The usual spots you’d probably want to see in Los Angeles for the first time are the Hollywood Sign or Universal Studios. But this time, consider adding the Filipinotown Eastern Gateway to your list. The 30-foot tall monument was recently unveiled after over 20 years in the making.
The large gateway is called “Talang Gabay- Our Guiding Star”, which was a project by the community fighting to represent their Fil-Am roots. It was unveiled in line with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month’s celebration in April.
For the landmark’s structure, artist Eliseo Silva shared that the design had special meanings. He explained that including the pumanella flower was used by ancient healers for medicine and prayers, so it became a symbol for the frontliners.
Silva added, ‘The health care workers who we are also honoring today, equally with our heroes from the past like the manongs and farm workers who work the fields; and I did that by making the shape of the gateway a salakot.’
The community worked together with the Fil-Am Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza to complete the monument. She stated, ‘As a first generation Filipino born in Quezon City, I feel proud. I feel honored to play a role and get this done.’
The gateway can be seen down the street from the Glorious History Mural, which leads to many Filipino businesses and other public artworks. Putting up the grand Historic Filipinotown arch made a historic mark on the community, but this doesn’t end their plight for representation. They also want to pursue having a street named after a Filipino American hero.