Filipino American
Overview
 
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy
Pinoy
Pinoy is an informal demonym referring to the Filipino people in the Philippines and overseas Filipinos around the world. Filipinos usually refer to themselves as Pinoy or sometimes the feminine Pinay...

",

Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century. Mass migration did not begin until the early 20th Century when the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 was ceded
Cession
The act of Cession, or to cede, is the assignment of property to another entity. In international law it commonly refers to land transferred by treaty...

 by Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1898)
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratifications were exchanged....

. The Philippines' independence recognized by the United States on July 4, 1946
Treaty of Manila (1946)
The Treaty of Manila is a treaty of general relations signed on July 4, 1946 in Manila, capital of the Philippines. Parties to the treaty were the governments of the United States and the Republic of the Philippines...

.
Encyclopedia
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy
Pinoy
Pinoy is an informal demonym referring to the Filipino people in the Philippines and overseas Filipinos around the world. Filipinos usually refer to themselves as Pinoy or sometimes the feminine Pinay...

",

Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century. Mass migration did not begin until the early 20th Century when the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 was ceded
Cession
The act of Cession, or to cede, is the assignment of property to another entity. In international law it commonly refers to land transferred by treaty...

 by Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1898)
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratifications were exchanged....

. The Philippines' independence recognized by the United States on July 4, 1946
Treaty of Manila (1946)
The Treaty of Manila is a treaty of general relations signed on July 4, 1946 in Manila, capital of the Philippines. Parties to the treaty were the governments of the United States and the Republic of the Philippines...

. Immigration was reduced significantly during the 1930s, except for those who served in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, and increased following immigration reform in the 1960s.

Population

The Filipino American community is the second largest Asian American
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

 group in the United States with a population of over 3.4 million as of the 2010 US Census. Filipino Americans are also the largest subgroup of Overseas Filipino
Overseas Filipino
An Overseas Filipino is a person of Philippine origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies both to people of Filipino ancestry who are citizens or residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad on a more temporary status.Most overseas Filipinos migrate to...

s.

The U.S. Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 reported that the 2007 American Community Survey, identified approximately 3.1 million persons as "Filipino alone or in any combination." The census also found that about 80% of the Filipino-American community are United States citizens. Also in 2011, the U.S. State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 estimated the size of the Filipino American community at 4 million or 1.5% of the United States population. There are no official records of Filipinos who hold dual citizenship; however, during the 2000 Census data indicated that Filipino Americans had the lowest percentage of non-citizens amongst Asian Americans, at twenty six (26) percent.

Filipino Americans are the largest group of Overseas Filipino
Overseas Filipino
An Overseas Filipino is a person of Philippine origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies both to people of Filipino ancestry who are citizens or residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad on a more temporary status.Most overseas Filipinos migrate to...

s, and the majority were born overseas; at the same time more than seventy three (73) percent are United States Citizens. One in five are Multiracial Americans. Multiple languages are spoken by Filipino Americans, and the majority are Roman Catholic. Filipino Americans had the second highest median family income amongst Asian Americans, and also had a high level of educational achievement.

Intermarriage among Filipinos is not uncommon, as they have the largest number of interracial marriages among Asian immigrant groups, as documented in California. It is also noted that 21.8% of Filipino Americans are multiracial, second among Asian Americans.

Historical

The earliest recorded presence of Filipinos in what is today the United States is when in October 1587 mariners under Spanish command landed in Morro Bay, California
Morro Bay, California
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,234, down from 10,350 at the 2000 census.- History :...

. The earliest permanent Filipino American residents arrived in the Americans in 1763, later creating settlements such as Saint Malo
Saint Malo, Louisiana
Saint Malo was a small fishing village that existed in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana on the shore of Lake Borgne from the mid 18th century into the early 20th century, when it was destroyed by the New Orleans Hurricane of 1915. It was the first settlement of Filipinos in the United...

, Manila Village in Barataria Bay
Barataria Bay
Barataria Bay, also Barrataria Bay, is a bay of the Gulf of Mexico that is located in southeastern Louisiana, in Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish, United States....

, and four others in Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes. These early settlements were composed of formerly pressed sailors escaping from duty aboard Spanish galleons and were "discovered" by a Harper's Weekly
Harper's Weekly
Harper's Weekly was an American political magazine based in New York City. Published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916, it featured foreign and domestic news, fiction, essays on many subjects, and humor...

journalist in 1883. The last of these, Manila Village, survived until 1965 when it was destroyed by Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy
Hurricane Betsy was a Category 4 hurricane of the 1965 Atlantic hurricane season which caused enormous damage in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana. Betsy made its most intense landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, causing significant flooding of the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into...

.

Significant immigration to the United States began in the 1900s, after the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 when the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 became an overseas territory of the United States, and the population became United States nationals. Unlike other Asians, who were unable to immigrate to the United States due to immigrations laws of the time, Filipinos as U.S. nationals were exempt. Filipinos, many agricultural laborers
Farmworker
A farmworker is a person hired to work in the agricultural industry. This includes work on farms of all sizes, from small, family-run businesses to large industrial agriculture operations...

