How to Celebrate and Honor Filipino American History Month

By Dr. Pat Lindsay “Pinky” Catalla-Buscaino, FANHS-Houston, Texas Chapter President
October 1, 2021

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Happy Filipino American History Month October 2021!

#FAMH #FAHM2021 #FANHSHTX #FANHS #FilipinoAmericanHistoryMonth

Filipino American National Historical Society, Houston, Texas Chapter (FANHS-HTX)  celebrates, honors, and recognizes Filipino American History Month (FAHM) starting October 1 through 31, 2021. FANHS-HTX’s mission is 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, specifically in Greater Houston and Texas. Fanhshtx.com

You may be asking, “What? There is a Filipino American HISTORY Month?” Yes, the emphasis is on the HISTORY of Filipino Americans. In this article, we’ll explain the history of Filipino American History Month, ways to celebrate, and what to expect this coming month.

History of Filipino American History Month (FAHM)

On October 18, 1587, Filipinos aboard Unamuno’s Spanish galleon crew landed on Morro Bay in northern California (FilAm Tribune, 2020). Filipinos first set foot on American soil 33 years before the first pilgrims came in 1620. This is why Filipino American History Month is celebrated in October. We commemorate the first documented landing of Filipinos over 434 years ago in what is now known as the United States of America. Just let that sit with you for a moment and let your mind take in the math. This may or may not be a surprise to you, and that’s probably because many of us did not this in our history books in school growing up. Well, that is all about to change for you right now.

We made history. We helped build this nation.

Dr. Dawn mabalon

Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) has been observing Filipino American History Month in October since 1991. In 2009, the United States Congress passed resolutions in 2009, 2010, and in 2011 to recognize Filipino American History Month in October nationally. The month is dedicated to honoring, celebrating, and raising awareness of the significant contributions of all Filipino Americans in the history of the United States. The late Dr. Dawn Mabalon, FANHS National Scholar and Trustee Emerita said in 2013, “History is inclusive of heritage and culture, but it’s also about the ways we have built and changed this nation–our stories, political struggles, transformations, labor, migration, activism, impact of imperialism & war, victories, etc. –whereas heritage is more limited to what we pass down in terms of culture, tradition, and legacies. History is inclusive of heritage and much more. WE MADE HISTORY. WE HELPED BUILD THIS NATION. That’s what this month is all about” (FANHS-National). Yes, she is right. The history of Filipino Americans are the experiences of all Filipinos who lived and are living in the United States. We helped build and shape this nation, and we continue to do so in this pandemic world. We must celebrate ourselves, our history, and every Filipina/o/x American. We do this for our ancestors who came before us. We do this for every struggle we have faced. We do this for every Filipinx in a role we could have never imagined we could ever be. If we don’t celebrate Filipino Americans and uplift our history, who else will?

This year’s theme is 50 Years Since the First Young Filipino People’s Far West Convention, marking the year 2021 as the 50th anniversary of the First Young Filipino People’s Far West Convention, a meeting that took place at Seattle University in 1971 and brought over 300 young Filipino American participants from the West Coast of the US (FANHS-National). The convention is the impetus for the Filipino American Movement, specifically the formation of Filipino American studies and youth activism. Check out Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS-National) official press and original article, on Filipino American History Month – October 2021 – FANHS (fanhs-national.org)

How to Celebrate Filipino American History Month

You are in luck! The Filipino American community is vibrant and full of fun and educational activities during FAHM. Below is a list of events and suggested activities hosted by FANHS-HTX, local Filipino American organizations, and national events. The majority of events are FREE and OPEN to the community unless otherwise noted. Save the dates in your calendar!

FANHS-HTX FREE Events | Open to All People

  • October 1st: FANHS-HTX Filipino American History Month Kick Off and Karaoke at Be More Pacific Kitchen and Bar 6pm CST FREE EVENT. OPEN TO COMMUNITY. For more information visit bit.ly/fanhshtxfahmkickoff
  • October 9th: FANHS-HTX x SEAPhoto Filipino American History Month Art Exhibition 5pm CST at Alief Art House located at Alief SPARK Park & Nature Center, on the corner of  Beechnut & Dairy View, Houston, TX  77072. Filipina American curators and artists, Erika Mei Chua Holum and Kat Cua embody this year’s FAMH theme by featuring photography to showcase youth activism in the United States through ephemeral materials of direct actions and organizing efforts. FREE EVENT. OPEN TO COMMUNITY.
  • October 30th: Yellow Rose Movie Screening and Banig or Treat with FANHS x FYP at Alief Art House located at Alief SPARK Park & Nature Center, on the corner of Beechnut & Dairy View, Houston, TX  77072. FREE EVENT. OPEN TO COMMUNITY. Banig or Treat starts at 5pm CST and all families and children are welcome to dress up in their Halloween costumes. At 7pm CST, we will feature several Filipino-American films:
    • URBAN TRADE, short film filmed in Houston and directed by FANHS-HTX Vice President, Cybil Pallugna-Saenz 
    • SUMULONG PROJECT, a web series documenting the Texas Winter Storm 2020. The project is directed by FANHS-HTX Webmaster, Jerick Alegarbes
    • YELLOW ROSE, the feature film is an award-winning Filipino American movie, starring Lea Salonga, Eva Noblezada, Dale Watson, and Princess Punzalan. Watch the trailer here.
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Houston FAHM Events

