By: Joe Mauricio
Filipino American History Month (FAHM) is an annual event celebrated by the Filipino American communities in the United States since it was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2009 in honoring this minority group for their contributions in this country.
October was the month chosen to celebrate the arrival of the first recorded Filipinos who landed in what is now known as Morro Bay, California on October 18, 1587. It is also the birth month of Filipino American labor leader, Larry Itliong, a farm worker and leader from the West Coast, whose life’s story in this country was made into a documentary film shown all over.
The first wave of thousands of Filipinos emigrated to America between 1900-2000. The second and third generations of Filipinos were born in America in the late 1900s, and grew up as American with a touch of Filipino heritage. These Filipinos have always held on fierce passion for their culture, for their independence, and their new country—America.
The history of North America is shaped by the stories of immigrants from Asia. While some of the earliest Asians arrived from China, Japan, India, Korea, and the Philippines (the only Asian country colonized by America), immigration reforms tied to U.S. Civil Rights legislation brought even more groups to the U.S., such as Vietnam, Laotians, and other people from South Central Asia.
Asian-Americans of all ethnicities and languages come together to celebrate their heritage through many activities, such as, dancing, food, and customs, appreciating our rich history.
As a Filipino, full-blooded, half-blooded, quarter-blooded, or with just even a touch of Pinoy in your heritage, or even just a Pinoy friend, consider having a real Filipino celebration for our FAHM month.
Here are some things you can do to celebrate:
Filipinos are very religious people, so attend a Filipino religious service (Catholics, Protestants, Christians, etc.)
Learn Pinoy folk dances, tinikling, binasuan, pandanggo sa ilaw, etc.
Educate yourself on Philippine history, along to broadening your minds.
Find out about your Filipino ancestors, through online or by visiting the Newberry library in Chicago, holding the genealogical records of almost everyone’s ancestry.
Learn to cook popular and tasty Pinoy dishes, like pancit, adobo, lumpia, etc.
Be a member of some of the many Filipino organizations or clubs that have been sprouting all over in the community.
Attend the Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame annual gala awards event to know, keep abreast, and be proud of the Filipinos who have distinguished themselves as awardees for the their contributions and accomplishments. This is the culmination of the month-long celebration of the FAHM, to be held on October 9, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.
Mabuhay to our unique history! As the only Asian colonized by America, send a message of hope and progress in the mainstream American eyes, just like our forefathers had been doing since their arrival in this country. ##