Facts on Filipino-American History

The following are Filipino-American history facts FASA posted in the University Center during the Filipino-American History Month of October.

Week One: Oct. 1-7, 2002

Fact for Oct. 1:
Question: Did you know who invented the fluorescent light?
Answer: AGAPITO FLORES invented the fluorescent light in the early 1940's.
Source: Information adopted from Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Instruction Kit 1992

Fact for Oct. 2:
In 1902, the U.S. Congress passed into law the Cooper Act, which made it AGAINST THE LAW for Filipinos to:

  1. own property
  2. vote
  3. operate a business
  4. live in an "American" residential neighborhood
  5. hold public office
  6. become naturalized American citizens

It was later repealed (the exact year is not known).
Source: Information adopted from the National Filipino American Empowerment Conference 1997 brochure. Fact for October 3

Fact for Oct. 3:
Back in the 1920's and 1930's, the ratio of men to women was 20 to 1 (because of World War I). In some places it was 40 to 1. Because they were Filipino, they were not allowed to marry white women. In the state of California during 1926, the local authorities imposed anti-miscegenation laws on Filipinos. Filipinos had to drive out of state in order to marry white women.
Source: Information adopted from the National Filipino American Empowerment Conference 1997 brochure.

Fact for Oct. 4:
What do Chris Judd (ex-husband of Jennifer Lopez), rapper Jay-Z, singer Enrique Iglesias, actor Lou Diamond Phillips, and MTV Real World star Lori (from the second New York City season) have in common? They are all half-Filipino.
Sources: Spin Magazine, A. Magazine, Filipinas Magazine, MTV.com

Fact for Oct. 5:
Major General Edward Soriano of the U.S. Army, a Filipino American, became the second highest-ranking Asian Pacific American in active-duty military service in July 1997. Major General Soriano was born in Pangasinan, Philippines, and moved to the United States during the 1960s.
Source: Information adopted from Asian Week, August 22-28.

Fact for Oct. 6:
In 1763, Filipinos made their first permanent settlement in the bayous and marshes of Louisiana. As sailors and navigators on board Spanish galleons, Filipinos -- also known as "Manilamen" or Spanish-speaking Filipinos -- jumped ship to escape the brutality of their Spanish masters. They built houses on stilts along the gulf ports of New Orleans and were the first in the United States to introduce the sun-drying process of shrimp.
Source: Marina E. Espina. "Filipinos in Louisiana". A.F. Laborde & Sons: New Orleans, 1988.

Fact for Oct. 7:
Did you know that a Filipino American named Eduardo San Juan designed the Lunar Rover or "moon buggy" which was used by the Apollo astronauts to explore the moon?

If WE don't know our own history, who else will??
Filipino-American history doesn't end here!

Rodney Jay C. Salinas is a national political commentator and president of the Rainmaker Political Group LLC (www.rainmakerpolitical.com). He can be contacted at mail@rainmakerpolitical.com or toll-free at (866) 621-4149. Copyright 2002 - Rodney Jay C. Salinas | All Rights Reserved.


"The purposes of FASA include learning about the Philippines and what it means to be a Filipino and Filipino-American. FASA will also educate the student body of Filipino culture, providing an opportunity for Filipino-American students to blend their Southeast Asian and American cultures in a productive manner. It is also FASA's duty to improve the academic and social environment."
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FASA Constitution
December 3, 1991