  • Thursday, October 14-28th:  FxAH x Philippine Consulate General Art Show at Philippines Consulate General, Houston located at 9990 Richmond Ave #100N – Houston, TX 77042 The event will be an exhibit of paintings, artworks, and panel discussion of Filipino-American artists from the Filipinx Artists of Houston (FxAH) collective in Texas.
  • Friday, October 22nd: Debut Screening of Urban Trade, short film directed and written by Filipina-American, FANHS-HTX Vice President, Cybil Pallugna-Saenz. Visit Urban Trade | SWAMP and visit FANHS-HTX Facebook for the live streaming.

Are you looking for a Speaker, Presentation, or Workshop for Filipino American History Month?

Filipino American National Historical Society-Houston, Texas Chapter is more than happy to give a virtual talk to your group, school, organization about Filipino American History Month and Filipino American history, identity, and culture. Send your request via email to president@fanhsthx.com.  Please request at least 3-5 business days before the requested event.

Individual and Family Friendly Activities in Houston

Here are some ideas you can do to celebrate Filipino American History Month with friends, family, co-workers, and your community.

See and Learn

  • Attend one or all of the virtual and face-to-face FAHM events.
  • Keep an eye out for Filipino American articles from our FANHS-HTX Sulat Writing Group on fanhshtx.com and social media.
  • Read about Filipino American History happenings in FANHS and beyond (fanhsis25.blogspot.com)
  • Read a Filipino American book or join a book club! Need a book to read? Get a copy of the Filipinos in Houston book written by Christy Poisot and Jenah Maravilla: treasurer@fanhshtx.com
  • Listen to the stories of Filipino American oral history in Rice University’s Houston Asian American Archive.
  • Visit your library and research Filipino American History in Texas. Start here: Portal to Texas History and search for Filipino news vintage newspapers.
  • Visit murals created by Filipino American artists and take pictures.
  • Take a picture next to the Dr. Jose P. Rizal bust at the McGovern Centennial Garden in the Museum District.
  • Visit Filipino American historical sites across the country in person or research it online.

Preserve and Honor

Support and Take Action

  • Become a FANHS-HTX member! 
  • Request a presentation or workshop by FANHS-HTX. Contact president@fanhshtx.com
  • Join a Filipino American Student Organization at your college campus
  • Petition for Filipino American Studies at your local college and university
  • Support your local Filipino American Houston organization
  • Support a Filipino American restaurant or pop-up catering business and eat Filipino food.
  • Buy from a Filipino grocery store and make Filipino food at home!
  • Support your local Filipino American small businesses
  • Support Filipinx Artists of Houston Collective: fxahouston.org

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Nationwide FAHM Events 

Here is a comprehensive list of ALL EVENTS by FANHS Chapters and Fil-Am Community in chronological order. Note: New events may be added throughout the month. For updates  tinyurl.com/FAHM2021

