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FILIPINOS OF SOUTH BAY EXHIBIT

Geography, History & Waves of Migration

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The Philippines

The Philippines

The Philippines, named after Spain’s King Philip II, consists of 7,100 islands with three major regions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Over 170 languages are spoken with 8 major dialects. Before Spanish colonization, Filipinos had their own culture, arts, literature, religious beliefs, and social structures. All were influenced by kapwa‐connection to our shared identity.
Exhibit Details

Pre 20th Century

Pre 20th Century

From 1565-1815, Filipinos were instrumental to the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade. Many jumped ships off the coast of California and Louisiana. In 1896 the Katipunan leaders revolted against Spain. The first Philippine Republic was formed with President Emilio Aguinaldo. The independence was short lived. U.S. claimed the Philippines leading to the Philippine-American War.
Exhibit Details

Early 20th Century

Early 20th Century

In 1898 the Philippines was a U.S. territory. Filipinos sponsored by the government (pensionados) and local barangays studied in the U.S.. Filipinos begin enlisting in the Navy. In 1934 U.S. promised independence, but Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines. Filipinos in the Philippines and Filipinos living in the U.S. joined forces to fight. In 1946, the Philippines became an independent nation.
Exhibit Details

Mid 20th Century

Mid 20th Century

Congress passed the War Brides Act in 1946. Filipinos who enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces and married during their service brought their brides from the Philippines. Filipinos who fought as Philippine Scouts were allowed to enter with their wives and children. As more women and families arrived, Filipino American communities grew.
Exhibit Details

Late 20th Century

Late 20th Century

With the 1965 Immigration Act, Filipinos immigrated as Navy enlistees, reunified families, professionals (nurses, teachers, etc.), people fleeing the Marcos dictatorship, and Mount Pinatubo eruption refugees. Filipino American identity movement began and included support for the 1965 Delano Grape Strike started by Filipino labor leaders, protests to Marcos’ rule, and 2nd generation protesting queen pageants which led to community programs like Samahan. Communities grew with the foundational ones of Southeast and South Bay areas.
Exhibit Details

Organizations & Pageants

Organizations & Pageants

Filipinos by nature seek to find commonality with others. The Filipino organizations fulfilled that need and by the 1980’s the number of Filipino organizations exceeded 250. One popular event through the 1990’s were pageants and popularity contests which served as fundraisers for the organizations. More importantly, it brought community together.
Exhibit Details

Building Community Through Dance

Building Community Through Dance

Folk dance is an integral part of Philippine culture. Filipinos in the diaspora used it to keep their connection to the culture and imparted the dances to new generations. Philippine dance became a major catalyst in building community while being the most visible expression of the Filipino American experience.
Exhibit Details

From Fiestas to Faith

From Fiestas to Faith

The colonization of the Philippines began with the arrival of Catholic missionaries whose work made the Philippines the third largest population of Catholics. Religious identity was ingrained in the culture giving Filipinos strong faith and family values and the importance of God. Even religious devotions have been adopted in the diaspora.
Exhibit Details

Filipinos in the Military

Filipinos in the Military

“Once stewards. Now Congressional Gold Medalists.” Filipinos enlisted in the US Navy as stewards and cooks to help their families. Filipinos overcame discrimination, sacrificed, and fought during WW II. Upon retirement, veterans worked in civil service jobs, established businesses, and became leaders in our South Bay Community.
Exhibit Details

Filipinos in Education

Filipinos in Education

Education is highly valued by our Filipino American community. Throughout the South Bay community, FILAMEDA and CTFLC historically contributed to SUHSD and SWC by providing teachers, counselors and administrators as role models for our students. Pagkakaisa, a student organization spearheaded the establishment of the first Filipino American Studies and Filipino Language courses at SWC.
Exhibit Details

Filipinos in Business

Filipinos in Business

The United States presents hope to immigrants. Military life transitioned to establishing a sense of barangay life. The comfort of concentrated storefronts (sari-sari) and news sources would keep them connected to the Philippines. Despite being limited to working class service industries at the time, Filipinos have been industrious in their self-determination to make an impact.
Exhibit Details

Filipinos in Government

Filipinos in Government

With over 250 community organizations, Filipino Americans have a history of civic engagement. Filipino American government officials from the South Bay have served on city councils, college/ school boards and as judges. Each reached out to the broader community and proudly represented our Filipino American Community.
Exhibit Details

