October is Filipino American History Month

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Centuries of influence from China, Indonesia, Spain, and the United States have created a rich heritage in the Philippines and contributed to the diversity of this unique culture.

Since 1988, Filipino Americans have celebrated their long and rich history during the month of October. Did you know that Filipinos were one of the first Asian peoples to arrive in North America? In 1587 — 33 years before English pilgrims on the Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock — Filipino sailors arrived at Morro Bay, California. Filipinos have been coming to America for 431 years!

Over these past four centuries, Filipinos have worked hard to provide for their families and communities and pursue the American dream, — enduring struggles and success, and becoming important contributors to American history and culture.

Famous and influential Filipino Americans:

  • Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, founders of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, which later became the United Farm Workers
  • Bruno Mars, singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, dancer and producer
  • Jordan Clarkson, NBA professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • apl.de.ap, rapper, singer, producer and member of The Black Eyed Peas
  • Tim Lincecum, Major League Baseball pitcher with 3 World Series Championships and 2 National League Cy Young Awards
  • Lea Salonga, Tony Award winner for her performance in “Miss Saigon,” singing voice of Disney’s “Mulan”
  • Lou Diamond Phillips, successful actor who has starred in dozens of movies including “La Bamba” and “Young Guns”
  • Rob Schneider, actor and regular on “Saturday NIght Live” and dozens of comedy films
  • Nicole Scherzinger, lead singer of successful female group “The Pussycat Dolls”
  • Dave Bautista, WWE wrestler, actor “Guardians of the Galaxy”
  • Enrique Iglesias, Grammy Award-winning singer
  • Darren Criss, Emmy Award-winning actor known for his roles on “Glee” and  “American Crime Story”

Fun Facts

  • Did you know that several Filipino words have also been adopted into the English vocabulary?
    • “Boondocks” comes from the Tagalog word “bundok” meaning “remote,” or “away from the shore.”
    • The word for the “yo-yo,” was coined by Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant to the United States, who designed the modern version of this popular toy and opened the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California in 1928.
  • The Philippines is also the only Asian country that is a former colony of the U.S. Following its separation from Spain in 1898, the Philippines was a U.S. territory until 1946, when the country gained its independence.
  • Over a quarter-million Filipino Americans served in the American military in World War II.

This long and close connection between the two countries led the Philippines to adopt English as its second national language, alongside Tagalog. 

You can see this blend of English and Tagalog in our new commercial featuring our Director of Marketing & Growth Joshua Ang Price, who is Filipino-American.

In celebration of Filipino-American History Month, LumoXchange proudly recognizes the Filipino people for their many contributions to our nation, and thanks them for adding their talents, skills, and passion to the great melting pot of America.

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About the author

Joshua Price

Director, Marketing & Growth @ LumoXchange

By Joshua Price

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