October is Filipino American History Month

For many people, October means welcomed cooler weather, pumpkin patches and Halloween, but October also marks the celebration of the history of over four million Americans. October is Filipino American History Month. According to the US Census Bureau, Filipino Americans make up the second largest Asian-American group in the U.S. Filipino American History Month commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States in 1587. While Filipino Americans have been around for hundreds of years, Filipino American History Month was only recently recognized officially by US Congress in 2009. Filipino-Americans have had a significant impact on U.S. pop culture. From entertainment to food to sports, there is a good chance your life has been somehow influenced by a Filipino American.

Filipino Americans are present in the music industry. Bruno Mars, Enrique Iglesias, Hailee Steinfeld and Nicole Scherzinger all share Filipino ancestry.  One particularly successful Filipino American is Grammy-award winning R&B artist H.E.R. In an interview on The Late Late Show with James Corden, H.E.R. discusses how Filipinos’ notorious love of karaoke helped foster her love of singing.

Filipino food is finding its place in the American food scene. From adobo to pancit to lumpia, Filipino food is becoming a staple in many major U.S. cities. In fact, in an interview with the Today Show in 2012, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern declared Filipino food “the next big thing” in America, possibly because of its unique flavors that borrow from Chinese, Spanish, Malaysian, Thai and Mongolian cooking. A popular food trend is the idea of “Asian fusion” or combining elements of different cuisines together. As the Smithsonian Magazine said in 2015, Filipino food was Asian fusion before “Asian fusion” existed.

Whether it be through the screen, through the radio, through the plate or through the field, Filipino Americans have impacted American popular culture. Happy FAHM!