CAPAC Members Celebrate Filipino American History Month

Oct 1, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Today marks the beginning of Filipino American History Month, which is celebrated throughout October to commemorate the 16th century arrival of the first Filipinos to what is now the United States. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements to mark the occasion.

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“Filipino American History Month is an important time to celebrate the rich heritage and contributions of Filipino Americans. . Since the arrival of the first Filipinos in 1587 in Morro Bay, California, Filipino Americans have added to the diverse tapestry of our country, serving as laborers, health care providers, entrepreneurs, elected officials, military service members, and Grammy award winning artists. As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am proud to join with my colleagues to uplift and honor the important economic, historical, and cultural contributions of the Filipino American community.”

Senator Kamala Harris (CA):

“Whether it’s breaking ground in the legal profession, art, sports, politics, service to our country, or countless other contributions to our communities – Filipino Americans are celebrated across California and our country for their courage, strength, and conviction. I’m proud to join my Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus colleagues as we not only lift up the stories of current and past visionaries, but also forge a path for the next generation to pursue their dreams. I hope everyone takes time to learn about the great contributions of Filipino Americans in communities across the country.” 

Senator Jacky Rosen (NV):

“During the month of October, we recognize and celebrate the numerous contributions of Filipino Americans to our communities. Let’s take time to reflect on their many accomplishments, including to our business community, in our schools, and in the military. This Filipino American History Month, let’s celebrate the strength of diversity in our state and our nation.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

“I am honored to recognize and celebrate the rich historical, economic, and cultural contributions of the Filipino American community during Filipino American History Month. In addition to the sacrifices of Filipino veterans who served in World War II, I want to express my gratitude to the Filipina American women who have strengthened the social and political landscape of all Americans on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. I will continue to lead efforts in Congress to bring awareness to the vital role that the Filipino community played throughout U.S. history.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair:

“This month, we celebrate the vast contributions that the Filipino American community bring to our nation. As the second largest Asian American group in the United States, their unique experience, culture, and longstanding history of service deserves recognition. During World War II, more than 200,000 Filipino veterans served with valor and honor. As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’m committed to honoring their service and sacrifice to our nation. I will keep fighting in Congress to empower and elevate our Filipino American community.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“This October, we join the Filipino American community in celebrating their contributions to the fabric of American life. Filipino American History Month encourages us to reflect on the role that Filipino-Americans have played in shaping our nation’s culture, industry, and history. In the nearly 450 years since the first Filipino immigrants arrived in present-day California, Filipino-Americans are an integral part of our business communities, our government, and our military. I’m proud to join my colleagues to wish the Filipino-American community a happy month of celebration.”

Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21):

“As a Filipino American and one of 20 AAPI members of Congress, I am excited to celebrate Filipino American History Month. This is a special opportunity to celebrate the rich history, culture, and continuing contributions of my fellow Filipino Americans to our great nation. Filipino communities are especially strong in California’s Central Valley. In fact, two of the most consequential labor leaders of the last century, Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, both Filipino Americans, organized migrant workers in the Central Valley, improving lives for generations of working families.

“This month, I am especially proud to be an original co-sponsor of this year’s resolution recognizing Filipino American History Month. I hope you join me in reflecting on and celebrating the contributions of my fellow Filipino Americans in October and every month.”

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03):

“I am proud to celebrate Filipino American history month and to be one of only two Members of Congress of Filipino descent currently serving. This month is a time to recognize the extraordinary contributions made to our nation. Since World War II, Filipino Americans have played a vital role in the development and growth of our country and I honor their service and sacrifices. I am proud to celebrate this month with the Filipino community and with my colleagues in CAPAC.”

Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44):

"As we celebrate Filipino American History Month, we honor their vast contributions to our country and celebrate their rich history. From advocating for farmworkers’ rights during the Delano Grape Strike to serving in World War II, and playing vital roles in the technology and healthcare industries, Filipino-Americans are integral to the success of this great nation. Salamat—thank you—to Filipino-Americans across the nation and in California’s 44th Congressional District."

Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39):

“During Filipino American History Month, we celebrate the rich cultural contributions that Filipino Americans have made to California’s 39th Congressional District and communities across the country. As a Navy veteran, it’s an honor to celebrate the brave Filipino veterans who fought for the United States, including the many who I had the privilege to serve with. Whether it is through public service, business, education, medicine, or culture and the arts, Filipino Americans play a vital role in the development and growth of our nation.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“I am honored to recognize and celebrate October as Filipino American History Month. This month we celebrate that many contributions Filipino Americans bring to our communities. Filipinos are the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander ethnic group in California, and it is with great pride that I represent a district that embraces its uniquely diverse population.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“San Diego is home to nearly 200,000 Filipino Americans, and Filipino American History Month is a special time to celebrate Filipino Americans’ vibrant cultural contributions to both San Diego and the United States.  This month also marks a time to recognize the commitments and sacrifices of Filipinos who served alongside American armed forces during World War II, many of whom helped shape San Diego’s cultural and historical Navy roots. As a member of CAPAC and the U.S.-Philippines Caucus, I remain a vocal advocate for the Filipino American community and for delivering the benefits our Filipino World War II veterans earned.”

Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI):

“In honor of Filipino American History Month, we reflect on the innumerable contributions and sacrifices our sisters and brothers from the Philippines have made to our country and the Northern Marianas over many generations. In the Marianas, Filipinos are an indelible part of the community. From education to health care and hospitality, Filipinos make up a significant part of our labor force and help keep our economy afloat. Let us recognize and celebrate the rich history, culture, values, and hard work of the Filipino community.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.