  • Every Sunday in October except for 10/31 – FANHS Santa Clara Valley offers tours of San Jose’s Pinoytown – linktr.ee/fanhs.scv or https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pinoytown-sj-tours-tickets-177652512447 Update: Sold out, but if you are still interested you may email pinoytownsj@gmail.com to be on the waitlist.
  • Oct. 1-3 – 4th Annual Pinayista Summit – pinayista.org
  • Oct. 1 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Chef Reina Montenegro Noon PST; Author Tony Robles 2pm PST – sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 1– FANHS-Houston, Texas Filipino American History Month Kick Off and Karaoke at Be More Pacific Kitchen and Bar 6pm CST FREE EVENT. OPEN TO COMMUNITY. For more information visit bit.ly/fanhshtxfahmkickoff
  • Oct. 2 & 3 – FANHS National presents “50 Years Since the First Young Filipino People’s Far West Convention” -Reunion and Panel, at 3PM-5PM PDT, via Zoom. Coordinated by Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova, Cosponsored by FANHS National Office, FANHS Now, and the FANHS Museum. Register at https://forms.gle/bXZ2s38obkzBvMwi9
  • Oct. 2 2021 FANHS Sac-Delta Reunion — 2 PM – 6 PM – American Legion Post 604, 8831 Gerber Rd Sacramento, CA 95828 — Co- sponsored by FANHS SAC-DELTA and American Legion Post 604 — For more info: 916-284-9349
  • Oct. 2 – “Larry: A New Musical” VIRTUAL PREMIERE of first workshop of songs at 6pm PT/ 9pm ET. Register at tinyurl.com/LarryPremiere
  • Oct. 2FANHS Metro New York presents Little Manila Block Party, Woodside, Queens NYC – 11am to 4pm Eastern – 70th Street and Roosevelt Ave – https://www.fanhsmetrony.org/fahm-2021
  • Oct. 2FANHS-Santa Clara Valley-FAHM on the Farm at Veggielution (Free Event) –10-12:30 p.m. We will be celebrating FAHM with a focus on Farmworker’s History. We will have a cooking class by Filipinx Herbalist-Angela Angel, talk stories from community members like Robert Ragsac talking about growing up in Pinoytown, arts and crafts activities for the children. Farm volunteering is available to help plant seeds, pull weeds, and harvest crops. We will end it with a Filipinx Farm to Table Lunch provided by Veggielution Cocina. -Location-Veggielution 647 South King Road. San Jose, CA 95110
  • Oct. 3 – Opening ceremony of the exhibition at the USS Hornet “120 Years of Loyal & Faithful Service by Filipinos in the U.S. Navy” – 1pm at 707 W Hornet Ave., Alameda, CA 94504 aboard the USS Hornet.   This exhibition is in celebration of Filipino American history month of October.  Our thanks to our partner organizations Bataan Legacy Historical Society, USS Hornet and Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans.  FANHS Stockton will have an information table at this event https://uss-hornet.org/calendar/filipino-american-history-month-2021
  • Oct. 3 – Sunday Jump: Still Standing Open Mic — Pilipino Workers Center, 153 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 – 5pm PST – Features Faith Santilla, Carl Angelo and Nisa Longga, and Gingee, with Community Spotlight: FANHS OC/IE Chapter — registration at bit.ly/sjmic10321
  • Oct. 4 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Performance – A Celebration of Filipino American Poetry 7pm PST– sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 6 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Demonstration – Healthy Filipino Cooking 5:30pm PST– sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 7 – KUMU and FANHS Present “Far West Convention Revisited” 7pm-10pm PT http://kumu.ph
  • Oct. 7FANHS Monterey will have a viewing of the film “No Dogs” at the Filipino Community Hall of Salinas Valley / 250 Calle Cebu / Salinas, Ca. 93901 — 5pm to 9pm PST — It is a short film written by Alex Fabros and Georgina Tolentino. Contact person is Jason Agpaoa (831) 229-3803 E-mail: Jason_Agpaoa@Yahoo.com — film trailer at No Dogs – Official Trailer on Vimeo
  • Oct. 8, 12pmFilipino Young Professionals-Houston, Texas (FYP) Rice University, Houston, Texas Celebrates Filipino American History Month with FYP’s Cultural Ambassador dance troupe.
  • Oct. 9FANHS-Houston, Texas x SEAPhoto Filipino American History Month Art Exhibition 5pm CST at Alief Art House located at Alief SPARK Park & Nature Center, on the corner of Beechnut & Dairy View, Houston, TX  77072. Filipina American 9curators and artists, Erika Mei Chua Holum and Kat Cua embody this year’s FAMH theme by featuring photography to showcase youth activism in the United States through ephemeral materials of direct actions and organizing efforts. FREE EVENT. OPEN TO COMMUNITY.
  • Oct. 9 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Author: Hot Off the Press, Filipino and FilAm Literary Reading 5pm to 6:30pm PST – sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 9 at 12 AM PDT to Oct 10 to 5 PM PDT FANHS 2021 Online Auction — Catalogue of Items here: https://tinyurl.com/FANHSauction2021
  • Oct. 9FANHS Sonoma Chapter Gathering – noon to 4pm PST — Adobo Cookoff plus more — Riverfront Regional Park, 7821 Eastside Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448 –Email fanhs.sonomacounty@gmail.com or call or text Angie at 707-484-9952 to confirm by Oct. 1st.
  • Oct. 10 -The FANHS Museum Presents “Afternoon at the Museum” Speaker Series via Zoom — 1:30pm to 3:30pm — “Brave Crossing – A Journey In-Between” By Maria Alvarez Stroud, Author and Historian — Please pre-register for this event at this link — https://tinyurl.com/maria-stroud