, settled primarily in the then Territory of Hawaii
Territory of Hawaii
The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 7, 1898, until August 21, 1959, when its territory, with the exception of Johnston Atoll, was admitted to the Union as the fiftieth U.S. state, the State of Hawaii.The U.S...

 and California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

; during this wave of migration Filipino men outnumbered women by about 15 to 1. This migration was reduced to 50 persons a year following the Tydings-McDuffie Act
Tydings-McDuffie Act
The Tydings-McDuffie Act approved on March 24, 1934 was a United States federal law which provided for self-government of the Philippines and for Filipino independence after a period of ten years. It was authored by Maryland Senator Millard E...

 which classified Filipinos as aliens
Alien (law)
In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.-Categorization:Types of "alien" persons are:*An alien who is legally permitted to remain in a country which is foreign to him or her. On specified terms, this kind of alien may be called a legal alien of that country...

, but was offset by the United States Navy's recruitment of Filipinos, who were exempt from the aforementioned quota.

The War Brides Act
War Brides Act
The War Brides Act was enacted in 1945 to allow spouses and adopted children of United States military personnel to enter the U.S. after World War II. The law temporarily lifted the ban on Asian immigration and the quotas on European immigration that had been established by the Immigration Act of...

 of 1945, and subsequent Alien Fiancées and Fiancés Act of 1946, allowed veterans, to return back to the Philippines to bring back fiancées, wives, and children. In the years following the war, some sixteen thousand Filipinas entered the United States as war brides. These new immigrants enabled the formation of a second generation of Filipino Americans that added to the Filipino American communities, providing nuclear families
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

 Immigration levels would also be impacted by the independence of the Philippines from the United States, which would occur on July 4, 1946. The quota of non-naval immigration increased slightly to 100 due to the passage of the Luce–Celler Act of 1946
Luce–Celler Act of 1946
The Luce-Celler Act of 1946 was proposed by Republican Clare Booth Luce and Democrat Emanuel Celler in 1943 and signed into law by President Harry Truman on July 2, 1946. It re-established immigration from the Indian subcontinent and the Philippines and granted naturalization rights to individuals...

. Thus Filipino American communities developed around United States Navy bases, whose impact can still be seen today. Filipino American communities were also settled near Army and Air Force bases. In 1946 the Filipino Naturalization Act allowed for naturalization, and citizenship for Filipinos who had arrived before March, 1943.

Like other immigrant groups, Filipino immigrants clustered together both out of a sense of community and in response to prejudice against them. This created the first Little Manila
Little Manila
Little Manila is term that refers to a community with a large Filipino immigrant and descendant population.- California :...

s in urban areas. As time passed, immigration policies changed, and prejudice diminished, leading to a decline in the presence of Little Manilas. Following this Filipino immigrants trended to settle in major metropitan areas, and in the West
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

. Filipino Americans had a tendency to settle in a more dispersed fashion, and to intermarry more than other Asian Americans.

Population concentrations

California


As of 2008, one out of every four Filipino Americans make their home in Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

, numbering over 1 million.

Greater Los Angeles
Greater Los Angeles Area
The Greater Los Angeles Area, or the Southland, is a term used for the Combined Statistical Area sprawled over five counties in the southern part of California, namely Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Ventura County...

 is the metropolitan area home to the most Filipino Americans, with the population numbering around 370,000. Los Angeles County alone accounts for over 262,000 Filipinos, the most of any single county in the U.S. The City of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 designated a section of Westlake
Westlake, Los Angeles, California
Westlake is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. It should not be confused with Westlake Village, an independent municipality in Los Angeles County near Thousand Oaks and close to the Ventura County line....

 as Historic Filipinotown
Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles, California
Historic Filipinotown is a newly created district of the city of Los Angeles, California,that makes up the southwest portion of Echo Park, Los Angeles, California . It was created by a resolution proposed by city council member Eric Garcetti on August 2, 2002...

. Orange County
Orange County, California
Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. Its county seat is Santa Ana. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,010,232, up from 2,846,293 at the 2000 census, making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County...

 also has a sizable and growing Filipino population.

, the greater San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

 is home to approximately 320,000 residents of Filipino descent, with the largest concentration living in Santa Clara county
Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County is a county located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 it had a population of 1,781,642. The county seat is San Jose. The highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County is also known as Silicon Valley...

.

San Diego County has the second largest Filipino American population of any county in the nation, with over 145 Thousand Filipinos, alone or in combination, in 2000, with later claims of that number being higher. In addition, San Diego is the only metropolitan area in the U.S. where Filipinos constitute the largest Asian American nationality, has historically been a popular destination for Filipino immigrants, and has contributed to the growth of its population. A portion of California State Route 54
California State Route 54
State Route 54 is a California State Highway in San Diego that connects Interstate 5 to the city of El Cajon. The first section was built circa 1961, and the final section of freeway opened in 2007....

 in San Diego is officially named the "Filipino-American Highway", in honor of the Filipino American Community.
Elsewhere


In Census 2000, the state of Hawaii had a Filipino population of over 275,000. Furthermore, Filipinos make up the third largest ethnicity amongst Asian Pacific American
Asian Pacific American
Asian-Pacific American or Asian-Pacific Islander is a term sometimes used in the United States to include both Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans....

s, while making up the majorities of the populations of Kauai
Kauai County, Hawaii
Kauai County is a county located in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It consists of the islands of Kauai, Niihau, Lehua, and Kaula, in the state of Hawaii. As of 2000 Census the population was 58,463...

 and Maui
Maui County, Hawaii
-National protected areas:* Haleakala National Park* Kakahaia National Wildlife Refuge* Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge- Demographics :As of the 2000 Census, there were 128,094 people, 43,507 households, and 29,889 families residing in the county. The population density was 110 people per...

 counties. In June 2002, representatives from the Arroyo Administration
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

 and local leaders presided over the grand opening and dedication of the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, Hawaii.

