Filipino American Historical Society

News and Events

Local News

Save the Date - October 20,2018

Come celebrate Filipino American History Month with FANHS Sonoma as we commemorate two distinct and dynamic waves of Filipino immigrants who left their homeland to build a better life in Sonoma County—one wave emigrating during the 1920s-1950s, and the other from 1965 forward.

The program will feature an enlightening keynote address by local historian Mel Orpilla, followed by a panel discussion of compelling stories about post-1965 immigrant journeys—all told in their very own words. We’ll close with a special tribute to the first wave of immigrants as we celebrate the 10-year premiere anniversary of Remembering Our Manongs (Elders), Sonoma County’s Filipino History.

The program will be held from 1:00 to 3:00PM at the Finley Community Center, Live Oak Room, 2060 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Please mark your calendars, and join us for this historical event!


EVENT UPDATE - Kulturang Pilipino: A Celebration of Filipino Culture & Performing Arts, now rescheduled for APRIL 7

Please plan to join us for Kulturang Pilipino: A Celebration of Filipino Culture & Performing Arts, Saturday, April 7, 2018!

FANHS Sonoma’s scheduled October 2017 fundraiser was cancelled due to the wine country wildfires that consumed much of Sonoma County. As friends and families throughout the community struggle to rebuild and recover from devastating losses, we extend our sincere wishes for their healing and renewal.

And in this spirit of hope and renewal, we invite you to share in our joyous celebration of community and cultural arts on Saturday, April 7 from 11:30am – 3:30pm at the Veterans Memorial Building, Lodge Room, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA.

The program will include dance, music and poetry performances by renowned Filipino artists Sammay Dizon, Alexis Canillo, Janet Stickmon, and the San Francisco Kulintang Project, with Masters of Ceremony Charles Zabala and Christi Kessler.

Proceeds from the event will benefit FANHS Sonoma’s Scholarship Endowment and the Katherine “Kay” Baguio annual scholarship, with a portion donated to help victims of the fire.

TICKETS: General admission $25 advance/$30 at door; Seniors (62+) $20 advance/$25 at door; Full-time Students (11+) $15 advance/$20 at door.

FANHS Sonoma County members receive 10% discount.

NOTE: Tickets that were purchased in advance are still valid.

To purchase tickets, contact Pat Romero (209)712-8520 or Brenda Bautista (707)570-0560

Sonoma County’s Day of Discovery — a Hit for FANHS and Local Historians

Congratulations are in order for co-sponsors Sonoma County Historical Records Commission and the Sonoma County Library on their extremely successful, first ever, Finding History in Sonoma County—A Day of Discovery event, held May 21, 2017. FANHS Sonoma, represented by members Michael Viloria, Alicia Viloria Watson, Delia Rapolla, and Pat Romero, was honored to be included as a participant, along with 30 other Sonoma County historical organizations. Held in the Santa Rosa West end neighborhood’s DeTurk Round Barn, the historic landmark was the perfect venue.

Exhibitors—including California Indian Museum & Cultural Center, California State Parks, Glen Ellen Historical Society, Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society, Historic Railroad Square Association, North Bay Italian Cultural Foundation, Charles Schultz Museum, Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, Petaluma Museum Association, National Heritage Responders—just to name a few, proudly displayed their collections of old photos, artifacts, and informational materials. Some dressed in period costumes. Well-known and revered columnist, writer, historian, and storyteller Gaye LeBaron provided the welcoming address, and related the history of the DeTurk round barn, built in 1891 by winemaker Issac DeTurk for his prize-winning race horse Anteeo.

history day pic history day pic history day pic history day pic history day pic history day pic

FANHS representatives were happy to share the history or our Manongs, and their substantial contributions to Sonoma County’s agricultural industry starting in the 1920’s; and to inform the public of FANHS’ mission to gather and preserve the history and culture of Filipino Americans in Sonoma County. In turn, we learned many interesting, and heretofore unknown, facts and information about Sonoma County’s wide-ranging history, its people and cultures. And we hope for and look forward to many more Day’s of Discovery in the future!

FANHS Museum Now Open in Stockton!

After more than 20 years in the making, FANHS celebrated the grand opening of its historical museum in downtown Stockton last October. FANHS selected the central valley city as the museum’s home site because of its historical significance in Filipino American history. A key crossroad for newly immigrated Filipinos in the early 19th century, it served as both an agricultural hub for Filipino farm workers, and a welcome waystation where those passing through could find familiar faces, traditional food, and kababayan camaraderie. A wealth of Filipino American history is on display at the museum, and plans are underway to feature exhibits from each FANHS chapter as well. For more information about the museum, including location and hours, go to

California High School Curriculum to Include Filipinos’ Role in World War II

In July 2016, the California State Board of Education approved a new curriculum framework for high school students that includes content about World War II in the Philippines, and the significant role of Filipinos who fought alongside the United States as members of the United States Army Forces in Far East. The change comes after years of advocacy work by the Filipino American community and the Bataan Legacy Historical Society. By requiring this content in California’s curriculum, the change builds upon earlier legislation such as AB199 which encouraged inclusion of such content into California curriculum, and AB123 which required inclusion of Filipinos’ contributions to the California farm labor movement. California is the first state in the country to include this content in its curriculum, according to the Bataan Legacy Historical Society. The new curriculum is now being developed for 11th grade U.S. History content.



National News

Bataan Death March Veterans Honored

On April 8, 2017 the Bataan Legacy Historical Society commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Bataan Death March with a Valor Run, and a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the WWII West Coast Memorial in San Francisco. It was a long- awaited recognition of Filipino and American soldiers who valiantly fought side by side in the Second World War.

The brutal march began on April 4, 1942, when the US surrendered the Philippines’ Bataan Peninsula to the Japanese Imperial Army. Seventy-five thousand Philippine and US soldiers, along with civilians, were forced to walk 65 miles in the sweltering heat of tag-init from Mariveles to San Fernando, Pampanga and finally, Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.The prisoners suffered severe abuse and senseless killings. Weakened by starvation and sickness, many perished along the way. Those unable to walk were left to die. Those who survived were taken to San Fernando train station and crammed into stifling boxcars bound for prisoner-of-war camps where many died of starvation, mistreatment and disease.

It wasn’t until February 1945, nearly three years later, that US General Douglas MacArthur made good on his word to return to the Philippines. US-Philippine forces then recaptured the Bataan Peninsula, and liberated Manila that March. A military tribunal tried and convicted Lieutenant General Homma Masaharu, Commander of the Japanese invasion Forces in the Philippines, for war crimes, after finding him responsible for the death march.

The Bataan Legacy Historical Society’s foremost goals are to include this seminal part of World War II history in high school history and social science curriculums throughout the US, and to document the stories of WWII veterans and survivors in the Philippines.

Sonoma County resident MaryAnne Tabor, daughter of John Tabor, shares the story of her father’s own experience in War World II in this excerpt from Remembering Our Manongs, Sonoma County’s Filipino American History. It is a poignant testament to the resilience and tenacity of a man who endured the dark days of war, then immigrated to the United States where he raised a family, and established himself as a successful business owner and community leader.

…And when the war broke out, he was teaching, so he was immediately enlisted in the American Army. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He was captured and taken to a prison camp. He was thrown amongst the dead in the prison camp because he had been so emaciated from starvation and dysentery that they didn’t even think he was alive. He had been down to skin and bones and was able to through escape through the wires. He then joined the Philippine Scouts in the mountains and he fought as a guerrilla until the end of the war.


Calendar/Upcoming Events


Contact Us | All content is copyright 2018 Filipino American National Historical Society.  |  Site Credit