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Celebrating the Rich Legacy of Filipino Americans: Filipino American History Month

Morro Rock in Morro Bay California

FAHM Mania 3

October 14, 2023 | 11am | Plaza West Covina (Gold’s Gym lower level)


Every October, Filipino American History Month (FAHM) takes center stage in the United States, serving as a time of reflection, celebration, and recognition of the rich history and contributions of Filipino Americans to the nation. This annual observance traces its roots back to a momentous event in history: the arrival of the first Filipinos in the continental United States in 1587. In this article, we delve into the significance of FAHM and its journey from its inception to official recognition by the U.S. Congress in 2009.

A Glimpse into the Past

The story of FAHM begins with a historic voyage that took place over four centuries ago. On October 18, 1587, a group of Filipino sailors known as the “Luzones Indios” arrived at what is now Morro Bay, California. This marked the first documented presence of Filipinos in the continental United States. Their arrival, a testament to the early waves of Filipino migration, set the stage for the Filipino American community’s growth and influence in the country.

The Birth of Filipino American History Month

In 1992, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) took a significant step in preserving and promoting Filipino American history and culture by introducing Filipino American History Month. This annual observance aimed to commemorate the achievements, struggles, and contributions of Filipino Americans throughout history. FANHS envisioned FAHM as an opportunity for both Filipino Americans and the wider American society to better understand the multifaceted Filipino American experience.

Official Recognition by the U.S. Congress

The significance and importance of FAHM were officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2009 when it passed a resolution designating October as Filipino American History Month. This congressional recognition underscored the substantial impact of Filipino Americans on the nation’s history, society, and culture. It served as a symbol of appreciation for the community’s contributions, which range from labor and civil rights activism to arts, sciences, and public service.

Celebrating and Honoring Filipino American Heritage

FAHM is not just a time for Filipinos in the United States to celebrate their heritage; it’s an opportunity for all Americans to learn about the diverse contributions and experiences of Filipino Americans. It offers a chance to explore the rich tapestry of Filipino culture, traditions, and stories that have woven themselves into the American narrative.

During FAHM, events and activities are held across the country, ranging from educational forums and cultural performances to art exhibits and community gatherings. These activities serve as a platform to share and preserve the stories of Filipino Americans, showcasing their resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to shaping the nation’s future.

Filipino American History Month stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Filipino Americans in the United States. It is a month to remember the Luzones Indios who embarked on that historic journey in 1587 and to celebrate the countless individuals and generations that have followed, leaving indelible marks on the nation’s history. FAHM is a reminder that the story of Filipino Americans is integral to the broader narrative of American diversity and progress, a story worth sharing, celebrating, and preserving for generations to come.

Take a Peek at FAHM Mania