It is very important for the Filipino American community to be constantly reminded of their culture and where they came from and one way I can accomplish this is to let them hear the beauty of their own music by listening to the rondalla." –Tagumpay Mendoza de Leon
The NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award is the highest form of recognition for the folk and traditional arts by the United States government. “This one-time award to individuals recognizes both their artistic excellence as well as their efforts to conserve America’s many cultural traditions for future generations”.
No one is more deserving of this great honor than Tagumpay Mendoza de Leon, known affectionately in many circles as Uncle Pi. As a performer and instructor, he has served as one of the greatest living ambassadors of a traditional Filipino folk instrumental artform known as Rondalla. As a well-loved teacher at UC Riverside for more than 20 years, he has dedicated his life to sharing the Filipino culture with his students through his artistry and tireless dedication. Based in Southern California he has thrilled audiences for decades as part of various cultural groups as well as being a founder of the Rondalla Club of Los Angeles.
Through FilAm Arts partnership with MerchLabs, we have an exclusive shirt to honor Tagumpay Mendoza de Leon, with art created by Los Beach artist Bodeck Luna.