On December 2017, the Philippine Center of Ventura County, Inc. (PHILCENTER) acquired its dream building through the help of various investors and donors in addition to the funds it raised for nine years.  Formerly Marie Callender’s Restaurant and thereafter as City Buffett Restaurant, this beautiful 8,828 square feet building sits on 1.78 acres boasting 100 parking spaces and it is perfect for our need for a community center.  The PhilCenter lies on a highly prestigious Channel Islands Business Park on the corner of Oxnard Boulevard (State Highway 1) and Statham Boulevard and bordered to the East by Ives Avenue.

Since owning its property at 424 Juniper Place, Oxnard and then it’s second property at 1220 Lindsay Place, Oxnard.  The PhilCenter was able to grow its asset while improving its credit standing plus helping it qualified in acquiring this building.

Immediately upon acquisition, the PhilCenter staff together with many volunteers started converting the previous restaurant into a banquet hall which can accommodate various kinds of events.  Since opening in April 2018, many events have been booked including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, debut, organizational dances, meetings, trainings and children parties.  Consequently, more investors and donors came forward to help from donating cameras, and flagpoles.  The PhilCenter is still seeking additional donations for new kitchen equipment, bar equipments and building murals.

A plan for expanding the ballroom, renovating the kitchen and opening the bar was submitted for city approval.  The PhilCenter now offers event hosting from Monday-Thursday and Sunday Fun Night every first Sunday of the month.  Events will include Disco & Karaoke Nights, Sunday BBQ Brunch, BINGO and a Senior Day Care.  Upon securing renovation permit, we are hoping to open our Senior Day Care.  Upon securing renovation permit, we are hoping to open our restaurant and bar next year.  Although the building has ongoing business, the PhilCenter will continue all its fundraising efforts which includes sponsoring events like Valentines Ball, Santacruzan Pageantry, Ms. PhilCenter Pageantry and Casino Trips to help pay off investors.  PhilCenter sincerely thanks those who have helped the project and it welcomes those who still want to be a part of the noble cause.

   PhilCenter Logo

In the Summer of 2008, some dedicated Filipino-Americans who were eager of having our own community center decided to give it another try in pursuing this dream. There were three attempts before this.  Fueled by the big success in building 50-home Ventura County Village in 2007 for the homeless at Balasing, Bulacan, Philippines, the Gawad-Kalinga Core of Oxnard (Dr. Jessica Nicholas, Ped Bucao, Myrna Viloria, Sid Cabran and Winston Raquedan) quickly turned their focus in pursuing the Philippines Center Project.  The rallying cry was “If we can build a village in the Philippines, we can also build a Community Center here.”   In September 2008, the Philippines Center of Ventura County became a Non-Profit Organization (501.c3) which helped encourage more tax-deductible donations to the project.  At the year end, the current Logo was adopted from the winning design by Tino Ocampo among six entries. 

According to the designer, the colors used depict our Philippine Flag. The center core shows two hands nurturing a growing plant.  The designer portrays the growing plant is the Philippine Center and we, Filipino-Americans, are the hands that nurtures it to keep it alive. 

Through the help of the community, it took nine years of relentless fundraising effort, real estate investments, solicitations of donations and seeking investors in trying to grow the seed that now become the PhilCenter. Now that we have our community center, we are all charged with the important responsibility of continuing its care so it can grow to be a self-supporting tree on its own.  We can all help by supporting its events, patronizing its business or campaigning for additional donors, investors and volunteers.  We can share some of our free time in various task at the center.  Each one of us should be a proud owner and supporter of our very own PhilCenter for a lasting  legacy to the many generations to come.