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Did You Know? – Filipino American History Month Resolution

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Home, News on 01 20th, 2014

Want your city or state to recognize Filipino American History Month in October? Start drafting your letter to your  Mayor and the Governor of your City!



Filipino American History Month Resolution

Making American History for 425 years


The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) has been observing October as Filipino American History Month for the past 21 years, since 1991. The month was established to commemorate the first documented landing of Filipinos in what is now kown as the continental United States over 425 years ago.

FANHS was the first to pass a resolution to commemorate Filipino American History Month. Click here for the FANHS original proposal.

The United States Congress passed subsequent Resolutions to Recognize October as Filipino American History Month nationally in 2009, 2010, and in 2011. Thank you to all the friends of FANHS nationwide and in D.C. who made it possible.

Click here to download the full text from 2009: and here to read the September 29, 2010 Congressional Record: and here for the Senate Resolution from October 5, 2011.


House Resolution 780, in concurrence with Senate Resolution 298, read in its entirety as law:

“Whereas the earliest documented Filipino presence in the continental United States was on October 18, 1587, when the first “Luzones Indios” set foot in Morro Bay, CA, on board the manila-built galleon ship Nuestra Senora de Esperanza;

“Whereas the Filipino American national historical Society recognizes the year 1763 as the date of the first permanent Filipino settlement in the United States in St. Malo, Louisiana, which set in motion the focus on the story of our Nation’s past from a new perspective by concentrating on the economic, cultural, social and other notable contributions that Filipino American have made in countless ways toward the development of the history of the United States;

“Whereas the Filipino American community is the second largest Asian American group in the United States, with a population of approximately 3,100,000 people;

“Whereas Filipino American servicemen and servicewomen have a longstanding history in the Armed Forces from the Civil War to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, including the 25,000 Filipinos who fought under the United States flag during WWII to protect and defend this country;

Whereas nine Filipino American have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the United States Armed Forces;

Whereas Filipino Americans are an integral part of the United States health care system as nurses, doctors, and other medical professions;

“Whereas Filipino Americans have contributed greatly to the fine arts, music, dance, literature, business, journalism, education, science, technology, government, politics, fashion, and other fields in the United States that enrich the landscape of the country;

“Whereas efforts should continue to promote the study of Filipino American history and culture, as mandated in the mission statement of the Filipino American National Historical Society, because the roles of Filipino American and other people of color have been overlooked in the writing, teaching and learning of Unites States history;

“Whereas it is imperative for Filipino American youth to have positive role models to instill in them the importance of education, complemented with the richness of their ethnicity and the value of their legacy; and

“Whereas Filipino American History Month is celebrated during the month of October 2009: Now therefore be it

“Resolved That the House of Representatives –

“Resolved That the Senate –

“(1) recognizes the celebration of Filipino American history Month 2009 as a study of the advancement of Filipino American as a time of reflection and remembrance, and as a time to renew efforts toward the research and examination of history and culture in order to provide an opportunity for all people in the United States to learn and appreciate more about Filipino Americans and their historic contributions to the Nation;

“(2) urges the people of the United States to observe Filipino American History Month 2009 with appropriate programs and activities.”

Fred Cordova, advocate for Filipino community, dies at 82

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Home, News on 01 8th, 2014


For more information about Filipino American National Historical Society throughout the nation, please visit  to find a chapter near you!


Fred Cordova, advocate for Filipino community, dies at 82

Fred Cordova, who died Dec. 21, was hailed as “an irreplaceable part of Seattle’s civil-rights history and a giant within its Filipino community.”


By Nancy Bartley

Seattle Times staff reporter

Fred Cordova<br/>


Fred Cordova

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As Fred Cordova’s eight children were growing up there was one thing about their dad they had to accept: They had to share him, not just with each other, but with the entire community.

On Dec. 21, Mr. Cordova died of complications from an illness, leaving behind an entire community who mourned his loss and believed they personally knew him.

