HB 1787

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by House Committee On:

State Government & Tribal Relations

Title: An act relating to establishing Filipino American history month.

Brief Description: Establishing Filipino American history month.

Sponsors: Representatives Chandler, Santos, Appleton, Hudgins, Jinkins, Lovick, Tarleton, Dufault, Pellicciotti, Ormsby, Valdez and Frame.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

State Government & Tribal Relations: 2/6/19, 2/13/19 [DP].

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Declares October of each year to be Filipino American History Month.


Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 9 members: Representatives Gregerson, Chair; Pellicciotti, Vice Chair; Walsh, Ranking Minority Member; Goehner, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Appleton, Dolan, Hudgins, Mosbrucker and Smith.

Staff: Jason Zolle (786-7124).


In 1991 the Filipino American National Historical Society (Society) proposed the first Filipino American History Month to be celebrated in October 1992. The Society chose October because historians had concluded that October 18, 1587, was the earliest documented proof of Filipino presence in the continental United States.

One or both houses of the Legislature passed resolutions in each year since 2010 to celebrate the anniversary of Filipino presence in the United States in October or to particularly recognize Filipino veterans.

As of the 2010 census, Washington is home to the fifth-largest Filipino population in the United States, and Filipino Americans are the largest Asian Pacific American population in the state. The census documented 137,083 people of Filipino descent alone or in any combination living in Washington.

In 2000 Washington declared May of each year to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.


Summary of Bill:

The state declares that October of each year is Filipino American History Month.


Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) In the past decade, the Legislature has recognized the Filipino American community almost every year. This bill will create an ongoing recognition of the state's relationship with the Filipino American community and make the history month permanent. Ten cities and four counties around the state have declared October as Filipino American History Month. There is a rich history of Filipino presence in the United States and in Washington. Many Filipinos were farmers all over the state, but it was not until a 1941 Washington Supreme Court decision that they were allowed to own land. It is important to be constantly reminded of history so we can learn from past mistakes. This bill will serve as a reminder to those in America who need to be reminded of the hard work and sacrifices of their predecessors.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Representative Chandler, prime sponsor; Reynaldo Pascua, Filipino American Community of Yakima Valley and Filipino American National Historical Society; Allen Acosta, Filipino America Association of South Puget Sound; Tom Silva and Geoffrey Baker, Filipino American Community of Yakima Valley; and Pio DeCano, Filipino American National Historical Society.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.