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Filipinos continuously raise their race: Celebration of the 434th year of Filipino American History.





With four million Filipino Americans, Filipinos have become the second-largest Asian group in America
and approximately 1.5% of the United State's population. That's why the United States celebrates
multiple Filipino-related events. One of these is the Filipino American History Month. The objective of
this celebration is to recognize the diverse Filipino American community; promote, enlighten, appreciate,
preserve, and disseminate the history and culture of Filipino Americans.



The start of celebration


        Image from FANHS www.fanhs-national.org


It all started in 1988 when the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) established
Filipino American History celebration. But, it was only recognized in 2006 when the California Department
of Education placed it on their celebrations calendar. Three years after, the 111th United States Congress passed
its commemoration resolution, officially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month nationwide. 


The first Filipinos in America.


Image of metal plaque commemorating the first arrival of Filipinos in Morro Bay, California. By RightCowLeftCoast - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72950431

                                    

The celebration in October was to commemorate the first arrival of the Filipino sailors (Luzon Indios) in the land of America, on October 18, 1587, from a Spanish ship near Morro Bay, California. It was four
hundred thirty-four years ago! Prior to the existence of the American nation and before the partition of
the American continent, which was now "North and South America." Filipino was in fact, the first Asian
and Pacific Islander to have stepped on American land.


This year, the Filipino American National History Society highlights the 50th anniversary of the first Filipino
People's Far West Convention (FWCs) that took place in Seattle with over 300 young Filipino American
population. The first convention eventually resulted in a series of conferences held annually between
1971 and 1982 in places like Seattle, Los Angeles, Stockton, and Berkeley. These conventions were
held to advocate social justice issues affecting Filipino Americans. Thus, FANHS chooses to honor them
as the earlier pioneers in the Filipino American movement to encourage today's younger generation the
ability of Filipino American youth empowerment 50 years ago. Thus, we Filipinos often found pride in our
fellow Filipinos who found success internationally, which or may not have Filipino blood. And we somehow
found their success as our success.

Cultural identity is an essential part of one's life. It is a key to people's identity. So, thanks to FANHS for
introducing this celebration and annually reminding the Filipino American community about our history
and culture, sharing their knowledge and stories while preserving our country's legacies. 

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