by Evangeline Canonizado Buell, Evelyn Luluquisen, Lillian Galedo, Eleanor Hipol Luis & the FANHS East Bay Chapter
Filipinos are a community nearly 2.5-million strong in the United States in 2007. At the turn of the 20th century, the first wave of Filipino migration began, continuing until the start of World War II. During this time span, sponsored students, veterans of the Philippine-American War and their families, and young men recruited in the Philippines to serve in the U.S. military or work in California and Hawaii's expanding agricultural industries would all arrive in the United States. On the San Francisco Bay Area's eastern shore, Filipino presence in the labor force transitioned with the region's economic and social evolution from mainly farm and service laborers to industrial workers to professional, administrative, and service workers. Today the East Bay is a vibrant center of the Filipino community's deeply rooted and rich cultural, political, and economic life.