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October shines a spotlight on the rich history and achievements of Filipino Americans with the annual celebration of Filipino American History Month.

This special month honors the long-standing presence of Filipinos in the United States. It’s a time that abounds with joy and pride, recognizing the significant contributions of Filipino Americans in the US.

Filipino American History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2009, and it is celebrated every October.

This timing commemorates the historic landing of the first Filipinos in Morro Bay, California, on October 18, 1587. The recognition of this month emphasizes the importance of remembering and celebrating the enduring impact of Filipino Americans throughout U.S. history.

The celebration acknowledges and honors Filipino Americans’ struggles and triumphs. Throughout the month, communities nationwide engage in activities that highlight Filipinos’ cultural heritage and achievements in America.

These events serve to educate and inspire pride and unity within the Filipino American community and the larger American society​.

History of Filipino American History Month

Filipino American History Month began as an initiative by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) in 1991.

The month was chosen to commemorate the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental U.S. It dates back to October 18, 1587, when Filipino sailors landed in Morro Bay, California. This event marks a significant moment in Filipino American history.

The official recognition of Filipino American History Month across the U.S. came much later. Both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate passed resolutions in November 2009, marking the official start.

This nationwide recognition highlights the historical and cultural contributions of Filipino Americans to American society.

The celebration has grown over the years, with various states, counties, and cities participating. This is especially true for those with large Filipino American populations, which conduct events and educational programs.

These activities aim to increase awareness and celebrate the rich history and diverse contributions of Filipino Americans​.

How to Celebrate Filipino American History Month

Dive Into Filipino Cinema

Grab some popcorn and host a Filipino movie night. Choose films directed by Filipinos to truly appreciate and understand the nuances of Filipino culture and history through their lens.

From independent films to blockbusters, there’s a wealth of content waiting to captivate you.

Feast on Filipino Cuisine

Why not turn your kitchen into a mini Filipino feast this month? Cooking and sharing traditional Filipino dishes like adobo, sinigang, or lechon can be a delicious way to connect with the culture.

Invite friends over and turn it into a potluck of Filipino favorites!

Learn Filipino Folk Dances

Put on your dancing shoes and learn some traditional Filipino dances. Whether it’s the tinkling, which involves dancing nimbly over bamboo poles, or the singkil, which showcases intricate footwork, this is a fun way to immerse yourself in Filipino heritage and get a good workout!

Visit a Filipino Festival

If you’re near a city with a large Filipino community, look out for local Filipino American History Month festivals. These events are rich in music, dance, and food, offering a full sensory immersion into Filipino culture.

Share Filipino Stories

Encourage storytelling among your friends or within your community—especially from Filipino Americans. Sharing personal histories and experiences can foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Filipino community.

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