Change Makers

Change Makers

Individuals from the South Bay represent different role models. They include an educator/researcher, entrepreneur, musician/producer, professional tennis player, radio personality, and the former White House Medical Doctor. They had a vision or interest in a non-traditional career, or the impact of their profession had national recognition.
Exhibit Details

FOSBE Mural

FOSBE Mural

Designed by Dynamo Design Group Allan Manzano, Ryan Martinez, Eliza Manzano, Ron Padua, Jaden Grey
Exhibit Details

PASACAT

PASACAT

PASACAT began in 1970 as the Philippine American Society and Cultural Arts Troupe. PASACAT’s vibrant artistry garnered rave reviews from dance critics making Philippine culture visible in the arts community. The community support bought them the PASACAT Center in National City where hundreds of dancers have discovered their Filipino identity.
Exhibit Details

FANHS

FANHS

FANHS contributed to Filipino Studies curriculum and was founded by Dorothy and Fred Cordova. FANHS with over 40 US chapters initiated the nationwide movement to commemorate October as Filipino American History Month (FAHM). FANHS San Diego Chapter hosted the 2014 National FANHS Conference and consistently celebrates FAHM on college campuses and at countless community events.
Exhibit Details

COPAO

COPAO

A map of Filipinos in the South Bay provides historical memories of immigration and settlement, of links between the original homeland and new destination, and of “Filipinoness” and “Americaness.” COPAO emerged in the 1970’s in response to an outcry for unity in addressing social issues and political empowerment. Today, over 150 Filipino organizations exist in San Diego County.
Exhibit Details

The
Philippines

The Philippines, named after Spain’s King Philip II, consists of 7,100 islands with three major regions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Over 170 languages are spoken with 8 major dialects. Before Spanish colonization, Filipinos had their own culture, arts, literature, religious beliefs, and social structures. All were influenced by kapwa ~ connection to our shared identity.

Filipinos in the Early 20th Century

In 1898 the Philippines was a US territory. Filipinos sponsored by the government (pensionados) and local barangays studied in the US. Filipinos begin enlisting in the Navy. In 1934 US promised independence, but Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines. Filipinos in the Philippines and Filipinos living in the US joined forces to fight. In 1946, the Philippines became an independent nation.

Filipinos in the Late 20th Century

With the 1965 Immigration Act, Filipinos immigrated as Navy enlistees, reunified families, professionals (nurses, teachers, etc.), people fleeing the Marcos dictatorship, and Mount Pinatubo eruption refugees. Filipino American identity movement began and included support for the 1965 Delano Grape Strike started by Filipino labor leaders, protests to Marcos’ rule, and 2nd generation protesting queen pageants which led to community programs like Samahan. Communities grew with the foundational ones of Southeast and South Bay areas.

Filipinos in the Pre 20th Century

From 1565-1815, Filipinos were instrumental to the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade. Many jumped ships off the coast of California and Louisiana. In 1896 the Katipunan leaders revolted against Spain. The first Philippine Republic was formed with President Emilio Aguinaldo. The independence was short-lived. The U.S. claimed the Philippines leading to the Philippine-American War.

Filipinos in the Mid-20th Century

Congress passed the War Brides Act in 1946. Filipinos who enlisted in the US Armed Forces and married during their service brought their brides from the Philippines. Filipinos who fought as Philippine Scouts were allowed to enter with their wives and children. As more women and families arrived, Filipino American communities grew.

Collaborating Organizations

PASACAT

PASACAT began in 1970 as the Philippine American Society and Cultural Arts Troupe. PASACAT’s vibrant artistry garnered rave reviews from dance critics making Philippine culture visible in the arts community. The community support bought them the PASACAT Center in National City where hundreds of dancers have discovered their Filipino identity.    

Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS)

FANHS contributed to Filipino Studies curriculum and was founded by Dorothy and Fred Cordova. FANHS with over 40 US chapters initiated the nationwide movement to commemorate October as Filipino American History Month (FAHM). FANHS San Diego Chapter hosted the 2014 National FANHS Conference and consistently celebrates FAHM on college campuses and at countless community events.

COPAO: Palengke Politics & Community Development

A map of Filipinos in the South Bay provides historical memories of immigration and settlement, of links between the original homeland and new destination, and of “Filipinoness” and “Americaness”. (Bonus) COPAO emerged in the 1970’s in response to an outcry for unity in addressing social issues and political empowerment. Today, over 150 Filipino organizations exist in San Diego County.

