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About Filipino American History Month

FANHS encourages organizations and communities across the United States to incorporate this theme of celebrating The History of Filipino American Activism in their Filipino American History Month events. We also encourage everyone to share their stories of Filipino American activism in their life at #FAHM2020 on social media, including Instagram, Twitter <@fanhs_national> and our Facebook page @FANHSnatl.

Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the nation and the third largest ethnic group in California, after Latinas/os and African Americans. 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 at what is now Morro Bay, California. In 2009, U.S. Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month in the United States. Various states, counties and cities in the U.S. have have established proclamations and resolutions declaring observance of Filipino American History Month. The late Dr. Fred Cordova, along with his wife, FANHS Founder Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova, first introduced October as Filipino American History Month in 1992 with a resolution from the FANHS National Board of Trustees.

Across the nation, FANHS Chapters, colleges and universities, museums and community groups, will be commemorating Filipino American History Month with various activities and events to bring awareness of the significant role Filipinos have played in American history.


filipino activism flyer


2020 Filipino American History Month Theme
The History of Filipino American Activism

Seattle — In light of momentous historical events and current issues that affect Filipino Americans, the  Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) is pleased to share the Filipino American History Month 2020 theme: The History of Filipino American Activism. 

We choose this theme to highlight the myriad ways Filipino Americans have participated in social justice movements, including but not limited to, the United Farmworkers Movement, the fight for Ethnic Studies, Hawaii Sugar Plantation strikes, Washington Yakima strikes, and Anti-Martial Law Movements across multiple decades. We honor the history of Filipino American solidarity with other communities in their fights for our equity and justice, including the Black Lives Matter Movement, American Indian Movement, Civil Rights and Voting Rights, Women’s Rights, LGBTQ Rights, and Environmental Justice. This year, we recognize the advocacy of our Filipino American healthcare workers who are actively protecting and fighting for our lives everyday amidst this global pandemic. We also acknowledge that 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Filipino American Far West Convention in Seattle, whose overarching theme was EMERGENCE and is credited in part as the start of the Filipino American movement. 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Luzon in the Philippines – one of the bloodiest battles of World War II; it is also the 90th anniversary of the Watsonville Riots of 1930- one which has been credited as an impetus for Farmworkers Rights.

Possible activities related to “History of Filipino American Activism”:

  • Organize online panels about BLM/Anti-Racism and the Filipinx community.
  • Share how Filipino American history is intertwined with the Black American history.
  • Interview community organizers talk about their work in solidarity with BLM, LGBTQ Rights, Women’s Rights, etc.
  • Conduct oral histories with Filipino American activists from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
  • Revive Filipino American political action groups to get out the vote.
  • Highlight a form of pin@y activism every single day of the month.
  • Organize children’s book reading for Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong by Dawn Bohulano Mabalon & Gayle Romasanta.
  • Collect articles about Filipinos and healthcare as well as articles about community members we have lost and re-share links and recordings during FAHM.
  • Conduct FAHM video memes of nurses, doctors, and caregivers in our lives who can do “mini-interviews” or snippets about their experiences in the 60s and 70s OR what it has been like to work during the COVID pandemic.

We believe this theme is particularly crucial in 2020, as it is a key election year and we are living amidst a pandemic and mass movement towards racial justice. Thus, we encourage  all  of our chapters and communities to reflect on decades of Filipino American activism, in order to inspire and foster our civic responsibility in the Filipino American community.