On March 3, the Washington State Senate passed a resolution to designate October 2010 as the inaugural Filipino American History Month. Senate Resolution 8668 means to honor the history and contribution of Filipinos in America.
The earliest documented proof of Filipino presence in the continental United States was on October 18, 1587, when the first “Luzones Indios” set foot in Morro Bay, California. The Filipino American National Historical Society recognizes the year of 1763 as the date of the first permanent Filipino settlement in the United States in St. Malo Parrish, Louisiana, which brings new perspective to the notable contributions that Filipino Americans have made toward the development of the United States.
The Society also recognizes that in the year 1888, records indicate that the first known employee from the Philippines in the Pacific Northwest, known as “Manilla”, worked at the largest lumber mill in the world of that time at Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island. Community members believe it is imperative for Filipino American youth to have positive role models to instill in them the importance of education, complemented with the richness of their ethnicity and the value of their legacy. Washington State is home to the largest Asian/Pacific Islander ethnic population found in the state, with the fourth largest population of Filipino Americans in the United States. The state is also home to historic Filipino communities such as Wapato, Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Tacoma, Auburn, and Bremerton, among others. The Washington State Senate recognizes October 2010 as the inaugural Filipino American History Month, with special distinction of their honorable service in the United States military branches, as the 423rd anniversary of the presence of Filipinos in the United States, and as a significant time to study the advancement of Filipino Americans in the history of the State of Washington and the United States. The 13th Biennial National Conference of the Filipino American National Historical Society returns, in July 2010, to Seattle, the site of the first National Conference.