South Bay Filipino Artist Exhibits

The first art exhibition of its kind will be open for a limited time.

SAN DIEGO — Families can celebrate Filipino American History Month in an artistic way. The first art exhibition of its kind will be open for a limited time.

The “Filipino Artists of South Bay” exhibit is an extension of the new Chula Vista Civic Center Library Heritage Museum. It provides insight into the journey of Filipino migrants from the Philippines to southern San Diego County.

Paintings, photographs and illustrations cover the walls of three new exhibits by Filipino artists from Chula Vista and the South Bay area.


The art is exhibited in 3 different places:

  • The Civic Center Library and the South Chula Vista Library are open Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm and Friday/Saturday 10am-5pm.
  • The Chula Vista City Hall lobby is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“It’s important because Filipinos in America struggle to find a voice in their communities. It’s a way to express that voice. Art is an important aspect of communities. It’s a language of stories and a language of expression,” said Erwin Magbanua, Senior Librarian and Head of Cultural Arts.

Signe Ditona is one of 15 Filipino-American artists. The art offers a range of themes from whimsical illustrations depicting family life to personal reflections.

“This painting is a painting I did of a native Filipino woman with old tribal tattoos at the time she was normalized to be covered in tattoos and that was a beauty standard” , said Ditona.

Filipino-American families appreciate art and are grateful to be represented in the community.

“Honestly the first time I saw it I cried a little. I think it’s awesome and I was blown away by the thoroughness and all the Filipino history and artifacts. I think it It’s great to be recognized and it’s heart-warming,” said Filipina mother, Kaye Gambito.

“It really means a lot. Growing up, I didn’t see a lot of Filipino pride. I think Filipino culture is underrepresented,” Ditona said.

“It makes me proud and I’m Filipino-American myself. This is the first time we’ve seen this in the region. It’s wonderful to see the talent we have from Filipinos in the community. We hope this will inspire other artists to make their own art and be proud of what we have in the community,” said Magbanua.

Exhibitions by Filipino artists in South Bay will be open until January 2023.

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James C. Tibbs