The four Filipino American student organizations introduce themselves at Filipino Mural Celebration at SF State on Saturday, April 9, 2023. (Chris Myers/ Golden Gate Xpress) (Chris Myers)
The four Filipino American student organizations introduce themselves at Filipino Mural Celebration at SF State on Saturday, April 9, 2023. (Chris Myers/ Golden Gate Xpress)

Chris Myers

SF State’s Mula Sa Ugat honor Filipino American Mural at 20-year celebration

The Filipino American Mural at SF State was dedicated in 2003 and was the first Filipino American mural in the CSU system.

April 10, 2023

SF State has over 17 murals on its campus, 11 of which celebrate the resilience of historically underrepresented communities. On Saturday, SF State’s Filipino American community congregated at Malcolm X Plaza for the 20th anniversary of the Filipino American Mural at SF State.

An alliance of SF State Filipino organizations, known as the Mula Sa Ugat, organized Saturday’s Filipino American Mural celebration. Mula Sa Ugat, which is Tagalog for “from the roots,” is composed of four Filipino American student organizations: League of Filipino Students, Pilipinx American Collegiate Endeavor, Kappa Psi Epsilon and Chi Rho Omicron, Beta Chapter.

The Filipino American Mural Celebration is an annual event that centers around SF State’s Filipino American Mural. The mural, which is divided into four sections that stand for solidarity, community, struggle in the Philippines and struggle in the United States, was established in 2003 and was the first Filipino American mural in the California State University system.

Megan Murphy, an SF State graduate and chair of LFS, said the mural celebration is a way for the student organizations that make up MSU to organize and come together as a community and remember the history of how the mural came to be.

“There’s a really strong Filipino population here [at SF State], and also a really strong history of activism, and also pushing to have these really historic murals that capture a strong culture,” Murphy said. “I think especially for the Filipino mural, seeing the ways that it really encapsulates the struggle that Filipinos face both here in the U.S. and then also in the Philippines.”

Over 50 people attended Saturday’s mural celebration, which offered musical performances, spoken word poetry, guest speakers, catered food and shopping. Six local vendors set up booths for attendees to browse through in between performances.

Tyler Castillo, the owner of Sari Sari Market, was a small vendor at the mural event who sells vintage and pre-loved clothing.

“We’re just trying to lessen waste out there so that’s why I predominantly do this,” Castillo said.

Castillo takes his passion to reduce waste a step further by using old Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards as price tags for his clothing.

“I saw one vendor doing it one time, and I was like, ‘oh, that’s a pretty good idea,’” Castillo said. “I have a lot of cards. I used to collect them. They’re just collecting dust now, so might as well put them to use.”

Jessica Contreras, an SF State graduate and co-owner of Enamoro Jewelry, has been a vendor at several SF State events, including last year’s Filipino American Mural Celebration.

“They actually always invite me to come out and we always have a good time,” Contreras said.

Contreras started the Latinx jewelry business with her cousin three years ago and strives to produce quality, handcrafted pieces.

“We sell just high quality but affordable jewelry ranging from five bucks to about 30,” Contreras said. “We try to make it really affordable for everyone, and it’s all hypoallergenic, so for anyone who has allergies it’s really good for them.”

The Filipino American Mural Celebration will be back next April for its 21st year.

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Photo of Sarah Bruno
Sarah Bruno, Copy Editor
Sarah Bruno (she/her) is the copy editor at Golden Gate Xpress. She is a senior at SF State and will be graduating in Spring 2023. She is a Print and Online Journalism major with a Literature in English minor. Sarah lives in San Francisco but is originally from the East Bay. In her free time, she loves to travel, try out new restaurants, hit up a museum or art exhibit, and drink a glass of wine while binging the latest tv show with her cat, Buffy.
Photo of Chris Myers
Chris Myers, Staff Photographer
Chris Myers (he/him) is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress. He is a photojournalism major with a minor in buisness administration. Currently based out of San Francisco and his current hobbies consists of snowboarding, golf and softball. He is really appreciative of the hundreds of inches of snow that the Sierra Nevada has recieved this Winter.

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