Visionary Filipinas
Fil-Am History Month celebrates Pinays. Credits to FANHS.

The celebration of Filipino-American History Month (FAHM) by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) this October focused on the women who have made an impact on American society.

Bannered by the theme, “Pinay Visionaries: Celebrating Filipina American Women”, the Washington-based historical society showcased the Fil-Am women as leaders, laborers, scholars, scientists, and activists who have been the backbone of the Filipina/o American community.

“These Filipina Americans have overcome racial and gender discrimination, and have persevered to contribute to their respective fields,” says the FANHS.

This year’s celebration of the Filipino-American History Month marks 10 years since the United States Congress recognized the festivities in 2009 to honor the contribution of Filipinos in American society. Various states, counties, and cities have since established proclamations and resolutions declaring its. observance. This year is Washington’s first official statewide celebration of the FAHM.

Some of the Pinays who were featured in the October 2019 celebrations are:

Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova

Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova is the Founder and Executive Director of the Filipino American National Historical Society. She began organizing and advocating for the Filipino American community since the 1950s. Her vision has paved the way for FANHS, Filipino American History Month, and Filipino American Studies.

Victoria “Vicki” Manalo Draves

Victoria “Vicki” Manalo Draves is the first Asian-American Olympic gold medalist. She won two gold medals in platform and springboard diving in 1948.

Dr. Felicisima “Ping” Serafica

Dr. Felicisima “Ping” Serafica is the first Filipina-American professor of psychology to receive tenure in the US. She helped establish one of the Philippines’ first hospitals for children with mental disabilities and the country’s first interdisciplinary mental health clinic.

Thelma Buchholdt

Thelma Buchholdt is the first Filipina-American elected to a legislature in the United States in 1974 and the first Asian American elected to serve as President of the National Order of Women Legislators.

Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon

Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon is the first Filipina/o to receive a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. She was a professor, a historic preservationist, and the author of Little Manila is in the Heart and Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong.

FANHS also notes that the celebration of Filipino-American History Month in October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, which occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California.

The contributions of Filipino-Americans to American society have been celebrated throughout the month, among them, the achievement of Donald Mendoza Graham as the first Fil-Am to be a commander at the Los Angeles Police Department.

Earlier in October, Brigadier General Roy J. Macaraeg of the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard became the first Filipino soldier to rise from the ranks to become a General Officer.

SEND cheers to the Filipino-American community as they wrap up their month-long celebration of Filipino-American History Month!

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