Mag-Asawa – Couples

Richgail Chris Hanging Panel small

Left: Blas and Mary Calica, 1930 on Pine Street | Right: Richgail Enriquez and Christopher Mark Diez, 2013

The Calica family is from Naguilian, La Union & Binmaley, Caloocan in the Philippines. Blas Cacdac Calica came to San Francisco in 1926, and returned to the Philippines to marry, coming back to the United States in the 1930s with Mary Caluza.

Richgail Enriquez
Marketing Specialist, Waiter.Com; Volunteer & Aspiring Actor, Bindlestiff Studio; Blog Writer, Astig Vegan

“I am from Bacoor Cavite, Philippines, and I came to the US in December 1997. As a Filipino in SF, I feel we are visible but still somewhat voiceless. San Francisco is a wonderful, magnificent city, full of diversity. It embraces and celebrates people with different walks of life and personal backgrounds. As a Filipina, I feel accepted here. I feel tremendously proud when I see street signs that say Mabini St. or Bonifacio St., the names of our Philippine national heroes. Hopefully, that pride will lead to more Filipino leadership represented in the local government—in the City Board of Supervisors or maybe even in the mayoral seat.

“I volunteer at Bindlestiff Studio on 6th Street, because it gives voice to many Filipino stories through its theater plays. I’m proud to see so many Filipino and Asian arts organizations in San Francisco telling the stories of our Filipino people. They foster a creative outlet to many talented Filipino and Asian artists and inspire aspiring ones—like me! I also have a popular blog, Astig Vegan. I hope to encourage healthy living by showing Filipino food can be vegan, healthy, and delicious all at the same time.”

Christopher Mark Diez
Entrepreneur/Co-Owner of Bay Area Hair Institute and Fine Line Barber Shop

“My mother is from Pangasinan and my father is from Davao: the north-south alliance. They migrated to the United States in the early 1970s, and I was born in San Francisco.

“Being Filipino gives me the strength to rise above any obstacle, prejudice or stereotypes. I grew up in SF, in a working class neighborhood filled with immigrants of many nations. White folks were of the minority. This gave me the opportunity to have friends from many nations and gain a better perspective and attitude. My aunt was a successful real estate broker–one of the first Filipino woman brokers in the Bay Area. She showed me that we are just as able to accomplish our goals.”

“With Richgail, she is incredibly humble and wickedly intelligent. The kicker was that she was from the Philippines. She filled gaps in myself that nobody had before.”

Dianne Jaymar Hanging Panel small

Top: Newlyweds Dr. Mario A. Borja M.D., M.D. and Dr. Engracia Escobar Borja, M.D. (Grace), 1962
Bottom: Newlyweds Jaymar Cabebe and Dianne Que, with Maid of Honor Bien Roque, 2013

Newlyweds Dr. Mario A. Borja M.D., M.D. and Dr. Engracia Escobar Borja, M.D. (Grace), 1962

Dr. Engracia Escobar came over in 1952 with her family. Her father was soldier in the U.S. Army, first stationed at Fort Barry near the Marin Headlands until they found a home in San Francisco. While working as a pediatrician, at Mary’s Help Hospital, (now Seton Medical Hospital), when it was on Guerrero Street, she met Dr. Mario A. Borja, serving his residency. He had originally migrated in 1957 for an internship at Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna, New York. Too cold in NY, he made his way to SF with his doctor buddies. They married in 1962. For 36 years, both doctors ran a medical practice catered to the Pilipino community in the Mission district.

In 1976, Dr. Mario A. Borja M.D. purchased the Delta Hotel located on Mission and 6th Streets. He founded the Filipino-American Development Foundation (FADF) in 1997, to establish a community center on the ground floor of the Delta Hotel. However, in August 1997, a big fire damaged the entire building. Dr. Borja decided to sell the building to non-profit housing developer, Tenant and Owners Development Corporation (TODCO) on the condition that TODCO develop affordable housing to house the displaced fire victims, rename the housing Bayanihan House, and provide FADF a lease of the ground floor to establish the Bayanihan Community Center. Today, Bayanihan Community Center is home to Veterans Equity Center, Arkipelago Books Store, Kularts, Galing Bata After-School Program Office, and FADF

Dianne Que
Owner/Entrepreneur of craft boutique, DI&Q
Art Administrator; Production Manager; Account Manager, An Otherwise Co.

Her mother’s family comes from Dinalupihan, Bataan, and her father is from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. The family migrated to the US in 1981. Dianne was born in San Francisco and raised in Modesto, moving back to San Francisco in 2006. As a founding member of Kamay at Puso, Dianne facilitated the development of a Community/Therapy center in the Madapdap Resettlement Center (Pampanga, Philippines) for child victims of toxic waste (2005-2006), where she compiled written and visual documentation of patients and their families. With Third World Majority, a Media Training and Resource Center in Oakland, CA, Dianne coordinated Digital Storytelling workshops and film screenings for community organizers throughout the U.S. (2006-2007). She was Program Manager at Kularts for 4 years, before leaving to launch her own business.

“I feel a deep sense of community here in the Bay Area. I live in Daly City, where Filipinos abound, but I’ve primarily worked in and around the SF/SOMA Filipino community, where I’ve nurtured my second roots, so-to-speak. I feel blessed to have worked with organizations like Kularts, FADF/Bayanihan Community Center, Bindlestiff, VEC, Arkipelago, Filipino Community Center, and more, advocating for the visibility and wellness of our community.”

Jaymar Cabebe
Tech Editor; Web Content Creator; Digital Media Dude

Jaymar is from in Diamond Bar, CA. He moved to San Francisco in 2007. He is currently enrolled in a graduate business program at California College of the Arts focusing on innovation and sustainability.

“My Mom is from Samar my Dad from Pangasinan, Ilocos. I was born and raised in

Orange, California (SoCal) in the early 70s. My parents originally immigrated to the East Coast (separately), and then relocated to Southern California in the late 70s. My dad’s family, however, has roots in San Francisco, with my paternal grandfather having initially come to the Bay Area in 30s. Having grown up in Southern California, I am in awe of the ubiquity of Filipino institutions and cultural organizations here in SF. In some ways, SF has even taught me more about my cultural history than my parents.”

Dianne, Jaymar, and Bien met as students at UC San Diego.

Bien-Elize Roque

“My mom is from General Santos and my father is from Quezon City. They came to the US in the 70s. I lived in San Bruno and went to school in Burlingame. It was interesting to attend a higher income school but have parents who were middle class. I definitely stuck to my Pinay sisters as we had similar experiences: parents who were struggling to give us a life they never had. In general, growing up in the Bay Area as a Pilipina was amazing. I was surrounded by a community of Pilipin@s. I was able to learn about my culture, our struggle, and grow as a Pinay with other people. The Filipino-American community in the Bay is unlike any other in the nation and I am so happy to be around such a great community of passionate Pilipinos. But I still want to see a society that truly is equitable for all people of color. I would like to see justice be a reality and not just a myth or something we are struggling to fight for. “

Pictures of Richgail Enriquez and Christopher Mark Diez were taken by Peggy Peralta. Pictures of Dianne Que and Jaymar Cabebe were taken by Peggy Peralta with Wilfred Galila.

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