Celebrating Pilipino-American Heritage & History Month
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Today is October 1 which marks the first day of Pilipino-American Heritage and History Month here in the states. Since October 18, 1587 when the first Pilipinos known as the Luzones Indios arrived in the shores of what is now known as California, we have had a long history in the Americas. Landing at what many people believe to be Morro Bay (though the exact location is still disputed among historians), the first known Asians to arrive in the Americas came on shore as part of Captain Pedro de Unamuno’s crew on the Spanish galleon, Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza. These first Pilipinos to the Americas sailed the western part of the continent thus starting the timeline of Pilipino-American history.

From there on, Pilipinos have arrived, immigrated, settled, raised families, and formed communities across the United States. From the Manila Men of the bayous of Louisiana making one of the very first Pilipino settlements as early as 1763, to Larry Itliong and the Delano Manongs during the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 who instigated one of the U.S. historical events and protests during the American farm labor movement along side Cesar Chavez and their Chicano brothers and sisters. From the War of 1812 when the Manila Men of Louisiana joined the U.S. soldiers in fighting against and defeating the British on January 8, 1815 during the Battle of New Orleans to one of the earliest known recorded Pilipino-American soldiers, Felix Cornelius Balderry, who fought during the Civil War and enlisted on December 7, 1864/1865 with the Union, belonging to the Company A, 11th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Despite our long history here in the states and being the oldest Asian American group, we are the silent majority. Compared to other Asian American groups Pilipino-American history and Pilipinos in general are often overlooked and forgotten even among Pilipino-Americans themselves. In honor of Pilipino-American History Month let us learn and teach our histories to the youth and better understand our communities. After all in the words of national hero José Rizal, “He/She who does not know how to look back at where they came from will never get to their destination.”

Follow Pinoy-Culture.com throughout the month of October as we learn and celebrate Pilipino-American history!

#filipinoamericanhistorymonth. #knowyourhistory, #knowyourself

About The Author

Executive Editor & Founder

Ligaya is the Executive Editor & Writer at Pinoy-Culture.com. She lives in NYC with her two dogs and spends her time reading, writing, collecting and buying books online and in safe haven, Strand Bookstore, watching her guilty tv show pleasure Vikings, and overdosing herself in coffee as a certified caffeine addict. Her book, Diwatahan: A Look Into the Precolonial Beliefs, Practices, Myths, & Folklore of the Philippines, is currently in progress and is scheduled to be published in Summer of 2017.

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