2021 FAHM Celebrations

WASHINGTON D.C., October 1, 2021 – The National Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) welcomes Filipino American History Month (FAHM), a special time when we commemorate the first recorded arrival of Filipinos in the United States on October 18, 1587. They are a group of indigenous Filipinos who worked as sailors on board the Spanish trading ship known as Manila Galleon in Morro Bay, California. This makes the Filipinos the first documented Asian people to arrive in the United States. 

Over the years, the Filipino community has continued to help grow and expand different cities in the United States. From establishing the first Filipino settlement in the United States in 1760, to Antonio Miranda Rodriguez Poblador and other Filipinos being sent by the Spanish Government in 1781 to establish what is now Los Angeles, California. The Filipinos did not just help the population growth in the country, but they also helped advance rights and advocated for US workers. In 1965, Larry Itliong and a group of Filipino farmworkers instigated “The Delano Grape Strike of 1965,” which significantly impacted the American farm labor movement as it brought about the creation of the United States Farm Workers Union (UFW).

Today, many Filipino Americans are among the brave frontline workers fighting a much different battle than our ancestors had fought before. Los Angeles Times reported, “Although comprising only 4% of the nursing population nationwide, nearly one-third of nurses who died of coronavirus in the US are Filipino. In the state of California, where the largest population of Filipinos reside, they represent at least 30% of all deaths from COVID-19 despite constituting only 25% of the state’s Asian population.”

President Joe Biden recognized the Filipino frontline workers who sacrificed their lives during this pandemic in his 2020 statement by saying, “Their heroism is a reminder that Filipino Americans embody the heart, the courage, and the values that define the United States. We are a nation that has always been renewed by immigration and fortified by our diversity.”

“Tiis” (Tee-is) is a Filipino word that means “to bear,” “to endure,” and “to suffer.” We don’t just celebrate FAHM to remember the arrival of the early Filipinos, but to remember the sacrifices of every Filipino who came to the United States after 1587. This month we celebrate all our Filipinos, who are considered modern-day heroes who continue to exemplify resilience during these challenging times.

An extraordinary level of resiliency is what we contribute to this country. The ability to make sacrifices with grace and optimism is what kept Filipinos stronger over the years.

NAFFAA Chairman Brendan Flores says, “Our Filipino pioneers never give up despite hardships because they have hope for the future. They want a better future for themselves and their families, which is how we grew incrementally as a strong community. Filipinos are resilient. From being the very first Asians to land in America, to now being over four million strong here in the United States, we would not get this far without resilience.”

Flores asks members of the Fil-Am community to use this month to remember the sacrifices of Filipinos living in past generations. “The early settlers, our manongs and manangs, had no idea that their work back then, would help us today — now that we are four million strong and growing. In the same way, know that what we endure and fight for today will help future generations live better. Like many of our parents and ancestors, let us endeavor to make sacrifices for a brighter future for all,” adds Flores.

2020 FAHM Celebration

FAHM 2020 by Bituin Aquino

Thank you for joining our VIRTUAL CELEBRATION

Many thanks to our Special Guest Speakers:
The Honorable Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21),
U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03),
U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Assemblymember Rob Bonta,
California State Assembly District 18
The Honorable Mayor Ron Falconi, City of Brunswick, OH
The Honorable Mayor Peter Urscheler, City of Phoenixville, PA
The Honorable Mayor Pro Tem Rachelle Arizmendi, City of Sierra Madre, CA
His Excellency Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, Philippine Embassy

With a historic Filipino food showcase by
Nicole Ponseca of Jeepney NYC and Kristine de la Cruz of Creme Caramel LA

Get chance to learn from them one-on-one through a fundraising auction at

Hosted by Jannelle So, Filipino American TV Pioneer
The Filipino Channel, Lifestyle Channel, LA-18

Zoom Space is limited, so please RSVP before September 30.
Event will be broadcasted LIVE on Facebook.com/NaFFAA.National.