Filipinos have been a part of the history of the United States and San Diego for over 400 years. The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade ships included Filipinos on sailing expeditions to California, including the port of San Diego. After the Philippines became a territory of the United States in 1898, many Filipinos began immigrating to San Diego. The community grew rapidly, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s. After World War II, Filipino veterans returned with their war brides and the community began to build further. The Immigration Act of 1965 increased Filipino immigration into San Diego to include military personnel, especially those enlisted in the U.S. Navy, as well as professionals. Today Filipino Americans are the largest Asian American ethnic group in San Diego.
Title: Escondido and San Diego Filipinos featured in new history photo books Author: Roger Showley Publisher: Sign On San Diego Date: 8/11/2010 Escondido's fabled Grape Day Festival started in 1908 and petered out by mid-century before the Escondido Historical Society revived it in the 1970s. Local history Lucy Jones Berk and Stephen A. Covey have chronicled the colorful festival in a new picture book from Arcadia Publishing. (Movie star Agnes Ayres, crowned queen in 1923, appears on the cover.) The authors say the festival originated when Mayor Sig Steiner suggested a picnic to mark California's admission day to the Union on Sept. 9, 1908, and businessman W.L. Ramney came up with a celebration of the grape as an homage to Escondido vineyards. "A six-car train from San Diego war arranged," they wrote. "So many visitors joined the 1,500 townsfolk that the population doubled for the day." In another title from Arcadia, "Filipinos in San Diego," Judy Patacsil, Rudy Guevarra Jr., Felix Tuyay and the Filipino American National Historical Society review Filipinos' role in shaping San Diego from their arrival as students in 1903 to the exploits of Kim Tuyay, a leading volleyball player, who was named player of the year among San Diego high school athletes in 2000, selected twice for the Junior Olympics team and earned a spot on the NCAA national championship in 2002, when he was on the University of Hawaii team. But as the authors remind us, Filipinos visited the California shores long before that. They were part of a 1587 Spanish expedition that mapped Morro Bay and sailed on the Spanish galleons that crossed the Pacific between the Philippines and Mexico. Once the Philippines became a U.S. territory after the Spanish-American War in 1898, Filipinos traveled to the U.S. to work and study. Pensionados were government-funded students who received scholarships to study in San Diego and other cities. Eleven attended the State Normal School (precursor to San Diego State University), three enrolled at San Diego High School (then called Russ School) and National City High School. A photo in the book shows four of the young men in the first wave in that program. Both books cost $21.99 and are available