Filipinos are the fastest-growing ethnic minority in Hawaii, due to continued immigration from the Philippines and high birth rates in the Filipino community. Some 3,500 immigrants from the Philippines, mostly children, come to Hawaii every year. Nationally, Filipinos are second only to Chinese in terms of Asian immigration to the United States. There are approximately 2.5 million Filipinos in the United States, not counting the undocumented.
The Filipino culture has had a significant impact on Hawaii's culture and society. The Filipino Festival and May Blossoms is the largest Filipino festival in Hawaii, held in May every year. It includes traditional Filipino songs, dances, food, games, entertainment and activities and is open to the public free of charge. One of the most notable aspects of Filipino culture in Hawaii is the influence on local cuisine.
Filipino dishes such as adobo, pancit and lumpia have become popular staple foods in Hawaiian food culture. The unique blend of flavors and spices in Filipino cuisine has added a new dimension to the culinary landscape of the islands. Many local restaurants and food trucks now specialize in Filipino cuisine, attracting both locals and tourists. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, thousands of Filipinos in Hawaii suffered discrimination and were interned.
Filipinos in Hawaii have brought with them a deep sense of unity and support that continues to shape the social fabric of the islands. Many Filipinos born and raised in Hawaii feel ashamed to be Filipinos, using terms such as “bukbok”, “pinoy” and “flip”. Hawaii became the 50th state in the United States, granting equal rights and opportunities to all its residents, including the Filipino community. We know from naturalization records that there were Filipinos who naturalized as Hawaiian subjects in the 1850s and that there were Filipinos in the Royal Hawaiian Band.
The vast majority of Hawaii's Filipino community, at least 85 percent, are Ilokanos from northern Luzon, whose native language is Ilokano. Their participation demonstrated the strong connection and solidarity between the Filipino community of Hawaii and their homeland. There are no wealthy Filipinos in Hawaii, unlike other ethnic groups, such as Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. The history of Filipinos in Hawaii dates back to the late 19th century when the first wave of immigrants arrived on the islands.
Wilcox had even thought of forming a battalion of Hawaiian volunteers to go to the Philippines to support Filipinos in their quest for recognition of their independence from Spain and the United States. The family is at the center of Filipino culture, and this is evident in the strong sense of community and close relationships that exist within this community today. Filipinos may have been in Hawaii at about the same time that Japanese and Chinese merchants began arriving during Kamehameha I's reign due to Spanish trade (in particular Manila galleon trade). Additionally, Filipino professors at University of Hawaii at Manoa are underrepresented compared to their classification within state population - especially tenured or continuing education professors.
So what are some popular cultural activities among Filipinos living in Hawaii? The Filipino Festival and May Blossoms is one such event that celebrates traditional Filipino songs, dances, food, games, entertainment and activities - open to all for free! Additionally, many local restaurants now specialize in Filipino cuisine - offering a unique blend of flavors and spices that have added a new dimension to Hawaiian food culture. The family is also an important part of Filipino culture - evident through strong sense of community among Filipinos living in Hawaii. This sense of unity has been passed down through generations - continuing to shape social fabric of islands today. In conclusion, it's clear that Filipinos have left an indelible mark on Hawaiian history - through their cultural activities such as festivals and cuisine - as well as their strong sense of unity within their community.