Celebrating Filipino-American History Month With Filipino Eats Week PDX
Portland, OR October 16, 2017-- In celebration of Filipino-American History Month, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) is organizing the first ever “Filipino Eats Week PDX” during October 22-29th, 2017. This week-long event asks community members to eat at Filipino owned restaurants. They want to bring awareness to the contributions of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans to the Portland community. Organizers say an emphasis will be placed on highlighting the histories of Filipino dishes and the stories of the Filipinos that serve these dishes as a way to discuss Filipino-American history, identity, and experience. For many immigrant communities, food represents an important connection to culture, community, and resistance.
PCHRP draws from the collective resiliency of Filipin(a)o people in the face of colonization, racism, and discrimination. Colonized first by the Spanish and later by the United States in 1898, the Philippines did not gain national independence until 1946. To demonstrate the “savage” nature of the Filipino people and justify US colonization, a tribe of Igorot Indigenous people from the Philippine island of Luzon were “exhibited” at the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exhibition in Portland. The earliest waves of Filipino migration to the US began in the 1900s where laborers primarily worked in salmon canneries, timber forests, and farms. Upon arrival in the Pacific Northwest Filipinos were met with racist backlash; at times they were subject to “mob deportations” such as the Yakima Valley Anti-Filipino Riots of 1927. In Oregon, storefronts routinely posted signs declaring “No Filipinos or Dogs Allowed”. Despite independence as a formal US colony, the Philippines continue to be influenced by the United States political and economic policies.
Organizers of the event highlight the history of Filipinos in America and Filipino-Americans working for social justice. In the Pacific Northwest, acclaimed poet and labor organizer Carlos Bulosan unionized Filipino cannery workers under the International Longshore and Warehouse Union throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Filipino-Americans were also central to the Delano Grape Strike of 1965, partnering with Cesar Chavez to form solidarity across racial lines through the United Farm Workers.
PCHRP organizers are proud to continue in this tradition. They see supporting Filipino-owned restaurants as one way to highlight the achievements and struggles of Filipinos across the globe. Filipino migrants in the United States continue to experience harassment and abuse from employers. It is estimated that out of 4 million Filipino migrants in the US, roughly 1 million are undocumented. Under the Trump administration, the Filipino-American community is under increased threat for targeting by ICE.
PCHRP is a grassroots organization of immigrant youth, students, professionals, workers and allies in support of the Filipino and Filipino-American community. It serves as an outlet for information related to human rights violations against Filipinos in the Philippines and beyond. In Portland, PCHRP organizers have hosted political education discussions, films, guest speakers, panels, and vigils in response to bring attention to the worsening conditions of Filipinos in Portland, the U.S. and in the Philippines.
“Filipinos living in America carry with them generations of resistance, struggle, and strength packaged up in stories not often told. In our culture, food is something that always brings people together. We hope Filipino Eats Week will provide us a venue to connect in our movement across the seas.” - Nikki De Leon, Chairperson of Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines.
Bibingka Cart on Alberta
Filipino Food Cart
2314 NE Alberta St Portland, OR 97211
Vegan Pan-Asian Cuisine
Wednesday - Sunday 3pm-10pm
1628 SW Jefferson Road, Portland, OR 97201
8917 SE Stark St Portland, OR 97216
6014 SE Foster Rd Portland, OR 97206
St. Barbra Bakery
2311 SW 6th Ave, Portland, Or 97201
Tuesday - Saturday 8:30-6:30
Map of Participating Restaurants: https://tinyurl.com/filipinoeatsweekpdx-map
Facebook Event: https://tinyurl.com/filipinoeatsweekpdx