The Republic of the Philippines is located in South East Asia and consists of an archipelago, a cluster of about 7100 islands in the western Pacific Ocean southeast of China. The Philippines were colonized by the Spanish in 1542 and named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The islands were part of the Spanish East Indies, the Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific from 1565 until 1898. The Philippines came under the control of the United States of America in 1898 following the Spanish-American War (April 25, 1898 – August 12, 1898). The term 'Tagalog' refers to both ethnic race in the Philippines and their language. The Philippines achieved full independence in 1946. The Philippine islands were embroiled in political turmoil during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos that started in 1965 and ended with his exile in 1986. The capital of the Philippines is Manila and the country has a population of 91 million. Filipinos now represent the 4th largest immigrant group in the United States by country of origin, after Mexico, India and China.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: Major waves of immigrants from the Philippines
There have been four major waves of immigrants from the Philippines to America:
- The first wave of immigrants from the Philippines to America was during the period when the country was under Spanish rule and formed part of the Spanish East Indies
- The second wave of immigrants from the Philippines occurred from 1906 - 1934 bringing plantation workers to Hawaii and migrants to the west coast
- The third wave of immigrants from the Philippines started just before World War II (1939 - 1945) and the Philippines independence in 1946
- The fourth, present and largest wave of immigrants from the Philippines started after the 1965 Immigration Act was passed
History of Filipino Immigration to America: The Reasons for Filipino Immigration to America
Why did people want to leave the Philippines and why did they want to move to America? The reasons for the Filipino Immigration to America were motivated by political reasons such as escaping from the harsh rule of the Spanish or the later dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The poverty and high levels of unemployment in the Philippines are still a strong motivational reason for the high levels of Filipino Immigration to America. Some Filipino immigrants also looked to avoid the natural disasters in the Philippines such as Earthquakes, Landslides and Typhoons. Also refer to Examples of PUSH and PULL Factors of Filipino Immigration.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: The Spanish Rule
Filipino Immigration to America started in the period in history when the Philippines were under Spanish rule. As part of the Spanish East Indies the first Filipinos made their way to America via the 'Manila Galleons', the Spanish trading ships that ran across the Pacific Ocean from Manila to the port of Acapulco and . The Manila Galleons brought silk, perfume, spices, ivory and other exotic goods from China, via Manila, to Mexico and California where Filipino seamen, who had been forced to work for the Spanish, would migrate to North America. In 1763, Filipinos, called the "Manila Men", made their first permanent settlement in the bayous of Louisiana.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: Los Angeles founded by a Filipino
Early Filipino Immigration to America established the city of Los Angeles. In 1781, a Filipino expedition, led by Filipino born Antonio Miranda Rodriguez, were sent by the Spanish government from Mexico to establish what is now known as the city of Los Angeles in Alta California. The province of Alta California marked the northern frontier of the Spanish empire in the New World. The first 44 settlers are known as the 'Pobladores'.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: The 1897 Philippine Revolution
The next wave of Filipino Immigration to America was preceded by the 1897 revolution in the Philippines. The Philippine Revolution (also called the Tagalog War) erupted between the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities. It was a Filipino victory and led to the establishment of the First Philippine Republic in 1899, proclaimed by revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo on June 23, 1898. The revolutionary constitution in the Philippines created the Biak-na-Bato Republic. The preamble of the constitution declared the separation of the Philippines from the Spanish monarchy and their formation into an independent state with its own government called the Philippine Republic. The turmoil and conflict in the western pacific led to the Spanish-American War.
History of Filipino Immigration to America in the 1800's: The 1898 Spanish-American War
Filipino Immigration to America was strongly impacted by Spanish-American War between Spain and the United States, which lasted for just over three and a half months from April 25, 1898 – August 12, 1898. The 1899 Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish-American War, and Spain sold the Philippine Islands to the United States for $20,000,000.
History of Filipino Immigration to America in the 1900's: The Philippine-American War
The Philippine-American War (1899–1902) erupted as the Philippine Republic fought in the Philippines to secure independence from the United States. The Philippine-American War lasted just over 3 years and resulted in a US victory with the capture and surrender of Emilio Aguinaldo and the occupation of the Philippines under U.S. sovereignty and the dissolution of the Philippine Republic. The Philippines became part of the U.S. Commonwealth and an unincorporated territory of the United States until Filipino independence was gained in 1946.
