History of Filipino Americans
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Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century. Mass migration did not begin until the early 20th century, and for a period the History of the Philippines merged with that of the United States. After the independence of the Philippines from the United States, Filipino Americans continued to grow in population and had events that are associated with them.
Migration patterns of immigration of Filipinos to the United States have been recognized as occurring in four significant waves. The first was connected to the period when the Philippines was part of New Spain and later the Spanish East Indies; Filipinos, via the Manila galleons, would migrate to North America. In the late 19th century, the author Ramon Reyes Lala became the first Filipino to naturalize and become an American citizen.
The second wave was during the period when the Philippines were a territory of the United States; as U.S. Nationals, Filipinos were unrestricted from immigrating to the US by the Immigration Act of 1917 that restricted other Asians. This wave of immigration has been referred to as the manong generation. Filipinos of this wave came for different reasons, but the majority were laborers, predominantly Ilocano and Visayan. This wave of immigration was distinct from other Asian Americans, due to American influences, and education, in the Philippines; therefore they did not see themselves as aliens when they immigrated to the United States. During the Great Depression, Filipino Americans were also affected, losing jobs, and being the target of race-based violence. This wave of immigration ended due to the Philippine Independence Act in 1934, which restricted immigration to 50 persons a year.
Later, due to basing agreements with the Philippines, Filipinos were allowed to enlist in the United States Navy; this continued a practice of allowing Filipinos to serve in the navy that began in 1901. Before the end of World War I, Filipino sailors were allowed to serve in a number of ratings; however, due to a rules change during the interwar period, Filipino sailors were restricted to officers' stewards and mess attendants. Filipinos who immigrated to the United States, due to their military service, were exempt to quota restrictions placed on Filipino immigration at the time. This ended in 1946, following the independence of the Philippines from the United States, but resumed in 1947 due to language inserted into the Military Base Agreement between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines. In 1973, Admiral Zumwalt removed the restrictions on Filipino sailors, allowing them to enter any rate they qualified for; in 1976 there were about 17,000 Filipinos serving in the United States Navy; they created a distinct Navy-related Filipino American immigrant community.
The third wave of immigration followed the events of World War II. Filipinos who had served in World War II had been given the option of becoming U.S. Citizens, and many took the opportunity, upwards of 10,000 according to Barkan. Filipina War brides were allowed to immigrate to the United States due to War Brides Act and Fiancée Act, with approximately 16,000 Filipinas entering the United States in the years following World War II. This immigration was not limited only to Filipinas and children; between 1946 and 1950, there was recorded one Filipino Groom granted immigration under the War Brides Act. A source of immigration was opened up with the Luce-Celler Act of 1946 that gave the Philippines a quota of 100 persons a year; yet records show that 32,201 Filipinos immigrated between 1953 and 1965. This wave ended in 1965.
The fourth and present wave of immigration began in 1965 with passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 into law. It ended national quotas into law, and provided an unlimited number of visas for family reunification. By the 1970s and 1980s Filipina wives of service members reach annual rates of five to eight thousand. The Philippines became the source of the largest source of legal immigration to the United States from Asia. Navy based immigration stopped with the expiration of the military bases agreement in 1992; yet it continues in a more limited fashion. Many Filipinas of this new wave of migration have migrated here as professionals due to a shortage in qualified nurses; from 1966 until 1991, at least 35,000 Filipino nurses immigrated to the United States. As of 2005[update], 55% of foreign-trained registered nurses taking the qualifying exam administered by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) were educated in the Philippines.
Immigration from the Philippines to the United States in 2016
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (April 2018)
In 2016, there were around 50,609 Filipinos who obtained their legal permanent residency, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Of those Filipinos receiving their legal permanent residency status in 2016, 66% were new arrivals, while 34% were immigrants who adjusted their status within the U.S. In 2016, data collected from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security found that the categories of admission for Filipino immigrants were composed mainly of immediate relatives, that is 57% of admissions. This makes the admission of immediate relatives for Filipinos higher than the overall average LPR immigrants, which is composed of only 47.9%. Following immediate relative admission, family sponsored and employment-based admission make up the next highest means of entry for Philippine immigration, with 28% and 14% respectively. Like immediate relative admission, both of these categories are higher than that of the overall U.S. LPR immigrants. Diversity, refugees and asylum, and other categories of admission make up less than a percent of Filipino immigrants granted LPR status in 2016.