The New York metropolitan area is home to 215,000 Filipinos. It annually hosts the Philippine Independence Day Parade
Philippine Independence Day Parade
The Philippine Independence Day Parade is a celebration for the Filipino American community in the Northeast United States, home to more than half a million Filipinos...

, which is traditionally held on the first Sunday of June at Madison Avenue.

Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, specifically the Chicago metropolitan area, has 95,928 Filipino as of 2000 and amongst immigrant groups have the highest proportion of foreign born (61%), with a large concentration residing in the North and Northwest sides. Filipino migration to the Chicago area began in the early 20th century, and was predominately men with a significant number of them marrying non-Filipinos, mainly Eastern
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 or Southern European women. At one point 300 of these early Chicago Filipinos worked for the Pullman Company
Pullman Company
The Pullman Palace Car Company, founded by George Pullman, manufactured railroad cars in the mid-to-late 19th century through the early decades of the 20th century, during the boom of railroads in the United States. Pullman developed the sleeping car which carried his name into the 1980s...

, and overall trended to be more educated then most men of their same age in Chicago. By the 1970s, Filipinas outnumbered Filipinos, with 9,497 total Filipinos in the Chicago Area.

Another area that has a significant Filipino American population is the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, which contains about 11% of the country's Filipinos. This region includes the Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

 metropolitan area where there are, as of 2000 44,576 Filipino Americans, who make up one quarter of all foreign born residents of the area.

Metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and is also the county seat of Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous...

, Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. Philadelphia and Seattle are also seeing dramatic growth in their Filipino populations.

Background

The background of most Filipino people is of Austronesians who originated from eastern Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 and settled the Philippines. The history of Spanish rule and contact with merchants and traders culminated in a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures, in the culture of the people of the Philippines.

Ethnic Groups: 91.5% Christian Malay, 4% Muslim Malay, 1.5% Chinese and 3% other.

The bayanihan or spirit of kinship and camaraderie that Filipinos are famous for, is said to be taken from Malay forefathers. The close family relations are said to have been inherited from the Chinese. The piousness comes from the Spaniards who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Hospitality is a common denominator in the Filipino character and this is what distinguishes the Filipino. Filipino and English are constitutionally
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

 established as official languages in the country, and Filipino is designated as the national language, with English also in wide use.

Culturally, the Philippines is a country of diverse ethnicities in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

/Pacific. Reflecting its 333 years of Spanish rule, many Filipinos were given Hispanic surnames
Catálogo alfabético de apellidos
The Alphabetical Catalog of Surnames is a book of surnames published in the Philippines and other islands of Spanish East Indies in the mid-19th century...

, have numerous occasions titled 'fiestas
Festival
A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival....

', and the enfused practice of the Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 religion representing close to 90% of the entire archipelago. Some Filipinos still retain native surnames, which are characterized by repeating syllables (e.g., Cayubyub) or more frequently multi-syllabic (e.g., Lingayan). The other major religion, Islam, is prevalent in the Southern Philippines (Mindanao) and represents nearly 5% of the total Philippine population. Many Filipinos speak American English
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

 due to American colonial influence in the country's education system
Thomasites
The Thomasites is a group of about five hundred pioneer American teachers sent by the U.S. government to the Philippines in August 1901.-Foundation, purpose and etymology:...

.

In the United States

In areas with sparse Filipino populations, Filipino Americans often form loosely-knit social organizations aimed at maintaining a "sense of family", which is a key feature of Filipino culture. Such organizations generally arrange social events, especially of a charitable nature, and keep members up-to-date with local events. Organizations are often organized on shared regional associations, rather than based on a national identity. The associations are a small part of Filipino American life. Filipino Americans also have formed close-knit neighborhoods of their own, notably in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. A few communities have established "Little Manila
Little Manila
Little Manila is term that refers to a community with a large Filipino immigrant and descendant population.- California :...

s", civic and business districts tailored for the Filipino American community.

Language

Filipino Americans speak Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

, Ilocano
Ilokano language
Ilokano or Ilocano is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines....

, Kapampangan
Kapampangan language
The Pampangan language, or Kapampangan , is one of the major languages of the Philippines. It is the language spoken in the province of Pampanga, the southern half of the province of Tarlac and the northern portion of the province of Bataan. Kapampangan is also understood in some barangays of...

, Pangasinan
Pangasinan language
The Pangasinan language or Pangasinense is one of the twelve major languages in the Philippines....

, Visayan languages
Visayan languages
The Visayan languages of the Philippines, along with Tagalog and Bikol, are part of the Central Philippine languages...

