.
LFS was founded in the Philippines in 1977, in response to former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law. This declaration began a regime that would last more than a decade.
The student-led National Democratic Mass Organization was formed to project their voices in rebellion to the martial law era and acted as an alliance against the oppression of the country’s autocracy.
Twenty years later, LFS formed its first international chapter in the Bay Area with the goal of connecting Filipino Americans to their homeland’s history and fight for democracy. In 1997, SF State became the home of the League of Filipino Students Bay Area chapter.
Today, LFS continues to focus on uniting Filipino Americans and Filipinos around the world in the fight for liberation by protesting and educating the local public.
SF State alumna and LFS interim chair Megan Murphy joined the group at the start of the pandemic when her mother experienced taxing conditions as a nurse.
“PPE was prioritized and given to the doctors rather than the nurses, eventually she got COVID,” Murphy said. “I joined LFS at a point where I was really frustrated about a lot of different things happening in the world.”
In 2021, healthcare workers in the Philippines protested against government neglect in hospitals due to new COVID-19 strains. Interested in the fight against poor working conditions in the Philippines, Murphy joined the Women’s Committee in LFS.
“I got more involved and the more I learned, the more I realized I was passionate about it,” Murphy said. “Seeing the overarching issues in society and how it affects everyone was an understanding I got through joining.”
SF State alumna and LFS’ Organizational Development Committee member Kayla Soriano joined in 2018 after learning about the organization at the Filipino Community Center’s summer program.
“It was an accumulation of my experiences growing up in the city that led me to join,” Soriano said. “I wanted to continue to uplift the issues in the Philippines and build relationships with Filipinos who have similar experiences as me.”
Soriano said the celebration is not only about LFS’ legacy at SF State, but a celebration of 25 years of organizing and mobilizing in the Bay Area.
“It’s really celebrating not only the resilience but the amount of work and effort that have all been brought up to this moment,” Soriano said. “I’m excited to see old faces and new faces.”
SF State’s LFS was the only U.S. chapter until last year. It is now accompanied by a UC Berkeley chapter and a chapter in the works at Stanford University.