MISSION AND VISION
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 in nine years. Formerly Marie Callender’s Restaurant and thereafter as City Buffet Restaurant, this beautiful 8,828 square feet building sits on a 1.78 acres boasting 100 parking spaces and it it 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 Ives Avenue.
Since owning its first 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 thus 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 types of events. Since its opening on April 2018, many events have been booked including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, debut, organizational dances, meetings, training, children parties and many more. Consequently, more investors and donors came forward to help from donating cash, large screen televisions, building signs, sound equipment, bar equipment and building murals.
A plan for expanding the ballroom, kitchen renovation 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 each month. Events will include Disco & Karaoke Nights, Sunday BBQ Brunch, BINGO and 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. PhilCentet 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 this noble cause.
#KASAMAKAMIDIYAN! (We are in it together!)
In the summer of 2008, a group of dedicated Filipino-Americans who were eager of having our own Community Center came together and decided to give it another try in pursuing this dream. There were three attempts before this. Fueled by the success in building a 50-Home Ventura County Village in 2007 for the homeless at Marilao, Bulacan, Philippines, the Gawad-Kalinga Core of Oxnard (Dr. Jessica Nicholas, Ped Bucao, Myrna Vilora, Sid Cabran and Winston Raquedan) quickly turned their focus in pursuing the Philippine Center Project. They rallying cry was “If we can build a village in the Philippines, we can also build a Community Center here.” In September 2008, the Philippine Center of Ventura County became a Non-Profit Organization (501.c3) which helped encouraged more tax-deductible donation projects. At the year end, the current LOGO was adopted from the winning design by Tino Ocampo among six other 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 became the PhilCenter. Now that we have our own 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 tasks at the center. Each one of us should be a proud owner and supporter of our own PhilCenter for a lasting legacy to the many generations to come.