Filipino American History Month is celebrated every October in the United States. This month-long celebration recognizes the contributions and achievements of Filipino Americans to the country’s history, culture, and society.
But have you ever wondered why October was chosen as the month to celebrate this important occasion? In this article, we’ll explore the history behind Filipino American History Month and how it came to be celebrated in October.
The Significance of October
October is a significant month in Filipino American history because it marks several important milestones. The first recorded presence of Filipinos in what is now the United States occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” (Filipino sailors from Luzon) landed in Morro Bay, California aboard the Manila-built galleon ship Nuestra Senora de Esperanza. This event marked the beginning of Filipino migration to America.
Another significant event that happened in October was the establishment of Stockton, California’s Little Manila district in 1910. Little Manila became a hub for Filipino immigrants and was home to many businesses and social organizations that catered to their needs.
The Campaign for Filipino American History Month
The idea of celebrating Filipino American History Month originated from a campaign by Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS) members such as Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova and Dr. Fred Cordova. They began advocating for a month-long celebration of Filipino American history and culture in the early 1990s.
In 1991, FANHS led a successful campaign to declare October as Filipino American History Month. The resolution was introduced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), who at that time was serving as an intern at FANHS’ National Office.
Celebrating Filipino American Heritage
Filipino American History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the Filipino American community’s contributions to the United States. It is a time to honor the achievements and sacrifices of Filipino Americans who have made significant contributions to America’s history, culture, and society.
During this month, various events and activities are held throughout the country, including cultural presentations, art exhibits, food festivals, and historical talks. These events aim to promote a greater understanding of Filipino American heritage and culture.
The Importance of Celebrating Diversity
Celebrating Filipino American History Month is not just about recognizing the achievements of one particular community. It is also about promoting diversity and inclusivity in America. By celebrating the contributions of different ethnic groups to American history and culture, we can foster greater understanding and respect for all cultures.
In conclusion, October was chosen as Filipino American History Month because it marks significant milestones in Filipino American history. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Filipino Americans while promoting diversity and inclusivity in America. Let us continue to recognize and honor the rich heritage and culture of our Filipino American brothers and sisters.