Calugas Apartments at High Point dedicated
SEATTLE—April 12, 2006—Community members joined family and friends of Sgt. Jose Calugas, Sr. at a dedication ceremony today at the recently completed Sgt. Jose Calugas, Sr. Apartments.
Sgt. Jose Calugas, Sr.
The 36-unit apartment building at High Point will be home to low-income residents, with a selection of the units set aside for those with disabilities. The apartments include spacious one- and two-bedroom units, with energy-efficient appliances—dishwashers and stacked washer/dryers.
"We are proud that the building is named after Sgt. Jose Calugas, Sr.," said Esther Simpson from the Washington Coalition for Filipino Veterans Equity. "We are also honored that it will help house low-income people."
When the time came to identify a name for the new apartment building, leading Filipino community members, including some of the surviving Filipino World War II veterans, suggested that the building be named in honor of Sgt. Jose Calugas, Sr.
Calugas was born in 1907 and was the oldest of three siblings in a farming family. As a teenager he quit high school to help support his family and later enlisted with the Philippine Scouts, which was organized to provide additional forces to secure the Philippines in WWII. The Scouts were native Filipinos who served in the regular U.S. Army and were led by officers from the continental U.S.
Sgt. Jose Calugas, Sr. was awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor for his service defending Bataan in 1942. While serving as a mess sergeant in the 88th Field Artillery Battalion (Philippine Scouts) on Bataan, he voluntarily crossed an area under heavy fire to reach a gun which had been put out of action by the enemy. Calugas bravely put the gun back into action and destroyed 60 advancing vehicles and their occupants.
Calugas died in 1997 and, along with his outstanding military service, was known for being generous and humble. He also had great love for his family and for the United States, explained family and friends at the dedication ceremony.
Filipino World War II veterans and the IDIC's "Young Once" concluded the dedication with song in front of the Calugas Apartments.
In naming the building the Sgt. Jose Calugas, Sr. Apartments, the Seattle Housing Authority honors the sacrifices of veterans who participated in the Bataan-Corregidor campaign during World War II and recognizes the importance of this community in the diverse fabric of our city.
"He would have liked this place," said Jose Calugas, Jr. about his father, as he toured the Calugas Apartments.
The building design by Streeter & Associates Architects incorporated space considerations for those with disabilities and helped streamline the look of the building to fit with the rest of the High Point neighborhood.
Streeter & Associates Architects and the Filipino Community of Seattle sponsored the dedication ceremony, in cooperation with the Seattle Housing Authority.