, Bicolano
Bikol language
Central Bicolano , is one of the individual languages of the Bikol languages. It belongs to Coastal Bikol. It is spoken in Bicol Region of the Philippines .-Bikol-Naga:...

, and other Philippine languages
Philippine languages
The Philippine languages are a 1991 proposal by Robert Blust that all the languages of the Philippines and northern Sulawesi—except Sama–Bajaw and a few languages of Palawan—form a subfamily of Austronesian languages...

 at home. However, an overwhelming majority of Filipino Americans are fluent in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, since it is one of the official languages in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and many Filipino American parents urge their children to enhance their English-language skills.

Tagalog is the fifth most-spoken language in the United States, with 1.262 million speakers. Many Filipino American civic organizations and Philippine consulates offer Tagalog language courses. Many of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

's public announcements and correspondences are translated into Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

 due to the large constituency of Filipino Americans in the Golden State. Tagalog is also taught in public schools as a foreign language course, as well as in higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

. Another significant Filipino language is Ilokano
Ilokano language
Ilokano or Ilocano is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines....

, which is taught in school as a foreign language course.

Fluency in Tagalog, Kapampangan, Visayan and in the other languages of the Philippines
Languages of the Philippines
In the Philippines, there are between 120 and 175 languages, depending on the method of classification. Four languages no longer have any known speakers. Almost all the Philippine languages belong to the Austronesian language family...

 tend to be lost among second- and third-generation Filipino Americans. This has sometimes created a language barrier between older and younger generations.

Religion

Following the discovery of the Philippine Islands on March 16, 1521 by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, the Philippines was evangelized by Spanish friars, eventually becoming a predominantly Catholic nation and "the cradle of Christianity" in East Asia. Filipino American religious beliefs and values are rooted in their Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 heritage. This is caused by the introduction, and subsequent adoption, of Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 and Christian values by Filipinos as a result of 333 years of Spanish colonial rule.

In New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, the first-ever Church for Filipinos, San Lorenzo Ruiz Church
San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel (New York City)
The Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz is a Roman Catholic parish church in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, located at 378 Broome Street Manhattan, New York City. The chapel was established in 2005. The address was the site of the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix , a church with a three-storey...

, is hosted by the city. It is named after the first saint from the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, San Lorenzo Ruiz. This is officially designated as the Church for Filipinos in July 2005, the first in the United States, and the second in the world, after a church in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

.

There are other religious faiths with smaller numbers of Filipino American adherents, including various Protestant denominations, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, and Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

.

Economics

Much of the Filipino-American community is strongly middle class. The representation of Filipino Americans is high in service-oriented professions such as healthcare. When compared to other Asian American groups (other than Indian Americans), Filipino Americans had a strong median household income.
Median Household Income: 2004.
Ethnicity Household Income
Indians $88,538
Filipinos $75,146
Chinese $69,037
Japanese $64,197
Koreans $53,025
Total US Population $44,684


Among Overseas Filipino
Overseas Filipino
An Overseas Filipino is a person of Philippine origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies both to people of Filipino ancestry who are citizens or residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad on a more temporary status.Most overseas Filipinos migrate to...

s, Filipino Americans are the largest senders of US dollars to the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. In 2005, their combined dollar remittances reached a record-high of almost $6.5 billion dollars. In 2006, Filipino Americans sent more than $8 billion, which represents 57% of the total amount received by the Philippines.

Many Filipino Americans own restaurants, while others are in the medical, dental, and optical fields. Several are in the telemarketing
Telemarketing
Telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face to face or Web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call.Telemarketing can also include recorded sales pitches...

 business. Over 125,000 businesses are Filipino-owned, according to the 2002 US Economic Census. These firms employ more than 132,000 people and generate an almost $14.2 billion in revenue.
Of these businesses, 38.6% are health care and social assistance oriented and produces 39.3% of the collective Filipino-owned business revenue. California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 had the most number of these businesses followed by Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, and Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

.

At the point of retirement, a notable percentage of Filipino Americans return back to the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, because of the significance of the dollar in the Philippine economy. Former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has encouraged the Filipino American community business entrepreneurs to invest back home to promote more job-creation in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. Amongst elderly Filipino Americans the poverty rate (7.7%) is lower than that of the total geriatric population (9.5%), and second lowest amongst Asian Americans.

Education

Filipino Americans have some of the highest educational attainment rates in the United States with 47.9% of all Filipino Americans over the age of 25 having a Bachelor's degree, which correlates with rates observed in other Asian American subgroups. The recent wave of Filipino professionals filling the education, healthcare, and information technology shortages in the United States also accounts for the high educational attainment rates.
Educational Attainment: 2004 (Percent of Population 25 and Older)
Ethnicity High School Graduation Rate Bachelor's Degree or More
Asian Indians 90.2% 67.9%
Filipinos 90.8% 47.9%
Chinese 80.8% 50.2%
Japanese 93.4% 43.7%
Koreans 90.2% 50.8%
Total US Population 83.9% 27.0%


Due to the strong American influence in the Philippine education system, first generation Filipino immigrants are also at advantage in gaining professional licensure in the United States. According to a study conducted by the American Medical Association, Philippine-trained physicians comprise the second largest group of foreign-trained physicians in the United States (20,861 or 8.7% of all practicing international medical graduates in the U.S.). In addition, Filipino American dentists who have received training in the Philippines comprise the second largest group of foreign-trained dentists in the United States. An article from the Journal of American Dental Association asserts that 11% of all foreign-trained dentists licensed in the U.S. are from the Philippines; India is ranked first with 25.8% of all foreign dentists. The familiar trend of Filipino Americans and Filipino immigrants entering health care jobs is well observed in other allied health professional such as nursing, physical therapy, radiologic technology and medical technology.