“Few individuals command the depth of respect that Fred inspired,” U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, wrote in a letter to Mr. Cordova’s family. “He was an irreplaceable part of Seattle’s civil-rights history and a giant within its Filipino community. He was a pioneer and leader in so many causes and organizations.”

Born June 3, 1931, in Selma, Calif., he was adopted and raised in a family of migrant-contract-farmers. He moved to Seattle in 1948 to attend Seattle University. While there he met Dorothy Laigo. Both were studying sociology, and they later married.

Mr. Cordova became a sports editor at the Catholic Northwest Progress, later worked for Seattle University and then the University of Washington as a public-information official.

Despite his professional success, he never forgot his roots or the challenges and prejudice he faced growing up among farmworkers.

In 1957, he co-founded the Filipino Youth Activities of Seattle and created the award-winning Filipino Youth Activities Drill Team. For more than 50 years, Mr. Cordova mentored thousands of young people, his friends say.

During the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, he was an outspoken advocate for economic justice, racial equality and ethnic identity. He was the weekly commentator on issues important to communities of color for KYAC-FM Radio’s “Dark Voices” series.

In 1982, he was the founding president of the Filipino American National Historical Society, creating its national archives.

“We had a lot of respect for him,’’ said Frank Irigon, an Asian-American activist. “He was known to all of us as Uncle Fred Cordova. He was a person who personified being Filipino, someone who was proud of being Filipino American and wanted us … not to lose sight of it.”

Alma Kern, president of the Filipino American Community of Seattle, wrote on the organization’s website that Mr. Cordova was “one man, who dreamed, spoke and accomplished what millions of us only wished for and talked about. He was one man in a sea of millions of Filipino Americans, and yet, he looked deep into our hearts and saw our potential and showed us by example what we are all capable of doing.’’

Mr. Cordova lectured on Filipino culture and history at the University of Washington. In 1998, Seattle University awarded him an honorary doctorate for lifetime achievements in research, writing and promoting Filipino American history and community.

He started the national effort to make October Filipino American History Month.

For many years, the family gathered for Sunday night potluck dinners at the Cordovas’ Montlake home.

“If you were a Cordova, you had to share Dad with the community. That was very important,’’ said Cecilia Cordova, one of his daughters. “Ever since I can remember, my parents were always volunteering … with the civil-rights movement, with education, with youth groups. There are so many people whose lives he touched. So many people who feel they know him intimately.’’

He was a member of Immaculate Conception parish for 50 years and was ordained as a deacon about 10 years ago. Despite failing health, he created the San Pedro Calungsod Guild, in honor of the Filipino saint, and led efforts to propose a national shrine at Immaculate Conception, an ethnically mixed congregation.

“When he would preach he would say, ‘Look around. This is what heaven looks like,’ ’’ Monica Hall, an Immaculate Conception parishioner, recalled. He was “very honest about his faith journey’’ and, she added, “He was a character.’’

A die-hard Seahawks fan, he didn’t hesitate to add “Pray for the Seahawks!’’ when he addressed the congregation, Cecilia Cordova said. His most prized possessions included a Doug Baldwin (Seahawks wide receiver) jersey, which, she said, Mr. Cordova will be dressed in beneath his burial vestments.

Mr. Cordova is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy; his children, Anthony, Damian, Timoteo, Dominic, Dion and Cecilia Cordova and Bibiana Shannon, all of Seattle, and Margarita Cordova, of New York City; 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He is survived by brothers Don Bilar, Phil Ventura and Ernie Balucas, all of California. His sisters Feling Dangaran, Catherine Autentico, Pauline Panetto, and brother Sam Balucas died previously.

Rosary and vigil service is set for Immaculate Conception Church at 7 p.m. Friday; the funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, with interment following at Calvary Cemetery, 5041 35th Ave. N.E., Seattle. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Filipino American National Historical Society, 810 18th Ave., or Immaculate Conception Church, 820 18th Ave., both Seattle, 98122.