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On July 31st – August 2nd, 2014 the San Diego Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) will host its 15th Biennial National Conference at the Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island. We anticipate up to 500 attendees, including scholars, artists, writers, students, workshop presenters, and community leaders from throughout the nation.

Since the establishment of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) in 1982, these conferences have provided leadership in academic research, community development, student advocacy, and most importantly the recognition of Filipino American contributions to the historical fabric of the United States. FANHS was established to promote understanding, education, enlightenment, appreciation, and enrichment through the identification, gathering, preservation, and dissemination of Filipino American history and culture. Furthermore, FANHS members have published many books over the years to highlight the communities represented by our 30 National Chapters, including Filipinos in San Diego – Images of America.

The 2014 conference theme is “KAPWA: Moving Forward in Unity.” Throughout our communities there are many different organizations that represent social, cultural, civic, educational, political, and regional interests. KAPWA: Moving Forward in Unity is meant to encourage Filipino Americans to develop a collective consciousness and work together on issues that benefit not only the Filipino community but the community at large.

FANHS understands the importance of Filipino Americans moving forward in unity. “Kapwa” refers to an indigenous and decolonized term which means shared identity. The core value of kapwa encompasses:

  1. interaction with others on an equal basis;
  2. sensitivity to and regard for others
  3. respect and concern;
  4. helping each other;
  5. understanding each other’s limitations; and
  6. rapport with and acceptance of others.

Highlights of the FANHS 2014 Conference proceedings include notable speakers Assembly Member Rob Bonta, Dr. Connie Mariano, author and former physician to the U.S. Presidents; and Dr. Leny Strobel, writer. In addition, we will feature a historical tour of San Diego, a Filipino American authors’ reception, over 70 presentations, round-table discussions and workshops, a tribute to the late Dr. Fred Cordova (the founding FANHS President and the father of Filipino American History Month), and a Gala Dinner with a program, silent auction, and dance.


The history of Filipinos coming to the port of San Diego began centuries earlier when Filipinos sailed on the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade ships dating back to the 1500’s. Mindful of these significant sailings and the core value of kapwa, as FANHS comes to San Diego we will examine our history, our struggles, and our shared and different identities. With our FANHS 2014 National Conference, we will move our communities forward in unity.