Filipino American press

Definition: Newspapers, magazines, and other printed materials published within the United States for Filipino American and Filipino immigrant readers

Significance: Filipino American newspapers and magazines have featured stories not only about Filipinos living in the United States but also about events of interest in the Philippines, demonstrating the desire among many Filipino Americans to stay connected with their ancestral homeland. These publications help foster a sense of community empowerment and collective identity among Americans of Filipino descent.

Since the 1920’s, numerous periodicals have been produced by and for the Filipino American community, providing news of particular interest to Filipino immigrants, while fostering a sense of collective identity and cultural pride. One of the first Filipino American publications, the Philippine Mail, circulated among the immigrant community in California during the 1920’s and 1930’s, providing stories of interest about Filipinos living in the United States and elsewhere.

Newspapers

From his San Francisco garage, Alex Esclamado began publishing The Manila Chronicle, named after a publication banned at the time by dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, in 1961. His weekly publication later became the Philippine News and developed into one of the most widely read Filipino American newspapers in the United States. It provides a broad array of original content dealing with such issues as immigration, health, and culture, as well as news from the Philippines.

In 1972, Libertito Pelayo, a former reporter for The Manila Times, founded the Filipino Reporter, a weekly based in New York City. This paper has provided news and editorials on a variety of subjects, including politics, immigration, sports, and entertainment. The Philippine News and the Filipino Reporter have become the most widely known and distributed Filipino American newspapers, but numerous smaller publications have also served the Filipino American community. Due to California’s large number of Filipino immigrants, the state is home to the majority of these publications, which include the Filipino Guardian, the Asian American People’s Journal, and Manila Mail. Newspapers in other regions include the Filipino-American Bulletin in Washington, D.C., the Hawaii-Filipino Chronicle in Hawaii, The Filipino Express in New Jersey, and Basta Pinoy in Florida. Most Filipino American newspapers also provide online editions, and many are online-only.

Magazines

Although not as numerous as newspapers, several magazines also cater to the Filipino American community. Early examples have included The Republic, published in California between 1924 and 1933, and the Seattle-based The Filipino Forum. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, the most widely known and distributed Filipino American magazine was Filipinas, a monthly based in California that began publication in Ma, 1992. Mona Lisa Yuchengco, the magazine’s founder and a prominent activist in the Filipino American community, claimed during a 2003 interview in the San Francisco Chronicle that she founded the magazine not only because she “wanted Filipinos to have pride in who they were as a people, where they came from, their culture and heritage” but also in order to “pass on that pride to non-Filipinos who wanted to know more about us.” Filipinas offers a wide range of articles dealing with many aspects of Filipino American life, including history, business, entertainment, food, travel, and immigration issues. Another notable magazine is Poptimes, an online-only publication dedicated to covering Filipino American music, with articles, artist bios, album reviews, and concert schedules.

Aaron D. Horton

Further Reading

  • Bautista, Veltisezar. The Filipino Americans from 1763 to the Present: Their History, Culture, and Traditions. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Bookhaus, 1998. 
  • Root, Maria P. P., ed. Filipino Americans: Transformation and Identity. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1997. 
  • Sterngrass, Jon. Filipino Americans (The New Immigrants Series). New York: Chelsea House, 2007. 

See also: Asian American literature; Asian immigrants; Chinese American press; Cultural pluralism; Family businesses; Filipino immigrants; Japanese American press; Television and radio.

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