NEW YORKERS CELEBRATE FILIPINO AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH by Elton Lugay
On October 18, 1587, the first documented ‘Filipino’ landed in the United States in Moro Bay in California. In 1763, Filipino Seamen established a settlement in what is now known as Louisiana. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many Filipinos came to the United States as sponsored and non-sponsored students. And after the Immigration Act of 1965, Filipinos came to the US in unlimited numbers, mainly as professionals (doctors, nurses, engineers), but also as students, military service personnel, and domestic care workers.
When the Filipino American National Historical Society (Fanhs) first established Filipino American History Month in 1988, October was chosen to commemorate the historic landing of the ‘Manila Men’ in Moro Bay. In 2009, the Filipino American community celebrated a victory when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed S. Res. 298 and U.S. Congress passed H. Res. 780, both recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in the US. In 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Governor David Patterson proclaimed Filipino American History Month in New York City and the state of New York. This year, Mayor Bloomberg will again proclaim October as Filipino American History Month.
To commemorate the month, Metro New York Chapter of Fanhs is hosting several events, alongside several Filipino American community organizations in New York City. To kick off the event, the Philippine Consulate General and Fanhs are hosting an ‘Opening Ceremonies’ event at the Philippine Center in Manhattan (556 Fifth Avenue), on Friday September 30 from 7 to 9 pm.
At the event, there will be a photo exhibit featuring the winners from our ‘Filipino Americans in New York’ photo contest. Daniel Ballesteros, an officer of Fanhs Metro New York said that the photographs “exemplify the history, culture, neighborhoods, community, families, and organizations of Filipinos in New York.” He also shared that there are original photographs of Filipino Americans taken from earlier time periods, ranging from pictures of Columbia University students in the 1920s and of various Filipino immigrants in the 1930s-1950s.
At the event, Fanhs will also be presenting community awards to four individuals who have demonstrated commitment to the preservation of Filipino American history and the promotion of the Filipino American community of the Metropolitan New York area. The ‘Contributions to Excellence’ award will be presented to Venessa Manzano, MPH, for her various contributions to the Filipino American community, particularly for her creation and implementation of the Filipino School of New York and New Jersey. Two ‘Outstanding Artists’ Award will be presented to singer/songwriter Dennis Sy and hip hop artist Ryan ‘Hydroponikz’ Abugan for their integration of Filipino American culture in their respective artistries. The ‘Youth Leadership Award’ will be presented to Kirklyn Escondo, a senior at New York University, for her involvement in her college’s Intercollegiate Filipino Association, as well as her leadership in organizations such as Kalusugan Coalition, Inc., UniPro, and the Physical Activity and Pilipino American Youth Assessment (PAPAYA) Project.
For more information, please contact Dr. Kevin Nadal at (646) 924-5978 or email@example.com.