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19/10/2015: HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL, PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL COMMEMORATE FILIPINO AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

Press Release 89-2015

Consul General Jamoralin delivers her remarks for the Filipino American History month            celebration while Honolulu Councilmembers Joey Manahan, Ernerst Martin and Carol                Fukunaga look on.

(19 October 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii) In celebration of the Filipino American History Month this month of October, the Philippine Consulate General, together with the City and Council of Honolulu and the Filipino American Historical Society of Hawaii (FAHSOH), held a commemorative ceremony on 16 October 2015 by the Dr. Jose Rizal bust at the Philippine Consulate General. The event was attended by Hawaii government officials including Honolulu Council Chair Ernest Martin, Councilmembers Joey Manahan and Carol Fukunaga, members of the Filipino community and Consulate personnel.

On 15 April 2008, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed into law House Bill 3343 designating the month of October as “Filipino-American History Month.” The bill was introduced primarily by then Hawaii Representative Joey Manahan. In November of 2009, both the United States House of Representatives and Senate passed laws – House Resolution 780 and Senate Resolution 298, respectively – officially recognizing the month of October as Filipino American History month in the US. Various states, counties and cities in the US have since followed suit and have created their own legislation declaring observance of Filipino American History Month in their areas.

The year 2015 marks a milestone in the history of Filipino Americans in the US with a recognition by and celebration of the first-ever Filipino American History Month at the White House on 2 October 2015, where over 170 Filipino American leaders from various US states attended and took part in the historic celebration. US President Barack Obama issued a statement to celebrate the event.

Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin, in her remarks during the celebration, stressed the importance of the celebration of the Filipino American History month, as Filipino Americans are part of the social fabric of the American society. She also encouraged the Filipino community, especially the younger generation to support activities commemorating the Filipino American History Month.

In his remarks, Councilmember Joey Manahan said that the celebration is a reflection of the shared histories of Filipino Americans and hopes that to institutionalize this celebration to “preserve our histories for future generations to honor and celebrate”. Council Chair Ernest Martin and Councilmember Carol Fukunaga also shared their reflections on the significance of the Filipino American History Month.

Leis were also offered by the community to the bust of Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

Activities for the October celebrations in Hawaii include the Smithsonian Institute Exhibit. “Singgalot: The Ties that Bind” at the Aiea Public Library from 1 to 31 October 2015; and “ASTIG” Filipino American Heritage Month celebration at the Leeward Community College on 23 October 2015.

Earlier, the Philippine Consulate, with the Hawaii National Guard and the Oahu Filipino Community Council (OFCC) hosted a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Seminar for the Filipino community on 10 October. On Maui, the Filipino community held on 17 October 2015 its Fil-Am Heritage Festival, which celebrates Filipino-American History Month with food, art, dance, culture, contests and games. The County of Maui also held a flag raising ceremony on 5 October in front of the County Building. The Philippine flag will also be flown at the Maui County Building for the whole month of October. (END).

The attendees of the commemorative event pose for a photo at the Rizal bust.