Fil-Am History Museum in Stockton Turns One

 The FANHS Museum opening in Stockton, California (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

The FANHS Museum opening in Stockton, California (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

Happy Filipino American History Month, celebrating our presence in the United States of 430 years! The story begins in October 1587 with a group of Luzones Indios landing in what is now Morro Bay, California on a Spanish Galleon. Documented, as early as 1763, these immigrants established settlements in the Louisiana Bayous. Two wars occurred back-to-back, the Spanish American War in 1898, and PhilippineAmerican War from 1899 to 1910s, turning the Philippines into a colony of the United States of America.

Filipinos came to America to work in the fields and canneries in the West and Midwest, in Alaska and in Hawai’i.  It is this workforce that was also a part of the farm labor movement, together with another ethnic group of people, the Mexicans, that fought for justice in agriculture.  Worth noting is the fact that Filipinos built America and is a part of the “inner weave” of this nation’s fabric – Filipinos are nurses, doctors, civil and public servants, activists, engineers, educators, cooks, maids, service members and work in areas of science, arts and culture.

With the reform of the 1965 immigration laws, there was a new influx of many Filipinos from the Philippines.  Today, there are more than 4 million Filipinos that call America their home. Filipino Americans are the oldest and largest Asian Pacific Islander community in the United States.

Founded in 1982 by Dorothy Laigo Cordova, the Filipino American National Historical Society (FAHNS) is the only national Filipino organization that exists, to promote understanding, education, enlightenment, appreciation, and enrichment through the gathering, preservation and dissemination of the history and culture of Filipino Americans in the U.S.  Since its opening last year in October 2016,  FANHS Museum in Stockton, California has received many visitors and tourists who experience history before their eyes.

The Mission of the FAHNS Museum is to enrich American society by educating, enlightening, inspiring and promoting the appreciation of Filipino American history, cultural experiences and contributions through collection, preservation and exhibition.

FAHNS Museum is located in downtown Stockton, California at 337 E. Weber Avenue.  (209) 932-9037 message or email at StocktonFANHS@aol.com.  Mailing address is P.O. Box 4616, Stockton, CA  95204.

The late Fred Cordova, FANHS Founding President and Emeritus and Archivist, when asked why Stockton was chosen, replied: “The National society chose Stockton as the museum site because of its historic role as the center of Filipino American family and community life and labor activists.”  

From the 1920s to the 1960s Stockton, California, and its downtown Little Manila neighborhood became home to the largest community of Filipinos outside of the Philippines. Fred Cordova f added, “Much of the birth of Filipino American history was ensconced in Stockton, and it’s part of our national society’s effort to preserve and promote what that history is all about.”

Here are a few excerpts captured from Facebook FANHS Museum’s page in Stockton, California:

From the farm to the front lines -- more exciting exhibits in the works!
Filipinos in the US Military Service, Filipinos in US Politics, Filipinos in Show Business, Best of Filipino Americans.

The FANHS Museum honors the many pioneering Filipinos who came to America whose only economic opportunity was to work the farmlands and who were faced with discrimination, injustice, the Depression of the ‘30s, among other bitter experiences. The little ones in this loving photograph from the 1930s became the Bridge Generation of Filipinos in America and many of them helped create the Filipino American National Historical Society. I arrived in America in the early ‘80s and I am grateful that they paved the way. This is why I give back. What's your immigrant story? –- Elena Mangahas, October 9, 2016

 Kulintronica Artist, Ron Quesada and Brian Batugo taking his picture (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

Kulintronica Artist, Ron Quesada and Brian Batugo taking his picture (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

FAHNS Museum ready to roll! Elena Buensalido Mangahas Fay Alvarez Olympia Rich Tenaza Leslie Nakao-Edman   –- Cheryl Lim, Stockton, CA

 Lange Luntao, Stockton Unified School District, Board of Trustees (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

Lange Luntao, Stockton Unified School District, Board of Trustees (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

Come and check out the new exhibit at the FANHS Museum -- a collaboration between the Stockton, Sacramento-Delta, and Central Valley Chapters of FANHS. The museum display opens on October 7th, 2017. --Pelagio Valdez, San Francisco

 Brian Batugo, Little Manila Arts Director with Dorothy Cordova (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

Brian Batugo, Little Manila Arts Director with Dorothy Cordova (Photo by Mariel Toni Jimenez)

Went to the FAHNS museum today to see Dr. Sobredo's exhibit. While we were there we saw an exhibit about the Juanitas Farm. I had Leo take a pic by it. -- Jennifer Juanitas, April 22, 2017