- 1573-1811, Roughly between 1556 and 1813, Spain engaged in the Galleon Trade between Manila and Acapulco. The galleons were built in the shipyards of Cavite, outside Manila, by Filipino craftsmen. The trade was funded by Chinese traders, manned by Filipino sailors and "supervised" by Mexico City officials. In this time frame, Spain recruited Mexicans to serve as soldiers in Manila. Likewise, they drafted Filipinos to serve as soldiers in Mexico. Once drafted, the trip across the ocean sometimes came with a "one way" ticket.
- 1587, First Filipinos ("Luzonians") to set foot in North America arrive in Morro Bay, (San Luis Obispo) California on board the galleon ship Nuestra Senora de Esperanza under the command of Spanish Captain Pedro de Unamuno; Filipinos become the first Asians in California.
- 1595, Filipino were among the crew aboard the San Augustine when it wrecked near Point Reyes, California.
- 1763, First permanent Filipino settlements established in North America near Barataria Bay in southern Louisiana.
- 1779, A Filipino mariner, received their confirmation at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo; the confirmation was conducted by Fr. Junípero Serra.
- 1781, Antonio Miranda Rodriguez chosen a member of the first group of settlers to establish the City of Los Angeles, California. He and his daughter fell sick with smallpox while en route, and remained in Baja California for an extended time to recuperate. When they finally arrived in Alta California, it was discovered that Miranda Rodriguez was a skilled gunsmith. He was reassigned in 1782 to the Presidio of Santa Barbara as an armorer; when he died, he was buried at the presidio's chapel.
- 1796, The first American trading ship to reach Manila, the Astrea, was commanded by Captain Henry Prince.
- 1814, During the War of 1812, Filipinos known as, "Manilamen", from Manila Village, near New Orleans, were among the "Baratarians", artillery gunners who fought against the British, under the command of Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson, in the Battle of New Orleans.
- 1861-1865, Approximately, 100 Filipinos and Chinese enlist, during the American Civil War, into the Union Army and Union Navy, as well as, serving, in smaller numbers, in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America.
- 1870, Filipinos mestizos studying in New Orleans form the first Filipino Association in the United States, the "Sociedad de Beneficencia de los Hispanos Filipinos."
- 1898, Prior to this year, but after On May 1, the United States Navy decisively defeated Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay, the first battle of the Spanish–American War, beginning the American Colonial Era in the Philippines. On June 12 Filipino revolutionaries declare independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite. Prior to this year, Ramon Reyes Lala becomes the first naturalized Filipino American.
- 1899, Philippine–American War begins.
- 1901, United States Navy begins recruiting Filipinos.
- 1902, Philippine–American War ends. Philippine Bill of 1902 passed by the U.S. Congress.
- 1903, First Pensionados, Filipinos invited to attend college in the United States on American government scholarships, arrive.
- 1906, First Filipino laborers migrate to the United States to work on the Hawaiian sugarcane and pineapple plantations, California and Washington asparagus farms, Washington lumber, Alaska salmon canneries. About 200 Filipino "pensionados" are brought to the U.S. to get an American education.
- 1907 Benito Legarda and Pablo Ocampo becomes the first Resident Commissioner of the Philippines in the United States House of Representatives.
- 1910, First Filipino, Vicente Lim, attends West Point.
- 1911, José B. Nísperos, becomes the first Asian American to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Nevada became the first state to include Filipinos, referring to them as "Malays", in their miscegenation law.
- 1912, Filipino Association of Philadelphia (Now known as Filipino American Association of Philadelphia, Inc./FAAPI) is founded by Agripino Jaucian; it is perhaps the oldest Filipino organization in continuous existence in the United States. The name change came about to include the growing number of American wives.
- 1913, Several months after the Battle of Bud Bagsak, armed resistance ended, finishing the Moro Rebellion.
- 1915, Telesforo Trinidad becomes the only Asian American Sailor, as of 2010[update], to earn the Medal of Honor.
