"Ating Kasaysayan" [Our History]



Lorena Silva takes a walk down memory lane at the Filipino community hall.

Silva was born and raised in the area, and helps run the 60 year old museum.

"I'm probably like the second generation and so I find the community a source of home," said Silva.

For the past month, Silva and other Filipinos in the community have been observing Filipino American History Month.

Governor Jay Inslee signed a proclamation recognizing october as the official month of observation in the state.

"It's sort of like having a reason to celebrate," said hall president Rey Pascua, "And now it's also their responsibility to learn history correctly."

The hall houses a collection of trinkets, photographs and keepsakes passed on from members of the community over the past 100 years.

Filipinos are the byproduct Spanish influences, taking much of their language, dishes and art from the culture -- however, they are also regarded as one of the most westernized nations in the Asian Pacific, due to American presence during wartime.

The first settlers came to the Yakima County area in the 1910's from the Philippines, looking to earn an education -- instead, many settled as farmers.

The first group of settlers faced oppression over the years, much like any other race, before being accepted in the community decades later.

It wasn't until the 50's when the hall was built from the ground up.

The hall was founded in 1952, members say it was one of the first of it's kind in the country, it's motto; preserving the past to enrich the future.

"I remember my father saying this community was built not for [theirselves], but for the future generation," said Silva, "So [we're] Preserving the past and passing it on to the next generation, and the generation after that. "

Governor Jay Inslee is expected to stop by the area tomorrow and meet and greet with some members of the Filipino community.