The Dolan Law Firm celebrates Filipino American History Month
By Dolan Law Firm, DE&I Committee
The celebration of Filipino American History Month in October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, which occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed in what is now Morro Bay, California.
Today, the Bay Area is home to the largest Filipino community outside of the Philippines and over 500,000 Filiipino Americans call the greater Los Angeles area their home. In 2009, U.S. Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month in the United States. Various states (including California), counties, and cities in the U.S. have established proclamations and resolutions declaring observance of Filipino American History Month.
Filipino American History Month: 50 Years Since the First Young Filipino People’s Far West Convention
Each year, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) shares a theme for Filipino American History Month. This year’s theme is “50 Years Since the First Young Filipino People’s Far West Convention”. The convention, which is hailed as the beginning of the Filipino American Movement, took place at Seattle University and brought over 300 young Filipino Americans from the West Coast. Learn more about the First Young Filipino People’s Far WEst Convention and FAHNS and Filipino American History Month here.
The FANHS states that
“this theme is particularly crucial in 2021, especially as we are still amidst a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color in general and Filipino American healthcare workers specifically. We are also still navigating a culture of state-sanctioned violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), which resembles the historical racism faced by BIPOC communities (including Filipino Americans) throughout the history of the US. We are also still combating anti-Asian violence that resembles the anti-Asian and anti-Filipino violence that occurred a century ago in places like Watsonville, CA and Yakima Valley, WA. We must educate others – as well as our own families and communities – about our history, so that historical violence does not repeat itself over and over again.”
Activities and/or celebrations related to Filipino American History Month in the San Francisco Bay Area:
- San Francisco Public Library: This year, the Library’s celebration honors the Filipino American community in the Bay Area’s resilience against the tragedies and travails of the COVID-19 pandemic with the theme darating ang liwanag, or “Hope will come.” Throughout the month of October, the public is invited to learn more about the unique history and contributions of this community through interactive workshops, demonstrations, book readings, and more.
- Filipino American History Month Celebration with SF Mayor London Breed: Filipino American History Month Celebration, hosted by San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed and the Filipino American Arts Exposition (FAAE), on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 5:30 PM.
Activities and/or celebrations related to Filipino American History Month in the the greater Los Angeles Area:
- LAX lights Los Angeles International Airport lit up in honor of Fil-Am History Month from September 30-October 2
- LA Public Library: Books to Celebrate Filipino American History Month
For additional resources available to better understand the history of and to honor the contributions of Filipino Americans in the US and California, check out:
- The Filipino American National Historical Society: http://fanhs-national.org/filam/
- This Filipino American Life podcast
- My Family Moved to the US for a Better Life. But What Does That Really Mean? Buzzfeed News article on Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes
- From the Bay to the Bayou: 10 Places That are Steeping in Filipino American History, The Points Guy article on travel.
- Shades of L.A: The Filipino American Experience