- 1917, Philippine National Guard mustered into federal service
- 1919, USS Rizal is commissioned into the United States Navy. On August 31 Pablo Manlapit lawyer and community leader organizes the Filipino Labor Federation to demand higher wages and better working conditions for sakadas.
- 1920s, Filipino labor leaders organize unions and strategic strikes to improve working and living conditions. Among the union organizers there were individuals who had harbored communist sentiments, as well as those who were nationalistic and anti-communist.
- 1924, during a labor strike in Hawaii, as a result of violence by Visayans strikers upon Ilocano non-strikers, 16 strikers, and four law enforcement, were killed during the Hanapepe massacre.
- 1927, Anti-Filipino riots occur in the Yakima Valley, Washington.
- 1928, Filipino Businessman Pedro Flores opens Flores yo-yos, which is credited with starting the yo-yo craze in the United States. He came up with and copyrighted the word yo-yo. He also applied for and received a trademark for the Flores Yo-yo, which was registered on July 22, 1930. His company went on to be become the foundation of which would latter become the Duncan yo-yo company. Anti-Filipino riots occur in the Wenatchee Valley.
- 1929, Anti-Filipino riot occurs in Exeter, California.
- 1930, Anti-Filipino riots break out in Watsonville and other California rural communities, in part because of Filipino men having intimate relations with White women which was in violation of the California anti-miscegenation laws enacted during that time. The Filipino Federation of America building in Stockton was bombed. A Filipino labor camp was bombed in the Imperial Valley.
- 1933, After the Supreme Court of California found in Roldan v. Los Angeles County that existing laws against marriage between white persons and "Mongoloids" did not bar a Filipino man from marrying a white woman, California's anti-miscegenation law, Civil Code, section 60, was amended to prohibit marriages between white persons and members of the "Malay race" (e.g. Filipinos).
- 1934, The Tydings–McDuffie Act, known as the Philippine Independence Act limited Filipino immigration to the U.S. to 50 persons a year (not to apply to persons coming or seeking to come to the Territory of Hawaii); A Filipino Labor Union Incorporated camp was attacked in Salinas after a failed strike.
- 1935, Philippines becomes self-governing with the Commonwealth of the Philippines inaugurated.
- 1936, Fe del Mundo becomes the first woman accepted into Harvard Medical School.
- 1941, Washington Supreme Court rules unconstitutional the Anti-Alien Land Law of 1937 which banned Filipino Americans from owning land.
- Early 1942, Filipinos communities began to designate themselves as Filipinos to avoid anti-Japanese discrimination
- April 1942, First and Second Filipino Regiments formed in the U.S. composed of Filipino agricultural workers.
- May 1942, After the fall of Bataan and Coregidor to the Japanese, the US Congress passes a law which grants US citizenship to Filipinos and other aliens who served under the U.S. Armed Forces.
- 1942–1944, After the official surrender of USAFFE under the command of LTG Wainwright, ongoing local guerrilla resistance groups operated throughout the islands against the Japanese occupation until the islands liberation by American lead Allied forces.
- October 1944, Battle of Leyte - American General Douglas MacArthur and Sergio Osmeña, President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines Generals Basilio J. Valdes and Carlos P. Romulo land the beaches at Palo, Leyte with the U.S. liberation forces.
- 1944–1945, Beginning the Allied Liberation of the Philippines was the country by joint Filipino and American soldiers fought the Japanese Imperial forces until the end of World War II.
- 1946, President Truman signs the Rescission Act of 1946, taking away the veterans benefits pledged to Filipino service members during world War II. Only four thousand service members were able to gain citizenship during this period. The United States recognizes Philippine Independence through Treaty of Manila. America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan published. Filipino Naturalization Act allows naturalization of Filipino Americans, granted citizenship to those who arrived prior to March 1943.
- 1948, Vicki Draves wins two Olympic gold medals; as of 2010[update] is the only Filipino to have won a gold medal. California Supreme Court rules California's anti-miscegenation law unconstitutional in the case of Perez v. Sharp, ending racially based prohibitions of marriage in the state (although it wasn't until Loving v. Virginia in 1967 that interracial marriages were legalized nationwide). Celestino Alfafara wins California Supreme Court decision allowing aliens the right to own real property.
