It was ironic that the Filipino American community leader with the biggest heart of all should die of heart failure at age 86 at the Seton Medical Center in Daly City on October 21. Or perhaps because it was so big, it eventually had to fail.
The all-empowering heart of Alice Bulos was the subject of loving tributes by federal and state officials who knew her and by members of the community she loved at the memorial service for her at the Duggan’s Chapel in Daly City on October 29-30 and at the funeral mass for her, concelebrated by 7 Filipino priests, at the St. Augustine's Church in South San Francisco on October 31.
Among the dignitaries who came and spoke lovingly of Alice were former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and US Rep. Anna Eshoo. They joined virtually every Filipino American elected official in the San Francisco Bay Area to pay their final respects to the one San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee called “the Grand Dame of Filipino American Politics”.
In his memorial tribute, Mayor Lee said: “With the passing of Alice Bulos, the Filipino community has lost a great advocate and leader. She unified Filipino-American politics, understanding how powerful the collective voice could be in advocating for the community. She made raising that voice easier through the Filipino American Grassroots Movement, a voter registration drive to bring more Filipinos into the political process. To ensure her legacy did not end with her, she mentored young leaders to continue advocating for those who could not advocate for themselves.”
Alice Bulos was the founder of the California Filipino American Democratic Caucus. She advocated for the rights of Filipino veterans of World War II and represented California at the Democratic National Convention five times. President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Federal Council on Aging in 1993.