The earliest documented proof of Filipino presence in the continental United States was on October 18, 1587, when the first “Luzones Indios” set foot in Morro Bay, California.
Filipino American History Month is celebrated in the United States during the month of October. The Filipino American National Historical Society established Filipino American History Month in the year 1988. In California (and in Hawaii), where a large number of Filipino Americans reside, Filipino American History Month is widely celebrated.
A pivotal year was 2006, which marked the centennial celebration of Filipino migration to the United States. In California, Filipino American History Month was first recognized statewide in 2006, when the California Department of Education placed it on its celebrations calendar.
On September 9, 2009, the California State Assembly voted to “designate the month of October 2009, and every October thereafter, as Filipino American History Month.” The bill was introduced by former Senator Leland Yee with Senators Carol Liu, Pat Wiggins (now deceased) and Lois Wolk as co-authors.
There are now about four million Filipino Americans in the United States, approximately 1.5% of the country’s population. They speak a wide array of Philippine languages such as Tagalog, Bisaya, Ilocano, and Kapampangan, among many others.
- NEA recognized Filipino-American educators at the Joint Conference of Concerns of Minorities and Women last summer.
- Check out the California chapters of the Filipino American National Historical Society.