Daguhoy Filipino Museum

written by Tony Somera

During the transition of the Bahala Na Filipino Martial Arts Association relocating their training club from North Stockton to South Stockton, Tony Somera, Grandmaster of the Bahala Na Martial Arts Association, looked to his brothers and sisters at the Daguhoy Lodge.  You see, Tony Somera has been an active member of the Legionarios del Trabajo in America for over 25 years.  His prayers were answered by the elders of the Daguhoy Lodge, who welcomed him and the Bahala Na Martial Arts Association to come and “play” at the Daguhoy Lodge that is in the Historic Downtown Little Manila District. This had a great cultural and historical meaning to Grandmaster Somera because of the fact that the new Bahala Na home was to be located in the historic building of the Daguhoy, where many early manong’s and manang’s made the Daguhoy their home, and because of the rich cultural and historical area of Stockton in which Tony Somera serves as a board member of the Little Manila Foundation.

During some house cleaning of the Daguhoy, Tony decided to tackle the basement.  stumbled across many treasures.  When he was a child, his father had told him, “The basement is off limits because of the many spirits and ghost that have been seen there.”   Of course Tony was a little hesitant at first, but after being down in the basement for the first few hours, he felt at ease and safe.

To Tony’s amazement, under all the decaying boxes was hidden treasure.  Old boxes of personal belongings from the manongs; old suitcases; old furniture, and old pictures from the 1920’s through the 1960’s: what a fantastic find!   But what to do with all of this hidden treasure?

Tony went to the elders of the Daguhoy lodge and proposed that he would like to display all the items, much like a museum.  The answer from the Daguhoy was, “Tony the basement is your project.  Do what you would like to do, Bahala Na.”  So, after weeks of preparation, the Daguhoy Filipino Museum was made ready for people to enjoy.

If you are ready to go back in time to see how the manong’s lived and how they enjoyed the company of their fellow brothers and sisters, come to the Daguhoy Lodge Museum, the first Filipino Museum in California.  The Daguhoy Filipino Museum is open Wednesday nights from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon.  Tony Somera also offers Filipino Arnis Escrima classes during this time, and the class is open  to all people who are interested in learning the Filipino Martial Arts. For information, contact Tony Somera, Founder of The Daguhoy Filipino Museum at tonysomera@msn.com  or write to BNSI.