A Pioneering Perspective: Evangeline “Vangie” Buell

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evangeline-vangie-buell.jpgEvangeline “Vangie” Buell, 84, is a resident at Piedmont Gardens in Oakland, California. Nearly 100 years ago, Buell’s parents came to the United States from the Philippines. Growing up, Buell became very interested in advocating for the Filipino American community, as she wanted to share her Filipino culture with fellow Americans. Fast forward 39 years, Buell became the national president of the Filipino American National History Society (FANHS), East Bay chapter.

Q: Why did you decide to serve on the Filipino American National History Society (FANHS)?

A: I joined my local chapter because I felt it was important to share my culture with the community. I knew I had powerful stories to tell and a wide audience of listeners in the East Bay area. While it wasn’t easy at first, we now have over 33 chapters in the U.S. I’m so happy to see the FANHS organization grow. 

Q: What are your most memorable experiences from working for the FANHS?

A: In 2007, I was honored as one of the most influential women in the U.S. during a ceremony in Washington D.C. at the same time my book, Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride, was selected into the Library of Congress. This was an incredible moment for me. Another memorable experience would have to be when President Obama celebrated Filipino American Month this past October and released his special message celebrating Filipino Americans across the nation.

Q: What piece advice would give to someone who is aspiring to share his or her story with others?

A: Sharing humanity fosters understanding and world peace. When you’re young, tell your story to those who will listen. If today’s youth doesn’t write their own history, others will write it for them and it might be incorrect.

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