FILIPINO AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH IN LONG BEACH DECLARED
Long Beach, CA - Long Beach City Council unanimously passed the resolution authored by First District Councilman, Robert Garcia, designating October as Filipino American History Month in Long Beach. There is an estimated 19,000-profiled Filipino Americans in Long Beach and this number will substantially increase after the 2010 census reporting.
The Filipino Americans’ history in Long Beach goes beyond naval families when the city was a military installation. This was chronicled when Isidro Canlas’ picture appeared in Long Beach Press (now the Press Telegram) on June 5, 1917 with the article "Native Filipino Was First to Register for Uncle Sam in Long Beach Precinct No.19". A very articulate Isidro Canlas spoke about how he learned to love the freedom of living under the American flag. For this reason he wanted to serve that flag and be the first to answer Uncle Sam's call and to register at his local precinct for the WWI draft in 1917. Isidro awoke at 3 a.m. on June 5th to make sure he was No.1 on the first day of World War 1 draft registration in the United States, and he accomplished this. (Courtesy of Eloisa Borah)
Thus, the significance of the Filipino American History Month became pronounced when Filipino WWII veteran, Franco Arcebal spoke at the council chamber. He received a rousing applause after he emphasized the sacrifices of the Filipinos during and after the war.
A WWII veteran’s widow, Fe Bond, together with Filipino Americans Mayta Schmidt, Del Fabian and community leader, Paul Blanco, were also present at the council meeting to express their sentiments. Cambodia Town Officers, headed by Richer and Sithea San, submitted a letter to Mayor Bob Foster and all the City Council members conveying their strong support of the resolution. The Cambodians and the Filipinos are the largest Asian American communities in Long Beach.
In celebration of Filipino American History Month in Long Beach, Ala-ala: Remembrances, a WWII photo exhibit will be featured at the Long Beach Public Library & Information Center starting October 12. The photos by the United States Army Signal Corps were taken during the liberation of the Philippines, circa 1944-45. A local artist, while in search of eco materials for his work, found the pictures among discarded items in the streets of Long Beach.
The photo exhibit is in cooperation with Supervisor Don Knabe (L.A. County - 4th District), The Arts Council for Long Beach, Long Beach Public Library and Information Center, Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles, American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, and Philippine Expressions Bookshop.
Interior of Office at U.S. Office of War Information, Washington, DC, 1943. Domestically the OWI (1942-45) disseminated and regulated war news, promoted patriotism, and warned about spies. Abroad it engaged in propaganda and sought to undermine enemy morale.