- 1955, Peter Aduja becomes first Filipino American elected to office, becoming a member of the Hawaii State House of Representatives.
- 1956, Bobby Balcena becomes first Asian American to play Major League baseball, playing for the Cincinnati Reds.
- 1965, Congress passes Immigration and Nationality Act which facilitated ease of entry for skilled Filipino laborers. Delano grape strike begins when members of Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee led by Philip Vera Cruz, Larry Dulay Itliong, Benjamin Gines, Andy Imutan and Pete Velasco with mostly Filipino farm workers. The last Filipino village, Manila Village, in the Louisiana Bayou is destroyed by Hurricane Betsy.
- 1967, The Philippine American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE) founded at San Francisco State College.
- 1969, Filipino Students Association (FSA) founded by Filipino American students at University of California, Berkeley during the Third World Movement; later renamed the Pilipino American Alliance(PAA).
- 1972, United States Coast Guard discontinued its program to enlist Filipinos from the Philippines.
- 1973, Larry Asera becomes the first Filipino American elected in the Continental United States.
- 1974, Benjamin Menor appointed first Filipino American in a state's highest judiciary office as Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court.
- 1975, Kauai's Eduardo Enabore Malapit elected first Filipino American mayor in the United States.
- 1977, Evictions are carried out of elderly Filipinos from the International Hotel in Manilatown, San Francisco.
- 1981, Filipino American labor activists Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes are both assassinated June 1, 1981 inside a Seattle downtown union hall. International Hotel in Manilatown, San Francisco is demolished.
- 1990, David Mercado Valderrama becomes first Filipino American elected to a state legislature on the Continental United States serving, Prince George's County in Maryland. Immigration reform Act of 1990 is passed by the U.S. Congress granting U.S. citizenship to Filipino World War II veterans; more than 20,000 veterans naturalized due to the act.
- 1992, Velma Veloria becomes first Asian American elected to the Washington State Legislature. Bobby Scott becomes the first person with Filipino heritage elected to the United States House of Representatives. Eleanor Mariano becomes the first female Physician to the President; later Mariano becomes the first female director of the White House Medical Unit (1994), and the first Filipino American flag officer (2000). The United States Navy ends its program to enlist Filipinos from the Philippines, due to the end of the Military Base Agreement.
- 1994, Benjamin J. Cayetano becomes the first Filipino American governor in the United States.
- 1995, The nation's largest Filipino mural, Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana (Filipino Americans: A Glorious History, A Golden Legacy) in Los Angeles is unveiled and dedicated with over 600 people attending. Edward Soriano becomes the first Filipino American general officer.
- 1999, US Postal worker Joseph Ileto murdered in a hate crime in Chatsworth, California. The Carlos Bulosan Memorial Exhibit opens in Seattle's Eastern Hotel in the International District, honoring Carlos Bulosan. A street on Fort Sam Houston is named after Medal of Honor recipient Jose Calugas.
- 2000, Robert Bunda elected Hawaii Senate President, the First Filipino to hold the position. Angela Perez Baraquio becomes first Filipino American crowned as Miss America. John Ensign is elected to the United States Senate.
- 2001, Bataan Death March Memorial, a federally funded project, was dedicated in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
- 2003, Philippine Republic Act No. 9225, also known as the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003 enacted, allowing natural-born Filipinos naturalized in the United States and their unmarried minor children to reclaim Filipino nationality and hold dual citizenship.
- 2005, Hurricane Katrina impacts New Orleans, damaging or destroying the work of Marina Espina, research of Filipino history in New Orleans dating back to the 18th century; it also displaced many Filipino American families that lived in the area for over 7 generations.
- 2006, First monument dedicated to Filipino soldiers who fought for the United States in World War II unveiled in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles, California. A portion of California State Route 54 is named the Filipino-American Highway. Congress passes legislation that commemorates the 100 Years of Filipino Migration to the United States. Hawaii celebrates the centennial of Filipinos in Hawaii.
- 2007, First American public park built with Filipino themed design features unveiled in LA's Historic Filipinotown.
