Filipino-Texan Resources In Special Collections
The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) has designated October as Filipino American History Month. Through this observance, FANHS hopes to promote the study of Filipino American history and culture. In accordance with their wishes, we call attention to our holdings relating to the Filipino community in Texas.
Many of the items were acquired by UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures research staff as they were preparing an exhibit on the Filipino Texans. The exhibit opened in 1985 and remained on view for almost a decade. In addition to a small group of artifacts, much of the exhibit consisted of photographs and biographical sketches of prominent members of the community. The research material used in compiling the text panels is available in our vertical files. One file that is of particular interest is that of Francisco Flores, the first documented Filipino Texan. Flores was a commercial fisherman on the Texas coast in the late 1840s, and perhaps earlier. The file contains photocopies of documents from the Flores family papers and a biographical sketch of him by his great-granddaughter. Flores may have been the only Filipino resident in Texas in the 19th century. There is a sad note in his biography. Shortly before Flores died in Rockport at 108, he regretted never seeing another Filipino after he left the Philippines.
Below we feature a few examples of some of our Filipino-Texan photographic holdings that were acquired from various sources. Some of the older images were copied from private collections. Other, more recent, photographs were taken at special events where Filipino Texans perform their traditional dances and serve their native foods.