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September 11, 2020

If you see a well put-together woman on a mobility scooter with the  US and Philippine flags flying at the back of her seat, there’s a possibility it’s Emy Torio.

Despite her disability, she is an active member of the Samahang Pinoy at Curry Senior Center, the Filipino Community Development Corporation, and the SOMA Neighborhood Resident Council.  When Shelter in Place took effect last March, she was concerned she might lose her social life. Emy decided she would be creative and focus on art. She gathered bags from community events and made organizers and masks. She also took piano lessons online so she can use the keyboard she bought years ago.

Then she thought of her dream project. She wanted to make a stilt house, a typical Filipino house in the provinces called a Nipa Hut or in the Philippines, known as “Bahay Kubo.” The term “Bahay Kubo” comes from the Filipino language, translating to “house cube.” For this dream project, Emy needed cardboard, popsicle sticks, glue, and paint. According to Emy, “Making the NIPA hut reminded me of my childhood. Growing up in the Philippines, I would always draw a nipa hut with the mountains in the background and plants around it. The houses and furniture were made of bamboo.”

This project was a constant topic of discussion with Curry staff. Through the funding from Dignity Fund and Curry Senior Center, her dream project came to life. To this, she says, “Thank you, Curry Senior Center, for making this happen.”