Celebrated annually in October, Filipino American History Month commemorates the arrival of the first recorded arrival of Filipinos in the continental United States in California—a state that remains home to a large subpopulation of Filipino Americans. October also marks the birth month of celebrated Filipino American labor leader Larry Itliong, who joined forces with Cesar Chavez to create the United Farm Workers (UFW) of America labor union.
After many years of active campaigning, Filipino American National History Society (FANHS) established Filipino American History Month in 1992; and in 2009, Congress officially recognized the month of October as Filipino American History Month. Today, Filipino American History Month honors the achievements and celebrates the rich culture of the Filipinx and Filipino American communities, and the larger Filipinx diaspora.
The 2022 theme of Filipino American History Month as chosen by the FANHS is “past, present, future,” with a focus on celebrating key Filipino legacies. 2022 marks:
- 30 years of Filipino American History Month
- 40 years of the FANHS
- 50 years of Filipino American Studies in U.S. colleges
Here’s how you can celebrate Filipino American History Month:
Alameda County Library has several book recommendations from Filipino-American authors:
- “The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic” by Nick Joaquin
- “America Is Not the Heart” by Elaine Castillo
- “How to Read Now” by Elaine Castillo
- “Manila Noir” by Jessica Hagedorn
- “The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata” by Gina Apostol
- “Flamer” by Mike Curato
- “Patron Saints of Nothing” by Randy Ribay
- “After Lambana: A Graphic Novel: Myth and Magic in Manila” by Eliza Victoria
- “Hello, Universe” by Erin Entrada Kelly
- “Si Taho at Si Balut” by Annie Pacana-Lumbao
- “Si Gilas, Ang Haring Agila” by Jomike Tejido
Alameda County Library also features Tagalog-English bilingual storytime books, Filipino nursery rhymes, and creating crafts. The library also offers recipes to cook two types of Filipino lugaw, or porridge: a sweet, chocolatey champorado and savory arroz caldo.
There are even more ways to celebrate Filipino American History Month throughout the Bay Area and beyond:
- View Filipino-American artwork at the San Francisco Filipino Cultural Center.
- Read the Asian Art Museum’s guide to celebrating Filipino American History Month, featuring a range of recipes, activities, art, and more fun for the whole family.
- The UC Davis Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies website has several resources on Filipinx American history, experiences, and scholarship.