Support Filipino American History Month in NY
Dear Community Leader:
I am writing this letter to you on behalf of the Filipino American National Historical Society, Metro New York Chapter to ask you for your support of one of our most ambitious endeavors. This year, we are launching a campaign in association with the Philippine Consulate General of New York and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) New York Chapter for the official recognition of Filipino American History Month every October in New York State.
When the national office of FANHS first established Filipino American History Month in 1988, October was chosen to commemorate the landing of the “Manila Men” in Moro Bay, California on October 18, 1587. In October 2009, the Filipino American community celebrated a victory when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed S. Res. 298 recognizing October as Filipino American History Month. Moreover, in November 2009 Congress passed H. Res. 780, “Recognizing the celebration of Filipino American History Month in October.” There have been several states (e.g., Washington, Michigan) and cities (e.g., Chicago, Anchorage) that have passed proclamations recognizing October as Filipino American History Month. However, it is only in the state of California that a resolution was passed by the state senate.
In 2010, New York Governor Paterson and NYC Mayor Bloomberg both passed official proclamations recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in both New York state and New York City . However, legislation needs to be passed for Filipino American History Month to be recognized every year in the state of New York.
The FANHS Metro New York Chapter upholds our mission to promote understanding, education, enlightenment, appreciation, and enrichment through the identification, gathering, preservation and dissemination of the history and culture of Filipino Americans in the United States. By recognizing our community’s heritage in thestate every year, we would make an historic leap forward in realizing our mission and in advancing the public image of Filipino American New Yorkers.
Filipino Americans stand out as a thriving and prominent community among the great number of immigrants who have come to these shores from all parts of the world and made the Empire State their home:
- Philippine national hero Jose P. Rizal visited the U.S. in 1888 and stayed at the Fifth Avenue Hotel (now the International Toy Center) on 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.
- After the Spanish American War in 1898, many students enrolled at the local institutions Columbia, NYU, Fordham, and Cornell University in Ithaca.
- The earliest Fil-Am organization in the tri-state area was officially the Filipino Knights of Rizal organized in 1923. The earliest Filipino social club was the Filipino Women’s Club organized in 1927.
- Filipino military service men immigrated to New York after World Wars I and II, many of settled in Brooklyn and subsequently Long Island.
- In the 1960s, Filipinos formed settlements in various ethnic enclaves in Metropolitan New York, in the neighborhoods of Woodside, Jackson Heights, and Jamaica.
- Filipinos like Cely Carillo (who was awarded the Liberty Medal by Mayor Ed Koch), Ching Valdes-Aran, Lea Salonga and Dancers Against AIDS co-founder Hernando Cortez, have made significant strides in New York arts and culture, through Broadway, fashion, music, film, comedy, hip-hop, poetry, and dance.
We cannot do this without you. Stand together with us and a multitude of Filipino American organizations across the state in championing this worthy cause. If you support this cause, we will list your organization as part of the Filipino American History Month in New York Network.
We look forward to confirmation of your official written support by email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 1st.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.
FANHS, Metro New York Chapter