Similarities in quality and structure of the nursing curriculum in the Philippines and the United States had led to the migration of thousands of nurses from the Philippines to fill the shortfall of RNs in the United States. Since the 1970s and through the 1980s, the Philippines have been a source of medical professionals for U.S. medical facilities. The Vietnam War and AIDS epidemic of the 70s and 80s, signaled the need of the American health care system for more foreign trained professionals. In articles published in health/medical policy journals, Filipino nurses comprise the largest block of foreign trained nurses working and entering the United States, from 75% of all foreign nurses in the 1980s to 43% in 2000. Still, Philippine-trained nurses make up 52% of all foreigners taking the U.S. nursing licensure exam, well above the Canadian-trained nurses at 12%.

The significant drop in the percentage of Filipino nurses from the 1980s to 2000 is due to the increase in the number of countries recruiting Filipino nurses (European Union, the Middle East, Japan), as well as the increase in number of countries sending nurses to the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, 60,000 Filipino nationals migrated to the United States every year in the 1990s to take advantage of such professional opportunities. Other Filipino nationals come to the United States for a college or university education, return to the Philippines and end up migrating to the United States to settle.

American schools have also considered the highly-calibrated Filipino teachers and instructors. More US states have been looking to the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 to recruit and fill in the need of their respective schools, particularly North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

.

History

Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century. Mass migration didn't begin until the early 20th century, and for a period the History of the Philippines merged with that of the United States. After the independence
Treaty of Manila (1946)
The Treaty of Manila is a treaty of general relations signed on July 4, 1946 in Manila, capital of the Philippines. Parties to the treaty were the governments of the United States and the Republic of the Philippines...

 of the Philippines from the United States, Filipino Americans continued to grow in population and had events that are associated to them.

Politics

Filipino Americans have traditionally been socially conservative. In the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

 Republican president George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 won the Filipino American vote over John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 by nearly a two-to-one ratio, which followed strong support in the 2000 election
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

. However, during the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, Filipino Americans voted majority Democratic, with 58% of the community voting for President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and 42% voting for Senator John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

. The 2008 election marked the first time when a majority of Filipino Americans voted for a Democrat presidential candidate.

At the national level Filipino Americans have increased their visibility over the past few decades. Ben Cayetano
Ben Cayetano
Benjamin Jerome "Ben" Cayetano served as the fifth Governor of the State of Hawaii from 1994 to 2002. He is the first Filipino American to serve as a state governor in the United States.- Early years :...

, former governor of Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, became the first governor of Filipino descent in the United States. The number of Congress-members of Filipino descent doubled to numbers not reached since 1937
74th United States Congress
-House:Also 2 Delegates, 3 Resident Commissioners-Senate:*President of the Senate: John N. Garner *President pro tempore: Key Pittman -Majority leadership:*Majority leader: Joseph T. Robinson...

, two when the Philippine Islands were represented by non-voting Resident Commissioners, due to the 2000 Senatorial Election
United States Senate elections, 2000
In 2000, elections for one-third of the seats in the United States Senate occurred In 2000, elections for one-third of the seats in the United States Senate occurred In 2000, elections for one-third of the seats in the United States Senate occurred (they coincided with the election of George W....

. In 2009 there were three Congress-members who claim to have at least one-eighth Filipino ethnicity; the largest number of Filipino Americans in Congress. Since the resignation of Senator John Ensign
John Ensign
John Eric Ensign is a former United States Senator from Nevada, serving from January 2001 until he resigned amid an investigation of an ethics violation in May 2011...

, the only Filipino American to have been a member of the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, in May 2011 there remains only two Representatives who are Filipino American; they are, in order of election to the legislative body:
  • Representative Robert C. Scott of Virginia, a Democrat
    Democratic Party (United States)
    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

  • Representative Steve Austria
    Steve Austria
    Stephen Clement "Steve" Austria is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district stretches from Springfield to the southern suburbs of Columbus....

     of Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

    , a Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...


Cuisine

The number of Filipino restaurants does not coincide with the size of the population. Due to the colonial period American cuisine has influenced Philippine cuisine, yet it has been described by non-Filipinos in a negative light. Even on Oahu
Oahu
Oahu or Oahu , known as "The Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous of the islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital Honolulu is located on the southeast coast...

 where there is a significant Filipino American population, Philippine cuisine is not as noticeable as other Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian...

. Within television programing, Philippine cuisine has been portrayed in a negative light, such as on Fear Factor
Fear Factor
Fear Factor is an American stunt/dare reality game show. The original Dutch version was called Now or Neverland. When Endemol USA and NBC adapted it to the American market in 2001, they changed the name to Fear Factor. The show pits contestants against each other in a variety of stunts for a...

