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October is Filipino History Month




By Giana Leone



October is Filipino American History Month, also known as the Filipino American Heritage Month and it is celebrated throughout the United States. Filipino American History Month was established by the Filipino American National Historical Society in 1988. Filipinos have been an integral part of Vallejo history dating back to the early 1900’s adding a level of cultural diversity that is as unique as Vallejo itself.


According to the City of Vallejo website and their listed demographic statistics, Filipinos comprise 21.26% of the total city population. Mel Orpilla, a Filipino historian and author who was born and raised in the City of Vallejo, has authored a book entitled Filipinos in Vallejo which can be purchased at the following locations, Costco, Barnes & Nobles, Vallejo Museum Bookstore, Bookshop Benicia or online by visiting Mel Orpilla’s website at the following link: Here is a quote from the website regarding the book, “The book contains over 200 images of Filipinos in Vallejo. The book looks at how the Filipino community in Vallejo developed and grew from the end of the Spanish American War to today.”



Currently there is a resolution before the House of Representatives, H. Res. 155 which is entitled, “Recognizing Filipino American Heritage Month and celebrating the heritage and culture of Filipino Americans and their immense contributions to the Nation.” The resolution is sponsored by Rep. Bob Filner and is cosponsored by fellow representatives Brian P. Bilbray, Michael M. Honda, Darrell E. Issa, Laura Richardson and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. The resolution can be accessed at the following link:


Learn something about Filipino history, heritage and the contributions that Filipinos have made to society. On September 20, 2010 Mel Orpilla spoke at the Napa Valley College campus as part of a Diversity Speaker Series and eloquently informed the listeners of the vast contributions which have been made by Filipinos to the United States. To paraphrase the opening slide, “There is more to Filipino culture than Lumpia and that bamboo dance.”