Caballeros de Dimas Alang Inc., Louisiana Lodge No. 34 U.D.

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Caballeros de Dimas Alang is a fraternal organization founded in the Tagalog provinces of the Philippines in 1906 and organized in the United States in 1920.[1] The Caballeros de Dimas Alang Inc., Louisiana Lodge No. 34 U.D. was founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946.[2]

Mission

Dimas Alang was a "protective society" that sought to raise the standard of living of Filipinos. [3] In places like Hawaii, where Filipinos worked on plantations, Dimas Alang could intervene in labor situations. [4] In New Orleans, the organization didn't have a block of workers to protect and overall had less political influence, but there was a need to protect Filipinos from racism. This could have been the motivation of leaders in the organization. Miguel Guillera, a General Chairman of Dimas Alang, was set up in a federal sting by the notably corrupt prohibition office. Guillera served a year in federal prison and would have been motivated to draw upon his fellow Filipinos for the type of community support that was lacking when he was arrested.

Dimas Alang was also a social and charitable organization. It sponsored community events like the yearly Mardi Gras activities and represented the Filipino community. In 1941, when the American Red Cross Emergency War Fund in New Orleans made a plea to double the funds they had raised in order to meet their quota, a lodge committee asked the Filipino community to "contribute liberally." [5]

Mardi Gras

Dimas Alang hosted a Mardi Gras Queen Contest that helped it raise money for charity. The community sponsored contestants by voting with donations. Rhonda Lee Richoux describes the process: "Anyone could vote for their favorite candidate. It was a penny a vote, with the queen getting half of the money collected to help with the cost of her gown, and the other half going to the organization. You could, of course, vote as many times as you liked, so it added up pretty quickly." [6]

Membership

1936

  • Miguel Guillera-- General Chairman [7]

1941

  • Antonio Valente
  • Augustin Alvarez
  • Miguel Guillera [8]


Personal Accounts

Evelyn Guillera Gonzales Planchard-- "It used to be like a get together club, you know, just a get together club. We had dances and parties, like birthdays and celebrating everything. And Uncle Howard (Howard Guillera) he was so good-hearted he used to give everything away, you know we were selling beer and that. Boy that Uncle Howard honey, boy he was smart too. Good hearted, here you want another one. Good-hearted people" [9]

References

  1. Posadas, Barbara M. The Filipino Americans. Westport: Greenwood Press 1999. Web. [Google Books]
  2. Soong, Tina. "Filipino American Ball Marks 55th Anniversary" The Times-Picayune [New Orleans] 1 Mar. 1990. Web. [PDF]
  3. The Bismarck Tribune. (Bismarck, N.D.), 26 Oct. 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042243/1922-10-26/ed-1/seq-6/>
  4. The Garden Island. (Lihue, Kauai, H.T.), 03 Jan. 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015411/1922-01-03/ed-1/seq-7/>
  5. "Red Cross Drive Calls for more Day's Pay Givers." The TImes-Picayune 31 Dec. 1941 [New Orleans] (1). [PDF]
  6. Fox, Rhonda Richoux. "This Tree Has Strong Roots" Our Own Voice, Dec 2005. Web. [Essay]
  7. "Selection of Queen is Slated by Colony." The Times-Picayune New Orleans States Item [New Orleans] 26 Jan. 1936 16. [PDF]
  8. "Red Cross Drive Calls for more Day's Pay Givers." The TImes-Picayune 31 Dec. 1941 [New Orleans] (1). [PDF]
  9. Evelyn Guillera Gonzales Planchard. Interview. January 13, 2008.