annieglass plate workshop
Participants in an upcoming workshop at Annieglass in Watsonville will be able to make a 7-inch glass plate similar to this. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Festival celebrates Filipino American History Month

The Tobera Project will hold its second annual Filipino American History Month festival Saturday at the Watsonville City Plaza from noon to 5pm. 

The free event will celebrate and honor Filipino history in the Pajaro Valley since the 1920s. The festival will feature cultural arts and traditional food from the region. Guests can hear indigenous music from the southern Philippines known as kulintang, a rhythmic series of large and small gongs and bells. There will also be a traditional martial arts demonstration, poetry by acclaimed writer Shirley Ancheta and a three-piece instrumental jazz/groove band, Ripplings. 

October is also Filipino American History Month. Locally, the new Tabasa Gardens low-income housing development on Freedom Boulevard showcases a mosaic-tiled mural highlighting the Tabasa family, who are iconic in the Filipino community. It is scheduled to open in December. 

Recently, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors issued a formal apology to the Filipino community for the 1930 Anti-Filipino Watsonville Race Riots that took the life of 22-year-old Fermin Tobera who was shot dead at the Murphy’s Crossing labor camp. He is the namesake of the project. 

Through the Tobera Project’s partnership with UC Santa Cruz, it has garnered a National Endowment of the Humanities grant to propel its grand exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History in April. The exhibit, titled “Watsonville is in the Heart,” will culminate in the years of research gathered from families of the Manong Generation of the Pajaro Valley. For information about the Watsonville is in the Heart digital archive and exhibition, visit

Glass plate workshop set at Annieglass

Annieglass of Watsonville will host a workshop Saturday where visitors will be able to create their own piece of glasswork to take home.

Attendees will make a seven-inch square glass plate using stencils, powdered glass color, and gold for the flower center.

Annie Morhauser, the 2022 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year, will guide participants with stencils, provide all supplies and snacks and a beverage.

The 90-minute session includes each guest doing their own decoration and kiln loading. Participants can then pick it up or arrange for Annieglass to ship it to you once it’s been fired the following week.

Morhauser will give two workshops this year with 12 seats available in session, which will be Oct. 7 and Nov. 11. The sessions are at 1-2:30pm on each date at Annieglass, 310 Harvest Drive in Watsonville. 

For information, call 761.2041.

Sandy Lydon to give historical presentation
Leadership Santa Cruz County (LSCC) is holding an event with local historian Sandy Lydon on Oct. 14 at 7pm at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz. 

The public is invited to attend and hear Lydon give a one-time-only presentation titled, “You Can’t Hide! Learning to Hear the History and Landscape of Calamity Cruz County.” 

Lydon has been wandering the corridors of the county for the past 50 years and will provide historical perspectives to help people navigate living in Santa Cruz County in 2023 and beyond. 

“Sandy has been an integral part of the Leadership Santa Cruz County program for over 30 years. Since the program’s inception in 1985, he has generously donated his time each year to share his passion for and knowledge of the rich history of Santa Cruz County with class participants,” said Laura Owen, LSCC board president. “It is such an honor for us to be able to recognize and celebrate him for his valuable contributions to the program and to our community.”

Described by many as Central California’s preeminent “standup historian” and “the history dude,” Lydon is an award-winning author, teacher and historian, as well as a retired faculty member from Cabrillo College where he taught from 1968 to 2022. He is a leading expert on Santa Cruz County history and has researched and written widely on the immigration history of the Monterey Bay Region. 

Tickets for the presentation are $35 and will include light appetizers. For information and to purchase tickets, visit

Mental health workshop slated for Oct. 21

A workshop focusing on mental health will take place Oct. 21 from 10am to noon at Watsonville First United Methodist Church, 229 Stanford St. 

The free workshop, discussing trauma and relationships, will be led by Dr. Hanna Song & Mayra Bernabe.

​​Big Creek Lumber offers School Garden Grant Program

Big Creek Lumber is offering its School Garden Grant Program for 2024. This annual program provides redwood garden bed materials to local schools, supports student education and grows gardens.

Big Creek’s redwood garden bed grants provide opportunities for students and teachers to learn about plant biology, to discuss how food is grown, and to learn about the interaction between plants, water and sunshine. Students may also be able to assist in the construction of the garden beds.

The garden beds gifted through this grant program are made from locally sourced and sustainably harvested redwood lumber.

Big Creek has informally donated garden beds to local schools in the past, and now the School Garden Grant Program formalizes this practice and opens up the opportunity to a wider audience through the annual application process. 

“Since we’ve started our formal grant program, we have donated over 70 garden bed kits to schools,” Marketing Manager Michelle Webb said. “Experiencing the excitement of the students and staff when we deliver the garden bed kits is the most fulfilling part of my job. These students will get to learn carpentry, math, how to grow food and about healthy eating through this program. It is an honor to carry on a tradition of donating garden beds to our communities.” 

Schools are encouraged to apply every year and recipient schools may apply again after a two year period.

Applications are available at

Applications can also be picked up at Big Creek’s retail lumber and building supply yards in Watsonville and Santa Cruz. 

Twelve garden bed kits will be awarded and delivered to recipient schools. Completed applications must be returned to a Big Creek Lumber yard in person by Oct. 31.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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