24 C
Chicago
Saturday, June 19, 2021

First US landing of Filipinos in 1587

|

The First Filipinos landed in California, USA

The first documented Filipinos landed at Morro Bay in Upper California on October 18, 1587. They were part of the Manila Galleon Trade, the Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza, that came from Portuguese Macao en route to Acapulco, Mexico.

Two years before they arrived, Captain Pedro de Unamuno led Manila’s voyage to Acapulco in 1585. Details of his voyage revealed the Filipino landing in Morro Bay.

In 1929, his accounts were translated for the first time in English in Henry Wagner’s Spanish Voyages, published by the California Historical Society.

The “Luzones Indios”

Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed at Homonhon Island, the Philippines, in 1521. It began the colonization of the country and the use of “Indios” (Christian natives of the lowest ranks) as crew for the Spanish exploration.

The Manila galleon takes one or two round-trips each year between the Acapulco and Manila ports. It began sailing in 1565, carrying mostly Chinese goods shipped from Manila.

The goods came from Macao, China, which was leased as a trading post to the Portuguese. Hired as the crew was “Luzones Indios,” or local Filipinos from Luzon. [Keat Gin, p537]

Francisco Gali and Pedro de Unamuno

In 1585, Archbishop Pedro Moya de Contreras, colonial administrator of the “New Spain,” commissioned Francisco Gali to survey the Californian coast. However, Gali died in Manila that year. Pedro de Unamuno, also a sailor, was left with the task.

He was told never to detour in a Portuguese-Chinese territory. However, merchants in Acapulco gave him money to buy goods in China via Macao, China, and forced to detour. [SWHQ, 1918]

A replica of a Spanish Galleon ship, the Andalucia, used in trading from Manila to Mexico, docks in Manila in 2010.

Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza

The Portuguese authorities in Macao seized his two ships, leaving him and his crew trapped in China. The Real Audiencia of Manila sought the arrest of Unamuno for disobedience. Fortunately, two Franciscan priests wanted to return to Mexico.

The priests loaned Captain Unamuno money to buy a small Portuguese-built ship in Macao, christened Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza (Our Lady of Good Hope).

One of the priests was Martín Ignacio de Loyola, nephew of Ignatius of Loyola. They left Macao for Acapulco in mid-July.

Landing at Morro Bay

The ship had problems, forced to land at Morro Bay. The first to meet the natives were Captain Unamuno, with a dozen soldiers. The next day, it was Father Loyola who carried a “cross” with the “Indios Luzones” (local Filipino crew) armed with swords and shields.

The initial attempts to make contact with the local Chumash people (natives of California) were unsuccessful. [Aguilar p26]

After a second landing the next day, Native Americans tried to seize Father Loyola. A Spaniard and a Filipino were killed, others injured. The Galleon left on October 21 to continue its voyage to Acapulco, Mexico.

The next documented landing of Filipino in California was in November 1595. The Manila Galleon San Agustin wrecked at Point Reyes along the California coast.

In the latter half of the 18th century, Filipinos began to settle in what would become part of the continental United States. [Coast of Dreams, p158] 

california plaque

Historical landmark in Morro Bay

In 1929, Captain Unamuno’s voyage from Manila to Acapulco and of his discovery of California was translated into English in Henry Wagner’s Spanish Voyages, published by the California Historical Society.

On 21 October 1995, a stone monument was placed at Coleman Park, Morro Bay to commemorate the events of 1587. As a result, the Filipino American History Month of October is celebrated.

The resolution was passed by the US House of Representatives (Resolution 780) on September 29, 2010, and the US Senate (Resolution 298) on October 5, 2011.

History of Filipino migrants in USA.

Filipino-Americans are considered the largest population in California.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Top 12 HVAC Companies in Chicago Suburbs

Most popular HVAC Heating and Cooling Companies in Chicago Suburbs Chicago's top HVAC services reviews are based on Google and...

Pinoy Yuka Saso Wins U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic

Filipino-Japanese Yuka Saso wins U.S. Women's Open at Olympic Yuka Saso of the Philippines wins U.S. Women's Open at the...

Brandon Tatum BBC interview: No racism in America?

Blexit Ex-Police Brandon Tatum BBC interview claims, there's no racism in America Ridiculous as it sounds, ex-police officer Brandon Tatum,...

News Blunder: Flowers of “Meghan and Harry’s funeral?”

Australia's News 9 reporter mistakenly said, wreath for Prince Philip done by florist, who did the "Flowers of Meghan...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Must read

Top 12 HVAC Companies in Chicago Suburbs

Most popular HVAC Heating and Cooling Companies in Chicago...

Pinoy Yuka Saso Wins U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic

Filipino-Japanese Yuka Saso wins U.S. Women's Open at Olympic Yuka...

Brandon Tatum BBC interview: No racism in America?

Blexit Ex-Police Brandon Tatum BBC interview claims, there's no...

News Blunder: Flowers of “Meghan and Harry’s funeral?”

Australia's News 9 reporter mistakenly said, wreath for Prince...

Pros and Cons of Liberal Progressive Laws in Democrat States

Pros and Cons of Five Worst Progressive Liberal Laws...
laminine usa
construction philippines
- Advertisement -

More stories for youRELATED
Recommended to you