Daily Archives: October 7, 2013

The Filipino-American Community in the United States ( Part 1)

October 05, 2013

The Filipino-American Community in the United States ( Part 1)

By Arturo P. Garcia

October is Pilipino American history Month (PAHM) in the United States. We printed this article as a tribute to the Filipino-American Community in its struggles, tribulations and accomplishment in its more than a hundred years of existence in America.—author)

October is Pilipino American History month (PAHM). It is important to understand the more tha a hundred years history and the present situation of Filipino immigrants in the United States in order to understand what is the significance of the Pilipino American History month or PAHM.

The first known large-scale immigration of Filipinos started after the Philippines were occupied by the United States on August 13, 1898. The first Filipino migrant workers, 15 Ilocano peasants, were employed as sugar cane planters and cutters. They arrived in Hawaii in 1906. (At the time, Hawaii was a U.S. colony.—Ed.)

This is the first recorded historical note of Filipino migration to the United States. Thus, the Filipino American community celebrated the first century of Filipino workers’ migration to the United States last year.

Early History of the Fil-Am Migration to the United States

This differs from some historians’ romantic notions that Filipino immigration started when Filipino seamen in the galleons jumped ship and started Filipino settlements in the United States in place called Moro Bay in Northern California. It is a controversial subject that should be studied and discussed and proven by facts.

The Filipino population grew from 15 to 39,470 from 1910 to 1930 in Los Angeles. From 1920 to 1930, Filipinos established “Manila towns” in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Before the start of World War II, Filipino farmworkers, cannery workers and pensionados lived in America.

Some Filipinos thought all along that they all came from Manila, the capital of the Philippines ever since the Spanish period. Thus they tried to build their own villages called “Little Manila. So they tried to build villages in major cities in the Western Coast of the United States and fondly called “Little Manila” in Seattle, Los Angeles and in San Francisco.

“Little Manila” was the piece of land from Los Angeles river in the south to the Bunker Hill in the North. It is also bordered from 8th street in the west until the Sunset Strip to the East.
The area where Union Station is now was called “The Chinatown” while the financial district to the west where the Grand St is located was the called “The Japanesetown.”

“Little Manila” is no more. After the war, when the city government built the Civic Center. The 1o1 Freeway and declared the area as part of the CRA, the Filipinos were relocated. Later the area near the LA River was bought by the Japanese big business and was later called “Little Tokyo” It replaced “Little Manila that was erased in history.

Racism against immigrants

Historical records show that there were at least 15,000 Filipino scholars who studied in the United States as pensionados. Many of them went back to the Philippines to serve as teachers, bureaucrats and loyal “U.S. nationals” in government, private and civil service jobs.

In 1934, the Tydings-McDuffie Act—the U.S. law that made the Philippines a commonwealth and promised independence after 10 years—restricted Filipino migration to 50 persons allowed to enter the United States each year. The limit was not repealed until 1946.

These policies were a product of anti-Asian sentiments that had brewed in the United States against Chinese and Japanese communities for some time.

Earlier the U.S. had passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the anti-miscegenation law of 1905—that prohibited inter-racial marriage—and the National Origins Act of 1924, which prohibited Japanese migration.

Filipinos in the United States were subjected to lynching and anti-foreign riots until the 1950s and blatant racist actions.

World War II changed the situation. During and after the war, Filipinos gained citizenship by joining the U.S. Army and the Navy. Many Filipinos joined the 1st and 2nd US Army Regiment composed of all Filipinos. San Diego, Long Beach, Virginia Beach, Alaska and other places blossomed with large Filipino populations due to this military employment.

By World War II, there were at least 300,000 Filipinos in the United States. A significant step, four Filipino America leaders formed the Filipino Community of Los Angeles (FCLA) in April 26, 1945, the first non-profit organization of the Filipinos in the United States.

It is now known as the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) that still exist up to this day.

(End of Part 1)


FACLA/Bantay Pilipinas –USA Holds Town Hall Meeting vs PDAF

Press Release
October 05, 2013

FACLA/Bantay Pilipinas –USA Holds Town Hall Meeting vs PDAF

Los Angeles – While thousands of Filipinos held their Anti-Pork Rally in Makati, thousands of miles away, scores of Filipino-Americans led by the Filipino-American Community (FACLA) and Bantay Pilipinas-USA conducted a Town hall Meeting dubbed as “Talakayang Bayan” and discussed future actions against the corruption schemes in the homeland last October 3, 2013 ( October 4 in the Philippines)

The Town Hall meeting was the kick-of activity of FACLA for the Pilipino -American hisotry month (PAHM). The forum was opened with militant remarks from FACLA President Austin Baul Jr, “ The evils of PDAF hounded the county and gave the Philippines and our people not only the politicians a very bad image abroad “

He also cited Bantay-Pilipinas advocacy against corruption in the diaspora and in the Philippines and “” pledged that the groups gather will fight corruption wherever its exists.”

Town Hall Panel

USAP Coalition Convenor and FACLA Director Arturo P. Garcia. FACLA 2nd Vice President Dr. Venonico Agatep and journalist Larry Pelayo acted as the moderator for the Town hall meeting.

Garcia read the statement of the USAP Coalition and the ‘Million People March 2 I n the Philippines. This is the 3rd solidarity action in the Filipino American community in the United States with the Million People’s March 2 in Makati City. USAP Coalition statements were given away at the forum.

Larry Pelayo of Pinoy Watchdog also said, “the relationship of PDAF with political dynasties that ruled the Philippines is very clear. The more money they accumulate from PDAF, the more they build their dynasties.” He cited the cases of the Marcos in Ilocos, Rectos in Batangas, Revillas in Cavite, Pinedas in Pampanga and others.

Dr. Veronico Agatep., FACLA’s 2nd Vice President and also a former town mayor and a provincial board member, explained , “Not everyone in the government is corrupt and not everything in PDAF is bad. It is the crooked politicians who made the system bad.”

On one of the question from the crowd. “Is there hope for Filipinos after PDAF”, the panel members said” We are hopeful something will change. We have seen the administration file charges, conduct investigation and have shown some transparencies in the PDAF cases.

The community leaders and activists who attended the Town Hall meetings and FACLA promised to do more such discussions in the future to keep the issues alive and and community well informed on the developments on the PDAF scam.

For more information please contact FACLA at (213)484-1527 or email us [email protected] or visit our facebook/newfacla.