October marks Filipino American History Month. This celebration commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the United States on October 18, 1587. The "Lazones Indios" landed in what is known today as Morro Ba, California. They came ashore from the Spanish Galleon, Nuestro Señora de Esperanza.
the U.S Congress recognized October as Filipino American Month in 2009. It was established by the Filipino American National Historical Society in 1988. It was inspired by the activist Dr. Fred Cordova’s 1983 book Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans. Dr. Fred Cordova's book highlighted the way Filipino's are invisible through the lens of American History.
Filipino American's have faced racism and microaggressions including being misperceived as belonging to other racial/ethnic groups and the feeling of being invisible to the Asian community. Their feelings are highlighted and their struggle continues.
Dr. Fred Cordova and his wife Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova, founder of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) first introduced the Filipino American History month in 1992 with the FANHS national board of trustees.
Dr. Fred Cordoa was heavily involved in social justice issues, and preserving Filipino American history, and empowering the youth in the community. He would encourage and organize his community to participate in marches and activities. Though he passed away on December 21, 2013, his legacy continues and the ideals left behind have helped bring awareness to the Filipino Community.
2021 marks a special year as it is the 50th anniversary of the first young Filipino peoples First Young Filipino People’s Far West Convention, which took place in Seattle University in 1971. This convention brought 300 young Filipino American participants from the West Coast of the United States.
This initial convention marked the beginning of the Filipino American Movement and would result in a series of conferences known as the Filipino Peoples Far West Convention. This convention was an organizing space for the community and for youth activists to help bring issues. Important issues such as Filipino Farmworkers’ rights and anti-martial law to the lead of the Filipino American Movement. Furthermore, The FWC also served as the main source for annual student-led conferences that motivate the youth. This theme honors the earlier pioneers in the Filipino American movement and highlights those who have advocated for social justice issues affecting Filipino Americans.
Ways to Commemorate Filipino Heritage Month
Read books from Filipino American Authors. Children's Books are especially useful to add to your reading list.
Filipino Celebrations: A Treasury of Feasts and Festivals by: LIANA ROMULO, ILLUSTRATED BY CORAZON DANDAN-ALBANO
Cora Cooks Pancit BY: DORINA K. LAZO GILMORE, ILLUSTRATED BY KRISTI VALIANT
Interact with the community!
Filipino Americans are the 2nd largest Asian American Group in the nation
California has the largest Filipino American Population
Filipino Americans have contributed to a large extent to the American Labor Movement
“About Filipino American History Month.” FANHS, 22 Sept. 2021, fanhs-national.org/filam/about/.
How to CELEBRATE Filipino American History Month, www.escco.org/HowtoCelebrateFilipinoAmericanHistoryMonth.aspx.
Deborah, By: and More about Deborah Filipino American with a passion for making a difference. Writer. Blogger. Dreamer. Adventurer. “5 Filipino Children's Books You'll Love - HALO-HALO, Mix-Mix.” Halo, 1 Sept. 2017, www.halohalomixmix.com/5-filipino-childrens-books-youll-love/.