  • Oct. 13 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Demonstration – Tutorial: Diosa Blooms Shrimp Chips Bouquet 1pm PST – sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 14-28 – FxAH x Philippine Consulate General Art Show at Philippines Consulate General, Houston located at 9990 Richmond Ave #100N – Houston, TX 77042 The event will be an exhibit of paintings, artworks, and panel discussion of Filipino-American artists from the Filipinx Artists of Houston (FxAH) collective in Texas.
  • Oct. 16 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Film: Alimuom, Screening and Filmmaker Discussion 3pm PST- sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 20 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Author: Laurel Fantauzzo, My Heart Underwater 6pm PST– sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 21 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Celebration: Book Release, Manong Joaquin, Collected Verse of Joaquin Legaspi 6pm PST– sfpl.org/events
  • Friday, Oct. 22 – FANHS-Houston, Texas Debut Screening of Urban Trade, short film directed and written by Filipina-American, FANHS-HTX Vice President, Cybil Pallugna-Saenz. Visit Urban Trade | SWAMP and visit FANHS-HTX Facebook for the live streaming.
  • Oct. 23 FANHS-Santa Clara Valley-Delano Manongs Park Fundraiser —Time and Location-TBA in San Jose–the FilAm community in San Jose is getting together for a community event to raise funds for Delano Manongs Park. Screening of Delano Manongs, food, drinks, entertainment, live art, silent auction, and raffle. Family friendly event.
  • Oct. 24FANHS Delano Chapter, in collaboration with the Central Valley Empowerment Alliance (CVEA), will honor the legacy of Larry Itliong with a grand opening celebration of the CVEA’s Itliong Resource Center, a social service agency targeting farm workers in Poplar — 9am to 10pm — A car caravan will then travel to Delano for a historical tour of Delano. It wraps up with a rally for farm workers at Reuther Hall, site of the signing of the first union contract, in 40 Acres. Contact Alex Edilor at a.b.edillor@gmail.com for more information or visit https://www.cvempowermentalliance.org/
  • Oct. 24 – 2021 FANHS Ohio Chapter Meet Up — 1 PM – Merwin’s Wharf, 1785 Merwin Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113 — Coordinated by FANHS Ohio Chapter– For more info: emails combs.235@osu.edu
  • Oct. 27 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Author: Tif Marcelo, The Holiday Switch 6pm – sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 28 – FANHS-Santa Clara Valley-Filipino American History Month Flag Raising at San Jose City Hall–6 p.m. In honor of Filipino American History Month, FANH-SCV and other FilAm orgs will be celebrating with the city of San Jose. We will also be lighting up city hall with Philippine colors-Location-San Jose City Hall Rotunda Outdoor Area
  • Oct. 28FANHS-Santa Clara Valley-FAHM JAM–5-9 p.m.(Free Event) A Filipino American History Month Celebration in the South Bay. A festival with music, entertainment, food, vendors, and so forth -Location-Garden at the Flea at the Berryessa Flea Market in San Jose
  • Oct. 28 – San Francisco Library’s “Mostly virtual Filipino American History Month Presentation: Lydia Ortiz, Artist Spotlight 7pm – sfpl.org/events
  • Oct. 30 – FANHS-Houston, Texas Yellow Rose Movie Screening and Banig or Treat Event a FANHS-HTX x FYP-Houston Collaboration at Alief Art House located at Alief SPARK Park & Nature Center, on the corner of Beechnut & Dairy View, Houston, TX  77072. FREE EVENT. OPEN TO COMMUNITY. Banig or Treat starts at 5pm CST and all families and children are welcome to dress up in their Halloween costumes. At 7pm CST, we will feature several Filipino-American films. URBAN TRADE, short film filmed in Houston and directed by FANHS-HTX Vice President, Cybil Pallugna-Saenz. SUMULONG PROJECT a web series documenting the Texas Winter Storm 2020. The project is directed by FANHS-HTX Webmaster, Jerick Alegarbes. The feature film is an award-winning Filipino American movie, YELLOW ROSE. Starring Lea Salonga, Eva Noblezada, Dale Watson, and Princess Punzalan. Watch the trailer here.
  • TBD — Metro New York Chapter’s Community Recognition Awards

References

Filam Tribune (2020) First US landing of Filipinos in 1587 filamtribune.com/first-filipino-landing-morro-bay-california-usa-1587/#:~:text=The%20first%20documented%20Filipinos%20landed%20at%20Morro%20Bay,Unamuno%20led%20Manila’s%20voyage%20to%20Acapulco%20in%201585.

Home – FANHS (fanhs-national.org)

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Published by fanhshtx

The purpose of the Filipino American National Historical Society are to: conduct research and studies; gather, promote, and disseminate published works on Filipino American history; provide a repository for research and gathered materials; create exhibits; promote and hold forums and public programs; and sponsor fundraising events to accomplish these purposes. FANHS-HTX is here 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. FANHS-HTX represents the 32nd chapter of a national organization.

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