, and positive light, such as on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

In the United States there are many Filipino American chefs who cook in fine dining restaurants and other places of culinary esteem, including Cristeta Comerford
Cristeta Comerford
Cristeta Pasia Comerford is a Filipino American has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005. She is the first woman to be selected for the post, and also the first of Filipino descent.-Early life:...

 who is the executive chef in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

, many do not serve Philippine cuisine in their restaurants. Multiple reasons are given for the lack of Philippine cuisine in the U.S., including a colonial mentality
Colonial mentality
Colonial mentality is an area of study and a conceptual theory in Cultural anthropology that refers to institutionalized or systemic feelings of inferiority within some societies or people who have been subjected to colonialism, relative to the values of the foreign powers which had previously...

, lack of a clear identity, a preference for cooking at home, and a further preference of Filipino Americans for cuisines other than their own.

Cultural dissociation

In Hawaii it has been documented that Filipino Americans have a low cultural identification with their heritage, and it has been documented that many disclaim their ethnicity. This may be due to the "colonial mentality", or the idea that Western ideals and physical characteristics are viewed more positively than their own. Furthermore, although categorized as Asian Americans, they have not fully embraced as being part of this racial category due to being marginalized or victimized by more culturally manifested mainstream Asian American groups. This has led to a struggle within observed groups of Filipino Americans to be American and something else, possibly due to Filipino Americans lacking their own defined culture. It has been documented that within the Filipino American community itself there is a divide between culturally aware members of the community and those termed as "white-washed", which has created difficulty for those seeking to learn about the culture of the Philippines. For those who disclaim their ethnicity, it removes the positive adjustment to outcomes that are found in those who have a strong, or positive, ethnic identity.

Dual citizenship

As a result of the passage by the Philippine Congress
Congress of the Philippines
The Congress of the Philippines is the national legislature of the Republic of the Philippines. It is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate , and the House of Representatives although commonly in the Philippines the term congress refers to the latter.The Senate is composed of 24 senators half...

 of the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003 (Republic Act No. 9225), Filipino Americans became eligible for dual citizenship in both the United States and the Philippines. Overseas suffrage was first employed in the May 2004 elections in which Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

 was reelected to a second term.

By 2005, about 6,000 people became dual citizens of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. This act encourages many Filipino Americans to invest in the Philippines, buy land (only Filipino citizens and, with some limitations, former Philippine citizens are allowed to purchase land in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

), vote in Philippine elections, retire in the Philippines, and participate in representing the Philippine flag.

Many dual citizens have been recruited to participate in international sports events such as the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 in Athens 2004, the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, the 15th Asian Games
Asian Games
The Asian Games, officially known as Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation from the first Games in New Delhi, India, until the 1978 Games. Since the 1982 Games they have been organised by the...

 in 2006 and the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 in Beijing 2008.

In addition, the Philippine government actively encourages Filipino Americans to visit or return permanently to the Philippines via the "Balikbayan" program and to invest in the country. Philippine consulates facilitate this process in various areas of the United States. These are located in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

; Honolulu; Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

; New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

; Saipan
Saipan
Saipan is the largest island of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , a chain of 15 tropical islands belonging to the Marianas archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean with a total area of . The 2000 census population was 62,392...

; and San Francisco while honorary consulates are also available in Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Majuro
Majuro
Majuro , is a large coral atoll of 64 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands. The atoll itself has a land area of and encloses a lagoon of...

, Miami and New Orleans.

Immigration

Filipinos remain one of the largest immigrant groups to date with over Forty Thousand being admitted annually since 1979. migrating per annum. About 75% consist of family sponsorship or immediate relatives of American citizens while the remainder is employment-oriented. A majority of this number prefer to live in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, followed by Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Washington, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

.

Filipinos experience the same long-waiting periods of visa issuance experienced by immigrants of all other nationalities. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security . It performs many administrative functions formerly carried out by the legacy United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , which was part of the Department of Justice...

 (USCIS) has a preference system for issuing visas to noncitizen family members of U.S. citizens, with preference based generally on the closeness of familial relation, and some noncitizen relatives of U.S. citizens can spend long periods on immigration waiting lists. Petitions for immigrant visas, particularly for siblings of previously naturalized Filipinos that date all the way back to 1984, were granted in 2006. Many visa petitions by Filipino Americans for their relatives are on hold or backlogged and as many 1.4 million petitions are affected causing delay to the reunification of Filipino families.

Illegal immigration

In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

 estimated that there were two hundred seventy thousand (270,000) Filipinos "unauthorized immigrants"; they are the fifth largest nationality of illegal immigrants behind Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, and Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...


"Invisible minority"

Of the ten largest groups of immigrants to the United States, Filipino Americans have the highest rate of assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

, with exception to the cuisine; furthermore, Filipino Americans have been described as the most "Americanized" of the Asian American ethnicities. However, even though Filipino Americans are the second largest ethnicity amongst Asian Americans, and the aforementioned assimilation, many Filipino American community activist have described the ethnicity as "invisible" as circumstances encountered by the ethnicity are virtually unknown to American public, and even within their own ethnicity.

This description has also been used as a description of the ethnicity in the political arena. In the mid 90s it was estimated that there were about one hundred Filipino Americans elected and appointed to public office. This lack of political representation contributes to the perception that Filipino Americans are an "invisible minority".

