In New York, October belongs to Filipinos

Philippine colors on Madison Avenue. Photo: FANHS Metro New York

When the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) established Filipino American History Month in 1988, October was chosen to commemorate the historic landing of the “Manila Men” in Moro Bay, California in 1587.

In 2009, the FilAm community celebrated a victory when the Senate unanimously passed S. Res. 298 and the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 780, both recognizing October as Filipino American History Month in the United States.

In 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then-Governor David Paterson proclaimed FilAm History Month in New York City and the state of New York. This year, Bloomberg is expected to issue the same proclamation.

To commemorate the month, the Metro New York Chapter of FANHS, led by Dr. Kevin Nadal, hosted a series of events, starting with an opening ceremony at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue on Friday, September 30.

The event had a photo exhibit featuring the winners from the “Filipino Americans in New York” photo contest. ‘The FilAm’ reporter Elton Lugay is one of the featured photographers with three of his Manhattan snapshots in the exhibit.

The photographs “exemplify the history, culture, neighborhoods, community, families, and organizations of Filipinos in New York,” said Daniel Ballesteros of FANHS Metro New York. Original photographs of FilAms taken from earlier time periods –the1920s to the 1950s – were also part of the exhibit.

FANHS also presented awards to four individuals who have demonstrated commitment to the preservation of history and the promotion of Filipino American unity. The Contributions to Excellence Award was presented to Venessa Manzano, MPH for creating the Filipino School of New York and New Jersey; the Outstanding Artists awards were given to singer/songwriter Dennis Sy and hip hop artist Ryan “Hydroponikz” Abugan for their integration of FilAm culture in their artistry; and the Youth Leadership Award to NYU student Kirklyn Escondo for her involvement in the Intercollegiate Filipino Association, as well as her leadership in organizations such as Kalusugan Coalition, Inc., UniPro, and the Physical Activity and Pilipino American Youth Assessment Project.

One of three winning snapshots by The FilAm's Elton Lugay.


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