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The Filipino American Community
in New York, New Jersey,
and Pennsylvania

Beginnings of the Community

According to Bruno Lasker, the history of Filipino migration to the east coast, in particular, the New York Metropolitan Area, started in the 1920s when government-sponsored intellectuals were sent by the provisional government to study in this region's prominent academic institutions such as Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and others. Formal and non-formal assocations have been existing since.

"The Filipino Student Bulletin," the only publication linking all students from the (former American) colony, was published out of New York City by The Filipino Students' Christian Movement. And additionally, contrary to the belief that most Filipino students, (according to Fred Cordova President Emeritus of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS)), received their post-secondary education in a college campus, some went into other "non-traditional" schools such as the Caroline Kempton Drama School of New York.

Numerous organizations catering to various interests have existed in th 1920s such as the Filipino Women's Club, now know as the Filipino American Women's Club of New York, the Filipino Social Club of New York, and the Philippine Nurses Association; these three groups continue to exist and thrive today. In addition, The Filipino Community Center, providing a vehicle for social interaction, existed in New York City in the 1930s. In Pennsylvania, the Philippine Society of Philadelphia has been around since 1917 (?).

Demographics and Political Involvement

Today, the Filipino Americans living in what is referred to as the Tri-State Area are professionals in the fields of accounting, law, medicine, nursing, engineering, and entrepreneurship. Mirroring this largely professional population, Filipino households in this area have a high median income: $40,928, according to the U.S. Census of 1990.

Filipino Americans in New York City, home to over 43,229 (U.S. Census 1990) Filipinos, are upwardly mobile. In fact, the median income of Filipino households is approximately $45,000, the highest among all groups including whites. It is also believed that those who are more affluent and work in New York City, live in its outlying suburbs and tend to have much higher income levels.

Unfortunately, the tremendous economic capacity of the group has not translated into political empowerment. Although Filipinos have been involved in political campaigns of various politicians at the City level, there are no Filipinos in New York City holding an elective post. Filipino American who have been in New York City for more than twenty years are more likely to support campaigns and therefore, a generation from now, could be elected into office. Second generation Filipino immigrants are also more likely in the future to run for public office in New York as a number have been elected to student governments, a training ground for local political aspirants.


TO BE CONTINUED... COME BACK AND VISIT FOR THE REST OF THE CONTINUING HISTORY OF FILIPINOS IN THE TRI-STATE AREA
 

 

 

 



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