History of Filipino Immigration to America in the 1900's: US Sovereignty
In 1901 William Howard Taft was sent to the islands as the first U.S. governor of Philippines. The 1902 Philippine Bill was passed provided for a Bill of Rights, and established a bicameral legislature. The law made it illegal for a Filipino to vote, own property, operate a business, live in an American residential neighborhood or hold public office.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: The Second Wave of Immigration
The second wave of Filipino Immigration to America occured from 1906 to 1934 with a heavy concentration of Filipinos emigrating to California and Hawaii. The Jones Law was enacted in 1916 which promised independence to the Philippines once a stable government had been established. Because the Philippines was an American colony Filipinos in the second wave of immigration were able to travel to the US as American nationals.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: Angel Island Immigration Center
The Angel Island Immigration Center (1910 - 1940), was located in San Francisco Bay, California and opened on January 21, 1910. Angel Island served as an Immigration center for immigrants from Asia, Japan, India and the Philippines. Filipino immigrants during this period would have been processed very quickly and subject to brief medical examinations, unlike other immigrants.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: The Third Wave of Immigration - WW2
The third wave of Filipino Immigration to America started in 1934 just before the outbreak of World War II (1939 - 1945). In 1941 Japan invaded the Philippines defeating General Douglas MacArthur at Bataan and Corregidor. President Manuel Quezon y Molina was forced to establish a government in exile and dies in 1944. In 1944 General MacArthur re-invaded the Philippines and Manila was liberated from Japanese occupation.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: The Philippines become an Independent Nation
The Tydings-McDuffie Act provided for independence of the Philippine Islands in 1946, changed the status of Filipinos from American citizens to aliens and the transition to independence began. Philippine independence came on July 4, 1946, with the signing of the Treaty of Manila between the governments of the United States and the Philippines. Filipinos who had served in WW2 were given the option of becoming U.S. Citizens, and over 10,000 Filipinos took up the offer. War brides from the Philippines were also allowed to immigrate to the United States due to the 1945 War Brides Act and Fiancées Act. The immigration policy of the United States was restricted by the 'per-country' quota system and records show that 32,201 Filipinos immigrated between 1953 to 1965.
History of Filipino Immigration to America: The Fourth Wave of Immigration - 1965 Hart-Cellar Act
The fourth wave of Filipino Immigration to America started in 1965 with the passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Hart-Celler Act. The law was an extremely important landmark in U.S. immigration history as it abolished nation-of-origin restrictions. The numbers of immigrants from Asian and Hispanic countries rose dramatically and Filipinos now represent the 4th largest immigrant group in the United States.
History of Filipino Immigration to America Facts Sheet and Timeline for kids
Important facts about the history of Filipino Immigration to America and US laws that effected the migrants from the Philippines are contained in the following Facts Sheet and history timeline.
Filipino Immigration to America Facts Sheet and Timeline for kids
Fact 1: 1542: The Philippines were colonized by the Spanish and the islands were part of the Spanish East Indies from 1565 - 1898.
Fact 2: 1763: Filipinos, called the "Manila Men", made their first permanent settlement in the bayous of Louisiana.
Fact 3: 1781: An expedition, led by Filipino born Antonio Miranda Rodriguez, was sent by the Spanish government from Mexico to establish the settlement of Los Angeles in Alta California.
Fact 4: 1897: Revolution in the Philippines, led by Emilio Aguinaldo and independence from Spain
Fact 5: 1899: Filipino victory led to the establishment of the First Philippine Republic
Fact 6: 1898: Spanish-American War between Spain and the United States
Fact 7: 1899: The 1899 Treaty of Paris by which Spain sells the Philippines to the United States for $20 million dollars.
Fact 8: 1899: The Philippine-American War (1899 -1902) between the United States and Filipino revolutionaries
Fact 9: 1901: William Howard Taft was appointed the first U.S. governor of the Philippines.
Fact 10: 1902: The Philippine Bill passed restricting activities of Filipinos
Fact 11: 1906: The second wave of Filipino Immigration to America occured from 1906 to 1934
Fact 12: 1910: The Angel Island Immigration Station was opened in California to regulate Asian immigration.
Fact 13: 1911: 1,334 people were killed when Mt. Taal erupted
Fact 14: 1916: The Jones Law was passed promising independence to the Philippines once a stable government established.
Fact 15: 1934: The third wave of Filipino Immigration to America commenced
Fact 16: 1939: Outbreak of World War 2
Fact 17: 1941: Japan invades the Philippines defeating General Douglas MacArthur and occupies the islands
Fact 18: 1944: General MacArthur re-invades the Philippines and Manila was liberated from Japanese occupation.
Fact 19: 1946: The Tydings-McDuffie Act provides for independence of the Philippines in 1946
Fact 20: 1965: The Fourth Wave of Immigration and the Hart-Cellar Act lifts restrictions on immigration