Pillars of the Community

FOSBE will showcase the pillars of the early Filipino community through organizations and pageants, building community through Philippine dance and music, and from fiestas to faith. 

ORGANIZATIONS & PAGEANTS

Filipinos by nature seek to find commonality with others. The Filipino organizations fulfilled that need and by the 1980’s the number of Filipino organizations exceeded 250. One popular event through the 1990’s were pageants and popularity contests which served as fundraisers for the organizations. More importantly, it brought the community together.

*Eva Ricase, 1965 Miss Imperial Beach (First Filipina, City of Imperial Beach, California USA)

*Florence Ungab, 1972 Miss National City (First Filipina, City of National City, California USA)

*Grace Limbag, 1986 Miss Chula Vista (First Filipina, City of Chula Vista, California USA)

BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH PHILIPPINE DANCE

Folk dance is an integral part of Philippine culture. Filipinos in the diaspora used it to keep their connection to the culture and imparted the dances to new generations. Philippine dance became a major catalyst in building community while being the most visible expression of the Filipino American experience. 

FROM FIESTAS TO FAITH

The colonization of the Philippines began with the arrival of Catholic missionaries whose work made the Philippines the third largest population of Catholics. Religious identity was ingrained in the culture giving Filipinos strong faith and family values and the importance of God. Even religious devotions have been adopted in the diaspora.

FILIPINO PRESENCE

Filipino presence made its way into the military, education and business all giving more visibility to the Filipino community. Filipinos in government and as changemakers in unconventional career choices.

Filipinos & the Military

“Once stewards. Now Congressional Gold Medalists. “

Filipinos enlisted in the US Navy as stewards and cooks to help their families.  Filipinos overcame discrimination, sacrificed, and fought during WW II.  Upon retirement, veterans worked in civil service jobs, established businesses, and became leaders in our South Bay Community.

Filipinos in Education

Education is highly valued by our Filipino American community. Throughout the South Bay community, FILAMEDA and CTFLC historically contributed to SUHSD and SWC by providing teachers, counselors and administrators as role models for our students. Pagkakaisa, a student organization spearheaded the establishment of the first Filipino American Studies and Filipino Language courses at SWC.

Filipinos in Business

The United States presents hope to immigrants. Military life transitioned to establishing a sense of barangay life. The comfort of concentrated storefronts (sari-sari) and news sources would keep them connected to the Philippines. Despite being limited to working class service industries at the time, Filipinos have been industrious in their self-determination to make an impact.

*Ernie Flores, Jr. (Founder, The Filipino Press)

*Simeon G. Silverio, Jr. (Founder, The San Diego Asian Journal)

Filipinos in Government

With over 250 community organizations, Filipino Americans have a history of civic engagement.  Filipino American government officials from the South Bay have served on city councils, college/ school boards and as judges. Each reached out to the broader community and proudly represented our Filipino American Community.

  • Lita David, Board Member of Sweetwater Union High School District, 1983-1996
  • Judge Lillian Lim, San Diego Superior Court Judge, 1986-2007
  • Arlie Ricasa, Board Member of Sweetwater Union High School District, 1998-2013
  • Fideles Ungab, City of National City Council Member, 2004-2008
  • Florence Ungab, City of National City Council Member, 1976-1987
  • Terri Valladolid, Board of Trustees Southwestern Community College, 1998-2014
  • Rosalie Toledo Zarate, City of National City Council Member, 1998-2012
  • Cesar Solis, Assistant Chief of Police for City of San Diego, 1982-2014
  • Jonathan “JD” De Guzman, Police Officer for City of San Diego, 2000-2016

Filipino Change Makers

Individuals from the South Bay represent different role models. They include an educator/ researcher, entrepreneur, musician/producer, professional tennis player, radio personality, and the former White House Medical Doctor. They had a vision or interest in a non-traditional career, or the impact of their profession had national recognition. 

  • Dr. Rey Monzon, Educator, mentor and researcher 
  • Tony Olaes, Entrepreneur and founder of The Filipino School
  • Eleanor Academia, Musician who incorporated kulintang music into her compositions
  • Marita Redondo. Professional Tennis Player 
  • X-Man, Xavier Soriano. Local radio DJ of 92.5 Radio
  • Dr. Connie Mariano, White House Physician to President Bill Clinton

In The Media

Our exhibit’s Grand Opening was highlighted by the news.

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