If you are Filipino American or you have friends or family who are Filipino American, you may have a vested interest in learning as much as you can about Filipino American History Month.
Even if you have no connection to the Philippines or to the U.S., you may be wondering, What month is Filipino American History Month? and What does it mean to be Filipino American?
In this blog we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about Filipino American History Month, including:
- What is Filipino American History Month?
- Why is there Filipino American History Month?
- How is Filipino American History Month celebrated?
- How to send money to the U.S.
What is Filipino American History Month?
Filipino American History Month is a cultural month of celebration and education centered on the history of Filipinos and those of Filipino descent living in the United States.
The month, which was only officially recognized by the 11th Congress in 2009, like African American Month (February), Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October), Women’s History Month (March) and Native celebrates the diverse cultural history of the United States. It also serves to recognize the role Filipinos have played in the evolution of the United States over many years.
Today there are over 4.2 million Filipinos living in the United States and many more individuals of Filipino descent. Filipinos are the second largest Asian American community in the United States. Indeed, large Filipino communities exist in many of the states in particular California, Hawaii and Illinois. As a result, wherever you happen to be in the United States during October you are bound to come across some event to do with Filipino American history.
Why is there a Filipino American History Month?
We celebrated Filipino American History Month today because the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) proposed the cultural celebration all the way back in 1992. While it took until 2009 for the month to be officially recognized by Congress, the origins of Filipino culture within the United States date all the way back to 1587.
On October 18 1587 the first Filipinos set foot on what is now Morro Bay, California. Since then quite a lot has changed on the continent of North America. As the United States was formed and began to evolve into a major nation, Filipinos played a major role in the formation of the culture and institutions that began to define American life.
With the United States being such a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and religions it can be quite easy for some of these unique and fascinating cultures to get lost in the mix. Cultural celebrations like Filipino American History Month help to ensure that the history of Filipinos in the U.S. and the impact they have had on the story of America will be properly remembered by those within and beyond the Filipino American community.
Since the first Filipino American History Month many states, counties and cities in the U.S. have put forth proclamations and resolutions to declare that October is the month to observe and celebrate Filipino American history.
«History is inclusive of heritage and culture, but it’s also about the ways we have built and changed this nation...whereas heritage is more limited to what we pass down in terms of culture, tradition, and legacies.» - Dr. Dawn Mabalon, renowned historian and community leader, believed to be the first Pinay to earn a Ph.D. in American History.
How is Filipino American History Month celebrated?
There are Filipino Americans throughout the United States that choose to celebrate Filipino American History Month in a variety of ways. Regardless of where you are in the U.S., October is the time for Filipino Americans to get together, remember their history and celebrate with food, music and dancing.
Many take the month to learn more about Filipino American history including learning about Larry Itliong, leader of the Delano Grape Strike of 1965, honoring the Filipino veterans from World War II, or paying homage to legends like Lea Salonga, Vicki Manalo Draves’ and Antero Cabrera.
One of the ways Filipino American History Month has been celebrated in recent years has been the lighting up of certain landmarks around the country. For example, in LA in 2022 a lighting ceremony presided over by the Mayor Eric Garcetti took place. During the lighting ceremony several Los Angeles landmarks including LAX, Los Angeles City Hall, 2nd Street Tunnel, Union Station and The Plaza at Hollywood Bowl were illuminated by lights showing the colors of the Filipino National Flag. Also at this event, a number of Filipino American leaders were honored for their dedication to civic engagement, arts, business and culture.
The celebrations and events in Los Angeles are an example of the way Filipino American History Month is celebrated in many states across the country. For many Filipinos living in the U.S., October is a time to mark the contributions Filipinos have made to the nation and hopefully inspire Filipino American kids to do great things in the future too.
Filipino American History Month is also a great time to support local Filipino American businesses whether they be restaurants, bars or stores. As you visit these places you’re likely to learn more about both Filipino and American culture and history.
To learn more about Filipino American History Month check out the website FANHS-national.org, which is the online home of the Filipino American National History Society.
How to send money to the U.S.
Learning about Filipino American History Month is a fantastic way to support your family and friends based in the U.S. If you want your loved ones to enjoy this month and put on some major celebrations then you may want to send them some money. If so, Small World is here for you.
Small World is an international money transfer service that helps millions around the world send money to their loved ones. There are a variety of transfer services you can make use of if you want to support your family and friends in the United States, including bank deposit and cash pickup.
We are also partnered with a number of American banks such as Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, CITI, BNY Mellon and many more. With our partnerships and secure services you couldn’t be in a better position to send money to the U.S.
Your first digital transaction is always free of transfer fees!