Filipino American History Month – October 1: History, Celebrate & Facts

In the vibrant tapestry of American history, the contributions of various ethnic communities have woven a rich narrative. Filipino Americans, with their unique heritage and indomitable spirit, hold a special place in this mosaic. October is Filipino American History Month, a time to celebrate the rich heritage and contributions of Filipino Americans to the United States. 

History of Filipino Americans

The First Filipinos in America

The story of Filipino Americans in the United States begins in the early 18th century when the first Filipinos, known as “Manilamen,” arrived in what is now Morro Bay, California. They were part of the Spanish expedition led by explorer Don Pedro Duran de Monforte. This marked the beginning of a long and enduring Filipino presence in America.

Filipino Americans in World War II

During World War II, Filipino Americans played a pivotal role in the fight against tyranny. Many of them joined the United States Armed Forces and served with honor and distinction. Their bravery and sacrifices are commemorated at the Bataan Death March Memorial in New Mexico, where an annual memorial march takes place.

Filipino Americans in the Civil Rights Movement

Filipino Americans were not mere spectators but active participants in the Civil Rights Movement. Leaders like Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz were instrumental in the formation of the United Farm Workers (UFW) alongside Cesar Chavez. Their fight for workers’ rights and social justice left an indelible mark on American history.

Filipino Americans in the 21st Century

In the 21st century, Filipino Americans continue to thrive and excel in various fields, from politics to technology. Notably, the election of Rob Bonta as California’s Attorney General marked a significant milestone in Filipino American political representation.

Contributions of Filipino Americans

In the Military

Filipino Americans have a long history of military service. Their courage and dedication have earned them numerous accolades and medals. Notable figures include Brigadier General Jon A. Yasuda and Rear Admiral Eleanor Mariano.

In Business

The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in the Filipino American community. From small businesses to major corporations, Filipino Americans have made their mark. Names like Monique Lhuillier in fashion and Tim Lincecum in the food industry are shining examples.

In the Arts and Entertainment

Filipino Americans have left an indelible mark on the world of arts and entertainment. With icons like Lea Salonga, Bruno Mars, and Dante Basco, they have enriched American culture with their talents.

In Sports

Sports enthusiasts can take pride in Filipino American athletes like Manny Pacquiao, the boxing legend, and Jordan Clarkson, a rising star in the NBA. Their achievements have inspired many.

In Education

Education is another arena where Filipino Americans have excelled. Leaders in academia like Dr. Jose L. Cruz, President of Herbert H. Lehman College, have made significant contributions to the field.

How to Celebrate Filipino American History Month

Learn about Filipino American History and Culture

Start by delving into the rich history and culture of Filipino Americans. Visit museums, read books, and explore online resources to gain a deeper understanding.

Attend Filipino American Events and Festivals

Many cities host special events and festivals during October to celebrate Filipino American History Month. Attend these gatherings to immerse yourself in the culture and connect with the community.

Support Filipino American Businesses

Show your support by patronizing Filipino American-owned businesses. Whether it’s a restaurant, a boutique, or an online store, your support can make a significant difference.

Volunteer Your Time to Filipino American Organizations

Consider volunteering with Filipino American organizations that work towards various causes. Your time and skills can help further their missions.


  • Filipino Americans are the second-largest Asian American group in the United States, with a population of over 4 million.
  • The first Filipino settlement in the United States, Saint Malo in Louisiana, was established in 1763.
  • Filipinos introduced the concept of “boodle fights,” a communal way of eating, to the United States military.
  • Filipino American Larry Itliong initiated the Delano Grape Strike, a significant event in the farm labor movement.
  • The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) was founded in 1982 to preserve and promote Filipino American history and culture.

Filipino American History Month Quotes, Wishes, and Messages

“Celebrating the rich tapestry of Filipino American history and culture this October. Mabuhay!”

“In unity, there is strength. Happy Filipino American History Month!”

“Remembering the pioneers and celebrating the future of Filipino Americans. Salamat po!”

“Let’s embrace our heritage and share our stories during Filipino American History Month.”

“From the Philippines to America, our journey is a testament to resilience and determination.”

“May the spirit of Bayanihan inspire us all during Filipino American History Month.”

“Honoring the past, celebrating the present, and shaping the future of Filipino Americans.”

“Filipino American History Month is a time to cherish our roots and the diversity of our community.”

“Our history is a mosaic of stories that deserve to be told and celebrated.”

“Happy Filipino American History Month! Together, we continue to make history.”

Filipino American History Month Dates

Filipino American History Month is observed throughout the month of October, culminating in various events and celebrations on October 1st.

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What is Filipino American History Month?

Filipino American History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the rich heritage, history, and contributions of Filipino Americans to the United States.

When is Filipino American History Month?

Filipino American History Month is celebrated throughout the entire month of October, with special events and commemorations on October 1st.

Why is Filipino American History Month important?

This month is important as it provides an opportunity to educate, raise awareness, and honor the significant contributions of Filipino Americans to the cultural, social, and economic fabric of the United States.


As October unfolds, let us come together to celebrate Filipino American History Month. It is a time to honor the past, appreciate the present, and look forward to the future contributions of this vibrant community. Filipino Americans have enriched the United States in countless ways, and their legacy continues to inspire us all.

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