The Tao ng Taon or (TNT or “Person of the Year”) is a special person who the Filipino Community Center would like to recognize for their commitment and contributions to the FCC and the local Filipino Community. Although there are many TNTs in the FCC, we would like to take this moment to highlight one.

“Nanay Adeling has always been someone FCC can count on. She is very reliable which encourages us to continue our work.  She has a charming personality and is just someone great to have as a part of the community.”- Mario deMira, FCC staff

“She is someone who’s been through a lot coming from the Philippines. She continues to support her family and recently joined the FCC and the community to fight for immigrants and workers’ rights. She also has the best arroz caldo!” – Terry Valen, FCC Director

As Nanay Adeling opened her gate for Lyra and I, I felt a welcoming presence because of the way she smiled. She is a small lady, about 5’0 with short curly hair.  Although I’ve never met her before, I could tell she was very bold and outgoing. She greeted us with a big smile across her face and led us into her home. As I entered the living room, I saw three Santo Niño’s on a shelf and another one on top of her TV. There were also many pictures of her family on a table to the right of the room. She offered us to sit down so we could start the interview.

Adelaida Malihan was born on December 16, 1936. She is a loving mother of three children named Arlene, Bernie, and Clifford. In the Philippines she resided in Lucban, Quezon. Lucban is a small province which is known for Mt. Banahaw de Lucban. She said, “Instead of lava spouting out of the volcano, it was water.  When it rained, the water that streamed down the mountains looked like waterfalls.”

In 1972, she followed her husband to the U.S. She wanted a change of environment and a better paying job. When she first came here she had a difficult time finding work. Then after two month she became pregnant and was not able to work until her newborn got older. Eventually she finally found work as a house keeper at Holiday Inn. For over fifteen year Nanay Adeling worked as a house keeper at different places until her husband passed away when she retired.

In 2010 Nanay Adeling was introduced to the Filipino Community Center (FCC). One of the FCC volunteers, Tita Aurora met her at Macy’s and asked her to come for ballroom dancing. Ever since then, she has stayed active and eventually joined SAMAKA an organization of Filipino women.

Nanay Adeling said she joined SAMAKA because, “It fought against discrimination of women and stood for women’s empowerment. SAMAKA recognized that women play a big role in the family. For example, women are usually the ones taking care of all the kids, cooking food, and providing a lot of the support to make sure everything is going well. Women are the king of the household. They hold everything down for their family.”

As a vibrant member of the community, she took part in rallies for caregivers and education, and went to Sacramento for the domestic workers bill of rights. Now she is currently a part of the Caregiver Project and regularly attends Talakayan, FCC’s monthly community gathering. What really motivates her to continue coming to the FCC is being able to interact with other people and get involved with other programs.

Nanay Adeling says the biggest moment for her was when she got interviewed by Henni Espinoza of ABS-CBN. She did not understand why Henni wanted to interview someone as old as her when she could talk to someone a lot younger. She felt the privilege to talk with Henni but had no idea she was going to be on TV. She was in shock when her friends told her she was an actress.

Nanay Adeling contributes a lot to the FCC, and is a great example of how anyone at any age can be involved in bettering our communities. Mabuhay si Nanay Adeling, TNT ng FCC!


This article was authored by Recy Flores, a sophomore at Balboa High School interning at the FCC. Recy has been a part of the FCC programs for three years and continues to work with Kabataan, FCC’s youth leadership program.

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