The Philippines has a rich and diverse culture - made up of about 7,000 islands, with Tagalog as the official language, however, many other languages and dialects are spoken throughout.
Filipino Heritage Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge the challenges and triumphs of the Filipino community. The struggles of migration and social justice issue have been an important aspect of the Filipino history.
St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle|King County has always had a great interest in immigration issues and the treatment of children and families. In the early 1920s, The Council created the Filipino Club, managed by L.J. Esterman.
Some experts estimate that as many as 3,000 young Filipino men came to the U.S. annually to work during the 1920s. They were treated as immigrants, when in fact they were all U.S. nationals, having been given that designation following the Spanish American War. The Filipino Club created a safe place for Filipino men to live, learn, and receive basic needs while working in the U.S.
As we celebrate Filipino Heritage Month it's important to acknowledge the depth and richness of Filipino culture. It’s an invitation to learn, appreciate, and embrace the history, traditions, and contributions of the Filipino people.