The concept is also used to describe how the ethnicity has blended in, as in the previously referenced assimilation, and adapted to the "White norm" and "not identify with a minorit(ized) identity"; this has led to the ethnicity to be considered as "liminal people of color" thus making them "invisible" in institutions of higher education. This assimilation is eased due to several factors such as Filipino immigrants being predominantly Christian, being fluent in English, as well as many being well educated and middle class. The concept is also written as something that occurred in the past, using it to describe how there was not a continuous and stable community from the pre-1965 waves of immigration, and that post-1965 population that came due to the immigration reforms of that time.

The term has also been used to describe Asian Americans as a whole, in multiple fields of study, as well as the concept of Asian Americans being a "model minority".

World War II veteran benefits

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, over 250,000 to over 400,000 Filipinos served with the United States Military. They served in multiple groups, including but not limited, to the Philippine Scouts
Philippine Scouts
The Philippine Scouts was a military organization of the United States Army from 1901 until the end of World War II. Made up of native Filipinos assigned to the United States Army Philippine Department, these troops were generally enlisted and under the command of American officers, however, a...

, Philippine Commonwealth Army under US Command, and recognized guerrillas during the Japanese Occupation. The U.S. government promised all of the benefits afforded to those serving in the Military of the United States
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

. However, in 1946, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 passed the Rescission Act of 1946
Rescission Act of 1946
-Summary:Service before July 1, 1946, in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while such forces were in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the military order of the President dated July 26, 1941, including among such...

 which stripped Filipino veterans
Veteranos
Veteranos are Filipino soldiers who fought in the Philippines in World War II under the command of the United States military against the Japanese...

 who served during WWII of the benefits as promised. It is estimated that monies due to these veterans for back pay and other benefits may be in excess of One Billion Dollars (1,000,000,000). Of the sixty-six countries allied with the United States during the war, the Philippines is the only country that did not receive military benefits from the United States.

Since the passage of the Rescission Act, many Filipino veterans have traveled to the United States to lobby Congress for the benefits promised to them for their service and sacrifice. In the late 1980s the first successful efforts towards reinstating benefits occurred with the incorporation of Filipino veteran naturalization in the Immigration Act of 1990
Immigration Act of 1990
The Immigration Act of 1990 increased the number of legal immigrants allowed into the United States each year. It also created a lottery program that randomly assigned a number of visas. This was done to help immigrants from countries where the United States did not often grant visas...

. Over 30,000 of such veterans had come to live in the United States, with most being American citizens, receiving benefits relating to their service. The phrase "Second Class Veterans" has been used to describe the plight of these Filipino Americans.

Since 1993, numerous bills have been introduced in Congress to return the benefits taken away from these veterans, and have all died in committee. In the 110th Congress
110th United States Congress
The One Hundred Tenth United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, between January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2009, during the last two years of the second term of President George W. Bush. It was composed of the Senate and the House of...

, the "full equity" bills were S. 57 in the Senate, and H.R. 760 in the House of Representatives. These two bills also did not pass at the end of the 110th US Congress, and have been reintroduced in the 111th US Congress. Similar language to those bills was inserted by the Senate into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, abbreviated ARRA and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.To...

 which was signed into law, providing a one time payment of at least 9,000 USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 to eligible non-US Citizens, and 15,000 USD to eligible US Citizens. However these payments are only provided to those recognized as being soldiers or recognized guerrilla members by the United States or their surviving spouse. Those listed as eligible by the US Government is smaller than the list of World War II veterans recognized by the Philippines. , forty two (42) percent of all claims under this legislation has been rejected; furthermore, the claimant must waive the right to claim any future lifelong benefits.

Efforts continue to overturn the Rescission Act of 1946 in the 112th, and current, Congress
112th United States Congress
The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and will end on January...

 as new legislation has been introduced by Representative Speier
Jackie Speier
Karen Lorraine Jacqueline "Jackie" Speier is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2008. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and the southwest quarter of San Francisco.She is also a former member of the California State...

. , the bill has thirty one cosponsors, and no action has been taken since being referred to committee. There is also a lawsuit to be filed by The Justice for Filipino-American Veterans against the Department of Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

. there are ten thousand surviving Filipino American veterans of World War II in the United States, and a further forty thousand in the Philippines, with some estimates stating there are eighteen thousand or fewer surviving veterans.

Celebrations

Congress has established the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month , officially proclaimed "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month" by President Barack Obama, is a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States...

 in May to commemorate Filipino American and Asian American culture in the United States. Upon becoming the largest Asian American group in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, Filipino American History Month
Filipino American History Month
Filipino American History Month, also known as the Filipino American Heritage Month, is celebrated in the United States during the month of October. The Filipino American National Historical Society established Filipino American History Month in the year 1988...

 was established in October. This is to acknowledge the first landing of Filipinos on October 18, 1587 in Morro Bay, California and is widely celebrated by Fil-Ams in the United States.

Major & Regional Celebrations in the United States
Date Name Region
January Winter Sinulog Philadelphia, PA
April PhilFest Tampa, FL
May Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month , officially proclaimed "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month" by President Barack Obama, is a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States...

