Filipino American History Month is a celebration that occurs every October in the United States. It is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of Filipino Americans to the country’s history, culture, and society.
But who created this special month? Let’s dive into the history.
The Origins of Filipino American History Month
The roots of Filipino American History Month can be traced back to 1988 when the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) was founded. The organization was established with the goal of promoting and preserving the history and culture of Filipino Americans.
In 1991, FANHS launched a campaign to establish October as Filipino American History Month. The month was chosen because it marked two significant events in Philippine and Filipino American history: the arrival of the first Filipinos in America on October 18, 1587, and the signing of the Tydings-McDuffie Act on October 24, 1934.
What is the Tydings-McDuffie Act?
The Tydings-McDuffie Act provided for Philippine independence from the United States after a transition period of ten years. It also restricted immigration from the Philippines to only 50 individuals per year. This law had a significant impact on Filipinos living in America at that time because it led to changes in their legal status and rights.
Why is Filipino American History Month important?
Filipino Americans have a rich history in America that spans over four centuries. They have made significant contributions to various fields such as politics, arts, sciences, sports, and more. However, their stories are often overlooked or forgotten.
Filipino American History Month provides an opportunity for people to learn about these contributions and celebrate them. It also helps raise awareness about issues affecting Filipinos in America such as immigration, discrimination, and social justice.
Celebrating Filipino American History Month
There are many ways to celebrate Filipino American History Month. Here are some ideas:
- Attend events hosted by FANHS or other organizations that promote Filipino American history and culture
- Watch documentaries or read books about Filipino American history
- Visit historical sites related to Filipinos in America such as the Delano Grape Strike historic trail in California
- Support Filipino American businesses and artists
- Share stories about your own Filipino American heritage on social media
Filipino American History Month is a celebration of the rich history and contributions of Filipinos in America. It was created by the Filipino American National Historical Society to promote and preserve this important part of our country’s story. By learning about and celebrating this month, we can honor the past, inspire the present, and shape the future.