FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2017
Contact: Jason Tengco, NaFFAA Executive Director
NaFFAA Celebrates Filipino American History Month
Washington, DC — The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is proud to celebrate Filipino American History Month (FAHM). This and every October, the observance of FAHM is a time to honor the remarkable history, proud heritage, and innumerable contributions of the nearly four million Filipino Americans in the United States.
As we enter this year’s Filipino American History Month, we reflect on the indelible impact Filipinos have had on the American experience. We are an integral piece of American history, tracing our roots to the 16th Century California shores. We are part and parcel of the American identity: honorable World War II veterans, brave and outspoken farm workers, passionate educators, and much more. Our presence dots the American landscape; stretching from Hawaii to California to Virginia, we traverse every corner of this beautiful nation. Collectively, we have helped weave together patches of the American quilt, imbuing it with markers of our Filipino heritage and American identity.
Instrumental in establishing Filipino American History Month was the Filipino American National Historical Society. FANHS has been observing October as Filipino American History Month since 1991, and was the body to lobby Congress to recognize it on the national level. NaFFAA joins FANHS in commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the 1947 Military Bases Agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines, and celebrating FANHS’ 35th anniversary since being founded in 1982.
One legacy NaFFAA is particularly proud of is that of our Filipino American World War II veterans, whose selflessness and commitment to duty led them to join American forces in the fight against tyranny. Last year, Congress rightly voted to award these brave patriots the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor the United States can bestow, for their service and sacrifice in World War II. It has been a long fight for recognition for these veterans, a fight NaFFAA is proud to have helped lead. Fittingly, the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony will take place on October 25, 2017, adding significance to this year’s FAHM celebrations.
NaFFAA National Chairman, Brendan Flores, states: “For 20 years, NaFFAA has proudly been at the forefront of Filipino American advocacy and civic engagement. The honoring of our proud WWII veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal this month is a watershed moment for our veterans—as well as our greater Filipino American community. It shows that our commitment to honoring the past can change the trajectory of our future.”
NaFFAA is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. On October 21, 2017, supporters, friends, and family will converge in Washington, DC, the city of our first National Empowerment Conference in 1997. We will recognize the legacy and accomplishments of the organization over the past 20 years, and highlight our comprehensive vision to unite and amplify the voices of the four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans living in the United States. “NaFFAA 2.0” represents how NaFFAA is honoring its past while forging a new forward-thinking and balanced approach in uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse Filipino American individuals and community organizations.
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The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Established in 1997, NaFFAA has been the standard bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of the 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. NaFFAA’s vision is to serve as the voice of all Filipinos and Filipino Americans by uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations through leadership development, civic engagement, and national advocacy.