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A tile in red and yellow that celebrates Filipino American History Month
Filipino American Heritage Month, recognized from October 1 to October 31, was first celebrated in 1992. The US Congress officially designated the month in 2009.  The month commemorates Filipinos' long presence in the US (they were first recorded in the Morro Bay area in 1587), as well as Filipino Americans' many contributions to our history, politics, and culture. 
This month, Judith Manalili, a Special Education teacher at Franklin Elementary School, contributed the following thoughts about the importance of Filipino American History Month.

"I recently attended a festival in Daly City highlighting Filipino-American Heritage and it was wonderful to be
surrounded by my community celebrating our culture through performances, foods, music, services, products that
show strong ties to our Filipino roots. My daughter came with me and hopefully she felt a sense of belonging and
connection to her Filipino heritage.
In reflecting about Filipino-American Heritage Month, I feel pride and honor that the contribution that my culture
brings to the community is recognized. By highlighting the Fil-Am culture, I feel seen and validated as a
contributing member of the community. Fil-Ams actively participate in society, work, and give valuable contribution
to this nation. Fil-Ams work as nurses, teachers, caregivers, laborers, postal workers, military personnel. I have
friends who are college professors, school administrators, journalists, musicians, artists, accountants,
homemakers, realtors, and entrepreneurs. I am proud seeing members of the Fil-Am community excel in the
many fields they are in. It inspires me and I’m glad that my daughter has these role models whom she can
This month also reminds me of the history and struggle of the Philippines, to overcome colonization and to
sustain a democratic republic for its people. Reflecting on my roots, I can’t help but think of my parents. They
survived the Japanese-American War as children. My mother was a public school teacher and my father a
government employee. They were retired but came to America to keep working to pay for our college tuition fees.
I feel fortunate to have come here at age 26, attending a university while working as special education teacher at
San Jose Unified, then at Soledad Unified, and finally here in Alameda. I hope that by celebrating diversity we are
building a kinder and more equitable society that inspires the younger generation to appreciate people of all
backgrounds and perspectives and value the richness it brings to American life."
Helpful links that feature Filipino-American Heritage: