An influx of Filipino immigrants in the State of New Jersey happened in the 1970s. This could have been brought about by the proximity of the state from New York City. By the early '90s, Jersey City had the largest concentration of Filipinos in the State of New Jersey.
Filipino professionals in various fields of education, medical, engineering, business, and other professionals started calling Jersey City home thereby contributing to its economic renaissance. Filipinos started organizing the community and while there were numerous Filipino organizations in Hudson County, most of them were focused in helping the Philippines.
Linda Mayo, the first Asian elected official in Hudson County and former Jersey City Deputy Mayor, recognized the need for a culturally competent non-profit organization. Linda Mayo pioneered the founding of PACCAL with the help of a group of World War II veterans headed by the late Sir Col. Mariano S. Aureus. Linda held the position of PACCAL, president for twelve years and since then became the Executive Director implementing programs and services. Linda is also the founder and former president of the Ladies for Rizal, Inc., New Jersey Chapter, USA an official affiliate of the “Kababaihang Rizalista, Inc.,” an international organization with headquarters based in the Philippines.
The first issue tackled by PACCAL was housing for Filipino seniors. They helped seniors in the process of applying in different Jersey City Senior Housing buildings. The first successful applicants PACCAL helped in Harborview Senior housing were WWII veterans and through them other Filipinos followed suit. PACCAL was the first support group of PAVO, Inc. in its fight for equity and continues to help the veterans.
The next project was the initiative to encourage voters’ registration and promote citizenship drives to empower the Filipino community.
, Another project that PACCAL is also proud to have achieved is the section of the Filipino books in the Jersey City Public Library. Through the partnership of Linda and Sir Dennis Hayes who was then the Director of the Jersey City Public Library from 1994 - 1996, they were able to build a collection of 500 Philippine books. The collection ranges from current form of government and economy to history, culture, arts, and heritage.
PACCAL Neighborhood Center has been a haven for Filipinos in Jersey City needing information and referrals to City & County government services as well as other provider service agencies. Some of the services are information and referrals on senior entitlements; referrals to affordable medical check-ups and health services; social and recreational activities for seniors; youth classes on Philippine history, values & culture, and folk arts programs; substance abuse education & prevention; domestic violence prevention; educational forums and workshops or youth and family. PACCAL has also helped many Filipino women who were victims of domestic violence.
PACCAL is a member of the Hudson County HIV/AIDS Planning Council with voting members since 2001. PACCAL also had an HIV/AIDS outreach and support group.
PACCAL had received grants from various entities like the City of Jersey City, Division of Community Development; Hudson County Office on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Office of Tourism Development.
PACCAL is proud to continue its service to the community and be a community partner of Asian American Federation for the US CENSUS 2010 and CENSUS 2020, NYU-Project AsPIRE and Kalusugan Coalition in the study of hypertension in the Filipino Community in Jersey City.