Asian-Americans

According to the U.S. census, there are approximately 9 million people living in America who are of Asian descent. Twenty-three percent of that are Chinese ancestry; 20% are Filipino; 12% are Asian Indian; and Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese each share about 10%. It is expected, that by the year 2000 Filipinos will be the largest Asian Pacific Islander group. In the state of California, there are more Filipinos than Chinese. In San Diego County, Filipino Americans are the largest Asian Pacific Islander group. How often do you see Filipinos in books, in magazines, on television, or on the radio?

We want to tell our friends and fellow shipmates that, "Our history is no mystery." Unknown to many people, Filipino American history began on October 18, 1587. Filipinos were the first Asians to cross the Pacific Ocean as early as 1587, fifty years before the first English settlement of Jamestown was established. From 1565 to 1815, during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, Filipinos were forced to work as sailors and navigators on board Spanish Galleons. They arrived in as Morro Bay, California. A landing party consisting of Filipino seamen, namely "Luzon Indios ("Luzon Indians"), were sent to the California shore to claim the land for the Spanish king.

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. In 1781, Antonio Miranda Rodriguez Poblador, a Filipino, along with 44 other individuals was sent by the Spanish government from Mexico to establish what is now known as the city of Los Angeles.
During the War of 1812, Filipinos from Manila Village (near New Orleans) were among the "Batarians" who fought against the British with Jean Lafitte in the Battle of New Orleans. This was just the beginning of the first wave of Filipino immigration into the United States.

The second wave began from 1906 to 1934 with a heavy concentration going into California and Hawaii. Between these waves of immigration, it is through the "colonization of our native land", the Philippines, that brought us here. For over 300 years, Spain had colonized the Philippines using Manila Bay as their great seaport, trading silver and rich spices with other countries surrounding Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. In exchange for gold, the Spaniards gave Filipinos Christianity. We were called Filipinos after King Philip II of Spain. This is why we have Spanish surnames like Bautista, Calderon, Marquez, and Santos.

Our Spanish connection came to an end after the Spanish-American War in 1898 when America wanted to control the Philippines. Unknown to Filipinos, through the Treaty of Paris (April 11, 1899), Spain sold the Philippines to the United States for $20 million, thus ending over 300 years of Spanish colonization. Filipinos celebrated their independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, and declared Emilio Aguinaldo as president. However, the people of the Philippines were not truly free. In fact, they never were. America was its new ruler and had cheated the Filipinos in believing that they were free. Thus, the Filipino American War began shortly after U.S. colonization. Known in U.S. history books as the "Philippine Insurrection", it was a bloody precursor to Vietnam. The Filipino American War was America\'s first true overseas war. The War lasted from 1898 to 1902, and in those 3 years as many as 70,000 Americans died and close to 2 million Filipinos were killed. American soldiers were ordered to shoot and kill every one over age 10. Filipinos over ten were considered "Criminals because they were born ten years before [America] we took the Philippines."

Soon after the War, William Howard Taft, who later became President of the United States, became governor of the Philippines. American school teachers, called \'Thomasites\', came to the Philippines to establish a public school system similar to American public schools. American educators taught Filipinos that "Aguinaldo and friends" were the enemy. They were taught American songs, and world history through American eyes. This is