October is Filipin@ American History Month! Do you know your Filipin@ history?
Information taken from materials used in Professor Honma’s Filam Experiences course, Fall 2012.
- 1565 – Spain colonizes Philippines
- 1700 – 1850 – first Filipino presence in the US
- 1896 August 26 – Philippine Revolution against Spain
- 1898 – Emilio Aguinaldo, a leader of the revolution, declares Philippine Republic
- 1898 December – Treaty of Paris; US purchases the Philippines from Spain
- 1899 June 2 – 1902 July 4* – Philippine-American War; Filipino nationalists fight for independence rather than change in colonial ruler; *rebellions did not stop until 1913
- 1903 May 1 – the Union Obrera Democratica Filipina (Filipino Democratic Labor Union) holds anti-imperialist rally in front of the Malacañan Palace, demanding workers’ economic rights and Philippine independence
- 1904 – St. Louis World’s Fair – exhibit of a “Philippine Reservation”, displayed ~1200 Filipinos, exoticized as “savages”, attempted to justify colonizing of the Philippines
- 1920 – Filipino Higher Wage movement in Hawaii; Filipino and Japanese workers join forces in Hawaii’s first large-scale inter-ethnic labor strike; temporarily merged Filipino Labor Union and Federation of Japanese Labor
- 1930 January 19-23 – Watsonville Riots – a white mob attempted to raid the Monterrey Bay Filipino Club, lots of violence against Filipinos; in Murphy Ranch, south of Watsonville, vigilantes killed 22-year-old worker Fermin Tobera when they fired shots into a Filipino bunkhouse; the vigilantes did not serve any prison time for their crimes
- 1932 – Filipinos organize the Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union; CWFLU was able to force some major reforms in the industry
- 1933-34 – Roldan v. Los Angeles County – court decided that California’s anti-miscegenation laws didn’t apply to marriages between whites and Filipinos because Filipinos were members of the “Malay race” (and not the “Mongoloid race”), which anti-miscegenation laws did not specify; the marriage of Salvador Roldan (Filipino) and Marjorie Rogers (white) was decided to be legal, but California legislature amended the anti-miscegenation law to include “members of the Malay race” shortly after
- 1939 – Filipino Agricultural Laborers Associated led 6.000 asparagus workers in a strike in the San Joaquin delta; 258 growers signed a contract that guaranteed the demands of the union, including higher wages and better working conditions; allowed Mexicans and other ethnic groups to join the union and was later renamed the Federated Agricultural Laborers Association
- 1946 July 4 – the Philippines are “given” independence; President Truman issues a presidential proclamation of independence for the Philippines, declaring that the Filipino people “demonstrated their capacity for self-government” after about fifty years of U.S. colonization
- 1947 – the Military Bases Agreement was signed; allowed the U.S. to maintain a strong military presence in the Philippines even after the official end of the colonization of the Philippines
- 1948 – Victoria Manolo Draves wins two gold medals for the U.S. in diving and becomes the first Asian American to win gold medals and the first woman to win two; her Filipino father, Teofilo Manolo, and her English mother, Gertrude Taylor, were able to marry before anti-miscegenation laws were changed to include “the Malay race” in California in 1932
- 1965 – the Immigration and Nationality Act raises immigration limits from the Philippines and significantly increases immigration from Asian countries immediately after the bill’s passage; triggers a “brain drain” of Filipino professionals from the Philippines immigrating to the U.S.
- 1965 September – the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) in Delano, led by Larry Itliong, Andy Imutan, and Philip Vera Cruz, votes to strike; Cesar Chavez and the workers of the National Farm Workers Association join the strike; the United Farm Workers was created and combined the memberships of AWOC and NFWA; Mexican membership increased significantly and the Filipinos who helped the start the movement are now largely forgotten
- 1968 – 1969 – students of San Francisco State University’s Third World Liberation Front and students at UC Berkeley, including members of the Pilipino American Alliance, strike for Ethnic Studies; as a result, Asian American Studies programs begin to be established at colleges
- 1977 August 3 – thousands of people form a human chain around the International Hotel in San Francisco’s Manilatown at the climax of the fight to prevent the eviction of elderly Filipinos and low-income residents; police officers evicted residents by force and the building was torn down, but left as an empty lot for ten years because of community resistance; the activism and organizing that took place around the maintaining of the I-Hotel indicates the strength of the Manilatown community and the ability of different groups to stand in solidarity with one another for one purpose
- 1994 – Benjamin Cayetano elected in Hawaii as the first Filipino American governor in the U.S.
- 1997 – Bryon Acohido and Alex Tizon of the Seattle Times become the first Filipino Americans to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism; Acohido won the prize for reporting on stories linking a defect in the controls of Boeing 737 jetliners to a series of crashes that killed hundreds of people; Tizon won the prize for his story on the corruption and inequities in a federally sponsored housing program for Native Americans
This is just a sampling of Filipin@ American History. To find out more, contact the Southeast Asian Committee at the AARC!