- 2008, Bruce Reyes-Chow, 3rd generation Filipino and Chinese American was Elected Moderator of Presbyterian Church (USA).
- 2009, Filipino American History Month is recognized in California. Steve Austria becomes "the first, first-generation Filipino to be elected to the United States Congress." Mona Pasquil becomes first Filipino- and Asian-American lieutenant governor of California.
- 2012, Lorna G. Schofield becomes the first Filipino American federal judge.
- 2013, California passed legislation sponsored by Rob Bonta, that required that Filipino contributions to the state's history be included in the curriculum.
- 2014, a Freeway overpass is named Itliong-Vera Cruz Memorial Bridge in San Diego County.
- 2015, Ralph Deleon, is convicted of provide material support to terrorists. Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School, in Union City, California becomes the first school in the United States named for a Filipino American.
- 2017, Oscar A. Solis becomes the first Filipino American Catholic diocesan bishop in the United States; he was elevated to a bishop in Los Angeles in 2004, being the first Filipino American bishop.
- 2018, Erin Entrada Kelly becomes the first Filipino-American to win the John Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. 
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- Filipino American history in San Diego
- Filipino American military history in World War II
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Victoria Manalo Draves, or Vicki as she liked to be called, made history as the first American woman to win two gold medals for diving and as the first, and still only Filipino, to win an Olympic gold medal and she won two of them in springboard and platform diving at the 1948 Olympics in London.
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Richard Greenwald; Daniel Katz (July 3, 2012). Labor Rising: The Past and Future of Working People in America. New Press. pp. 282–283. ISBN 978-1-59558-798-5.
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Filipino American National Historical Society books published by Arcadia Publishing
- Estrella Ravelo Alamar; Willi Red Buhay (2001). Filipinos in Chicago. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-1880-0.
- Mel Orpilla (2005). Filipinos in Vallejo. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-2969-1.
- Mae Respicio Koerner (2007). Filipinos in Los Angeles. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-4729-9.
- Carina Monica Montoya (2008). Filipinos in Hollywood. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-5598-0.
- Evelyn Luluguisen; Lillian Galedo (2008). Filipinos in the East Bay. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-5832-5.
- Dawn B. Mabalon, Ph.D.; Rico Reyes; Filipino American National Historical So (2008). Filipinos in Stockton. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-5624-6.
- Carina Monica Montoya (2009). Los Angeles's Historic Filipinotown. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-6954-3.
- Florante Peter Ibanez; Roselyn Estepa Ibanez (2009). Filipinos in Carson and the South Bay. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-7036-5.
- Rita M. Cacas; Juanita Tamayo Lott (2009). Filipinos in Washington. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-6620-7.
- Dorothy Laigo Cordova (2009). Filipinos in Puget Sound. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-7134-8.
- Judy Patacsil; Rudy Guevarra, Jr.; Felix Tuyay (2010). Filipinos in San Diego. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-8001-2.
- Tyrone Lim; Dolly Pangan-Specht; Filipino American National Historical Society (2010). Filipinos in the Willamette Valley. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-8110-1.
- Theodore S. Gonzalves; Roderick N. Labrador (2011). Filipinos in Hawai'i. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-7608-4.
- Filipino American National Historical Society; Manilatown Heritage Foundation; Pin@y Educational Partnerships (February 14, 2011). Filipinos in San Francisco. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4396-2524-8.
- Elnora Kelly Tayag (May 2, 2011). Filipinos in Ventura County. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4396-2429-6.
- Eliseo Art Arambulo Silva (2012). Filipinos of Greater Philadelphia. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-9269-5.
- Kevin L. Nadal; Filipino-American National Historical Society (March 30, 2015). Filipinos in New York City. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-4396-5056-1.
- Filipino Home
- History of Filipino Americans in Seattle
- "City of Los Angeles declares Historic Filipinotown". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
- Filipino Cannery Unionism Across Three Generations 1930s–1980s, Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project
- Manilamen: The Filipino Roots in America (archived from the original on 2008-05-14)
- Pinoy in the War of 1812
- Filipino Veterans of War of 1812 and American Civil War (archived from the original on 2007-02-06)
- History of Filipino Americans in Chicago
- Census 2000 Brief: The Asian Population: 2000