Filipino American Heritage Month

Recognized by the Filipino American National Historic Society in 1988, and by Congress in 2009, just over 20 years later, October is Filipino American Heritage Month. Which is deserving because the history of Filipinos in the United States goes back at least 400 years, to Filipino sailors who came to the continent with the Spanish galleons that came to the Americas. Yes, history buffs, 400 years covers all of the history of the United States official, and then some.

Here in Seattle, the Wing Luke Museum is holding a Family Fun day, where kids can make their own yo-yos to celebrate. Because the first major yo-yo factory in the US was established by Pedro Flores, a Filipino.

And for you thorough types, the full Resolution:

WHEREAS, the Filipino American National Historical Society had declared the Year 1988 to be the 225th Anniversary of the Permanent Settlement of Filipinos in the Continental United States and had set into the motion its year-long, national observance in order to focus on the story of our nation’s past from a new perspective by concentrating on the critically economic, cultural, social and other notable contributions Filipino Americans had made in countless ways toward the development of United States History; and

WHEREAS, efforts must continue to promote the study of Filipino American history and culture, so mandated in the mission statement of the Filipino American National Historical Society, because the role of Filipino Americans and those of other People of Color have been overlooked in the writings, teachings and learnings of United States History; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative for Filipino American youth to have positive role models and to instill in them the importance of education, complemented with the richness of their ethnicity and the values of their legacy; and

WHEREAS, the earliest documented proof of Filipino presence in the Continental United States falls on October 1587, more recently published by Lorraine Jacobs Crouchett in her book, Filipinos in California (1982), annotating John Walton Caughey in his book, California (1953), and that definitive dates of written landings on the shores of California have been recorded with the earliest on October 18, 1587, according to Crouchett, annotating H.R. Wagner’s Unamuno’s Voyage to California in 1587 in the Quarterly of the California Historical Society (July 1923), among others.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Trustees of the Filipino American National Historical Society establish Filipino American History Month and that it be observed annually and nationally throughout the United States and its Territories during the Month of October commencing in the Year 1992 to mark the 405th Anniversary of the Presence of Filipinos in the Continental United States as a significant time to study the advancement of Filipino Americans in the history of the United States, as a favorable time of celebration, remembrance, reflection and motivation, and as a relevant time to renew more efforts toward research, examination and promulgation of Filipino American history and culture in order to provide an opportunity for all Americans to learn and appreciate more about Filipino Americans and their historic contributions to our nation, these United States of America.

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