Filipino-American History Month honors Pinoy activism

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Filipino-American History Month Pinoy Activism
Pinoys in America have been actively involved in social justice movements. Photo from FANHS.

Filipino-American History Month (FAHM) is honoring the activism of Pinoys who comprise one of the largest Asian-American groups in the United States.

The annual celebration in October commemorates over four centuries since October 18, 1587, when Filipinos were first recorded to be in the continental United States. The date refers to when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay in California.

This year’s celebration of the Filipino-American History Month marks 11 years since the United States Congress recognized the festivities in 2009 to honor the contribution of Filipinos in American society.

Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Founders Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova and Dr. Fred Cordova first introduced October as Filipino American History Month in 1992 with a resolution from the FANHS National Board of Trustees.

FANHS presented the 2020 theme of “The History of Filipino American Activism” as highlighting the participation of Fil-Ams in social justice movements such as:

  • United Farmworkers Movement
  • fight for Ethnic Studies
  • Hawaii Sugar Plantation strikes
  • Washington Yakima strikes
  • Anti-Martial Law Movements across multiple decades.
  • Black Lives Matter Movement
  • American Indian Movement
  • Civil Rights and Voting Rights
  • Women’s Rights
  • LGBTQ Rights
  • Environmental Justice

“This year, we recognize the advocacy of our Filipino American healthcare workers who are actively protecting and fighting for our lives everyday amidst this global pandemic,” stated FANHS.

“We also acknowledge that 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Filipino American Far West Convention in Seattle, whose overarching theme was EMERGENCE and is credited in part as the start of the Filipino American movement.

“2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Luzon in the Philippines – one of the bloodiest battles of World War II; it is also the 90th anniversary of the Watsonville Riots of 1930- one which has been credited as an impetus for Farmworkers Rights.”

FANHS says the relevance of the celebration theme to American political exercises. “We believe this theme is particularly crucial in 2020, as it is a key election year and we are living amidst a pandemic and mass movement towards racial justice. Thus, we encourage all of our chapters and communities to reflect on decades of Filipino American activism, in order to inspire and foster our civic responsibility in the Filipino American community.”

Various states, counties, and cities have since established proclamations and resolutions declaring the FAHM observance.

FAHM in 2019 honored visionary Filipinas and was marked by Washington’s first official statewide celebration of the FAHM and the unveiling of the historical marker of the first Filipino settlement in Louisiana.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the Fil-Am community in America as they celebrate Filipino-American History Month and honor Pinoy activism.

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.