 
Nationwide, USA
May Asian Heritage Festival New Orleans, LA
May Filipino Fiesta and Parade Honolulu, HI
May FAAPI Mother's Day
Mother's Day
Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, yet most commonly in March, April, or May...

 
Philadelphia, PA
May Flores de Mayo
Flores de Mayo
Flores de Mayo is a Catholic festival held in the Philippines in the month of May. Lasting for a month, it is held in honor of the Virgin Mary...

 
Nationwide, USA
June Philippine Independence Day Parade
Philippine Independence Day Parade
The Philippine Independence Day Parade is a celebration for the Filipino American community in the Northeast United States, home to more than half a million Filipinos...

 
New York, NY
June Philippine Festival Washington, D.C.
June Philippine Day Parade Passaic, NJ
June Pista Sa Nayon Vallejo, CA
June New York Filipino Film Festival
New York Filipino Film Festival
The New York Filipino Film Festival is a week-long event that features an array of Filipino-oriented and Filipino-made movies in New York City's ImaginAsian Theatre...

 at The ImaginAsian
The ImaginAsian
The ImaginAsian is a movie theater in midtown Manhattan, New York City, dedicated to exclusively showcasing Asian and Asian American films. Located on 59th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, The ImaginAsian is owned by ImaginAsian Entertainment, which also operates ImaginAsian TV , ImaginAsian...

 Theatre
New York, NY
June Empire State Building commemorates Philippine Independence New York, NY
June Philippine–American Friendship Day Parade  Jersey City, NJ
June 12 Fiesta Filipina San Francisco, CA
June 12 Philippine Independence Day
Philippine Declaration of Independence
The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo , Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the...

 
Nationwide, USA
June 19 Jose Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

's Birthday
Nationwide, USA
June Pagdiriwang  Seattle, WA
July Fil-Am Friendship Day Virginia Beach, VA
July Pista sa Nayon Seattle, WA
July Philippine Weekend Delano, CA
August 15 to 16 Philippine American Exposition Los Angeles, CA
August 15 to 16 Annual Philippine Fiesta
Philippine Fiesta
The Philippine Fiesta is a Filipino cultural festival and trade show held every August at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. The two-day Philippine Fiesta is one of the biggest indoor gathering of Filipino Americans in the East Coast...

Secaucus, NJ
August Summer Sinulog  Philadelphia, PA
August Historic Filipinotown Festival Los Angeles, CA
August Pistahan Fesitval and Parade San Francisco, CA
September 25 Filipino Pride Day Jacksonville, FL
September Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC) Los Angeles, CA
September AdoboFest Chicago, IL
October Filipino American History Month
Filipino American History Month
Filipino American History Month, also known as the Filipino American Heritage Month, is celebrated in the United States during the month of October. The Filipino American National Historical Society established Filipino American History Month in the year 1988...

 
Nationwide, USA
October Filipino American Arts and Culture Festival (FilAmFest) San Diego, CA
November Chicago Filipino American Film Festival (CFAFF) Chicago, IL
December 16 to 24 Simbang Gabi Christmas Dawn Masses Nationwide, USA
December 25 Pasko Christmas Feast Nationwide, USA




See also

  • Balikbayan box
    Balikbayan box
    A balikbayan box is a ubiquitous corrugated box containing any number of small items and sent by an overseas Filipino known as a "balikbayan"...

  • Filipino-American Friendship Day
    Filipino-American Friendship Day
    Filipino-American Friendship Day, July 4, is a day in the Philippines designated by President Diosdado Macapagal to commemorate the liberation of the country by joint Filipino and American forces from the Japanese occupation at the end of World War II....

  • Filipinos of American descent
  • Flip (slang)
    Flip (slang)
    Flip is a term used colloquially particularly by Filipino American youth to refer to those of Filipino descent.According to the late journalist and activist Alex De Leon Fabros, Sr...

  • Hyphenated American
    Hyphenated American
    In the United States, the term hyphenated American is an epithet commonly used from 1890 to 1920 to disparage Americans who were of foreign birth or origin, and who displayed an allegiance to a foreign country. It was most commonly used to disparage German Americans or Irish Americans who called...

  • Philippine cuisine

Further reading

  • Carl L. Bankston III, "Filipino Americans," in Pyong Gap Min (ed.), Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues ISBN 1-4129-0556-7
  • Bautista, Veltisezar. The Filipino Americans from 1763 to the Present: Their History, Culture, and Traditions, ISBN 0-931613-17-5
  • Crisostomom Isabelo T. Filipino Achievers in the U.S.A. & Canada: Profiles in Excellence, ISBN 0-931613-11-6
  • Isaac, Allan Punzalan. American Tropics: articulating Filipino America ISBN 978-0-8166-4274-8
  • A. Tiongson, E. Gutierrez, R. Gutierrez, eds. Positively No Filipinos Allowed, ISBN 1-59213-122-0
  • Filipino American Lives by Yen Le Espiritu, ISBN 1-56639-317-5
  • Filipinos in Chicago (Images of America) by Estrella Ravelo Alamar, Willi Red Buhay ISBN 0-7385-1880-8
  • "The Filipinos in America: Macro/Micro Dimensions of Immigration and Integration" by Antonio J. A. Pido ISBN 0-913256-83-8

External links


Archives

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