Celebrated in October, Filipino American (Fil-Am) History Month honors the history, pursuits, accomplishments, and legacy of Filipinos in the United States. It also serves to provide a link between Filipinos in the U.S. and Filipinos in the Philippines by showcasing their shared culture and heritage.
Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the nation and the second largest ethnic group in California. The celebration of Filipino American History Month in October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, when Luzones Indios, native Filipino sailors conscripted into the Spanish navy as labor during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade, came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California, on Oct. 18, 1587. After years of advocacy by individuals and organizations, in 2009 the United States Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month. Various states, counties, and cities in the U.S. have established proclamations and resolutions declaring observance of Filipino American History Month.
In celebration of Fil-Am History Month this year, the Filipino American National History Society (FANHS) is highlighting the role Filipino Americans have played in social justice movements in the United States. From the United Farmworkers Movement and the American Indian Movement, to civil rights, voting rights and Black Lives Matter, Philippine communities across the country have been at the forefront of the fight against systemic oppression, racism, and violence in this country.
Adapted from the Filipino American National Historical Society website.