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Background is the first Filipino Settlement in America


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Para! Tuloy po kayo sa ating munting bahay kubo. Stop! Come in to our little Nipa Hut. Please sit down and browse through our small library of Filipiniana about our language and history. If you are in search of your Filipino heritage then you are at home. The Filipino community from Prodigy on Line Service welcomes you regardless of your national persuasion in the tradition of Bayanihan. Asking, "what is Bayanihan?" is the same as asking, "what is a community?"

My own childhood's image of house in the highland village of Nueva Vizcaya can explain the spirit. All the able men of the barangay are called upon to transfer a house to another location. The house posts are dug out and bamboo poles run criss-crossed under the hut. In complete unison, the men pull up the poles to their shoulders and suddenly the house has multiple pairs of legs in front, back and sides. One must witness the march to feel the tradition.

Our house is not complete. Let me take you to the 18th CENTURY, not in the Philippines but in the bayous of Louisiana. The first Filipino permanent settlers in the United States were the dissatisfied sailors from the Spanish ships who lived in Bahay kubo badjao style near New Orleans. US history will not cover their trial but this is their story. This article was written by Lafcadio Hearn and published in the Harper's Weekly in March 31, 1883. You might want to print them and hang them up in your living room. This is probably the first article written in this country about us. This was certainly not of the best of times nor place but it is a story about the Pinoy quest to live anywhere and surviving the challenge of the rough frontier. You will read my own reflection about our early flights, our seafaring ancestors of the Pacific, their language and journeys, Enrique the first to sight the Americas, the unknown sailor washed ashore on the California coast in 1587. The first Filipino settlement in New Orleans and the vehicle that brought them here, the Manila Galleon ships. The story of our Manong coming to Hawaii that started in 1888 when a group of acrobats and musicians showed up in Honolulu. The seasonal workers who were brought to Seattle by the early ships of the US President Lines to work in Alaska fish industry.  It is also about the young boys who joined the United States Navy and their children.  Anne Paulin tells the new waves of Filipinos. The Poem of Maria Tadina is about the hardships of the women who came to work in the farms on the early 1930. Let us engage in a little storytelling about our life in this country.

My Banaue Rice Terraces page is my highlight. I can tell you the awesome fact that the length of the terraces would reach you anywhere in this world, but I cannot write enough to tell you how proud I am. My hypothesis of why we came here is concluded on the Cyberspace Navigator page. This is Bayanihan at its best.
This website is moving to a new domain: Coming to America Please Update your browser.

Nestor Palugod Enriquez
Special Contributors:
     *Anne Paulin
     *Maria Tadina

Believe it or not but the background you are looking were the Filipino houses in the Louisiana Bayous in the 18th Century!

In commemoration of the centennials of the Philippine Independence, Velltisezar Bautista, had just released the second edition (Feb 2002)..

THE FILIPINO AMERICANS, from 1763 to the Present.

Their History, Culture, and Traditions.. chronicles the tortuous road Filipinos took to reach America...Time capsule, then and now, who are who and their story of struggles. This is a must reading for all Fil-American especially the young ones in search of their identity. From the Award Winning Publisher (BOOKHAUS) and writer Velty Bautista.
View the book & order info

 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has included the Banaue Rice Terraces on the World Heritage List.


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