Filipino American History Month: Non-Fiction

Updated: November 2, 2022

These non-fiction books provide insights into some of the history and contributions of Filipino Americans.

Book cover for Arnis : history and development of the Filipino martial arts
Arnis : history and development of the Filipino martial arts
Call Number: 796.35 A7495

An overview of Philippino martial arts, traditions, culture and techniques.

Book cover for Big little man : in search of my Asian self
Big little man : in search of my Asian self
Tizon, Alex.
Call Number: 301.45095 T625

Pulitzer Prize winning author Alex Tizon reveals the innermost feelings and thoughts of Asian American males. His own personal story of immigrating from his place of birth, Manila, adds extra dimensions to this narrative.

Book cover for Bound by war : how the United States and the Philippines built America's first Pacific century
Bound by war : how the United States and the Philippines built America's first Pacific century
Capozzola, Christopher
Call Number: 355.7 C246

In 1898 U.S. troops occupied the Philippines. Since that time there have been many Filipinos who have served alongside U.S. armed forces. The Philippines were used as a military base of operation for U.S. involvement in other parts of Asia. Both countries influenced the other as thousands of Filipinos came to America.

Book cover for Corazon Aquino and the brushfire revolution
Corazon Aquino and the brushfire revolution
Reid, Robert H.
Call Number: 991.4 R357

When Corazon Aquino, widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno Aquino, became President of the Philippines in 1986, she brought with her great hope, as powered by the concept of "the people power revolution." There were many years of corrupt leadership under the Marcos' regime, therefore Cory Aquino faced monumental challenges to improve the lives of her people.


Book cover for Empire's mistress, starring Isabel Rosario Cooper
Empire's mistress, starring Isabel Rosario Cooper
Gonzalez, Vernadette Vicuña, 1973-
Call Number: 899.211092 G643

Isabel Rosario Cooper was a vaudville and film actress, who was also the mistress of General Douglas MacArthur. This biography documents the actress' life as she moved from the Philippines to Washington, D.C., where she died penniless. The author goes beyond biography as she examines the time in which Cooper lived that was a part of American colonialism in the Philippines.

Book cover for Filipinos in Carson and the South Bay
Filipinos in Carson and the South Bay
Ibanez, Florante Peter.
Call Number: 301.4509914 I12

Filipinos settled in Carson in the 1920s seeking jobs as farmworkers, U.S. military recruits, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, and other types of work. "Carson is recognized nationally as a Filipino American destination for families and businesses, and is very much connected to the island homeland."

Book cover for Filipinos in Hollywood
Filipinos in Hollywood
Montoya, Carina Monica.
Call Number: 301.4509914 M798

Going back to the 1920s, Filipinos wanted to work in Hollywood, but they would be marginalized for other types of jobs: waiters, busboys, dishwashers, cooks, houseboys, janitors and chauffeurs. In these positions, they worked at major restaurants, in the homes of the rich and famous, who were part of the Hollywood entertainment industry. For many, many years, Filipinos were "the least documented Asians in Hollywood."  Eventually many of them rose up in the ranks of the entertainment industry and recognized for their ability and talent.


Book cover for Filipinos in Los Angeles
Filipinos in Los Angeles
Koerner, Mae Respicio.
Call Number: 301.4509914 K78

 Los Angeles is home to the largest Filipino community outside of the Philippines. The early influx in the 1920s were predominantly men who had jobs in service-oriented work. Filipino Americans are now part of all aspect of life in Los Angeles, contributing to many types of professions.


Book cover for Filipinos in Ventura County
Filipinos in Ventura County
Tayag, Elnora Kelly.
Call Number: 301.4509914 T236

In the 1920s Filipino immigrants came to Ventura County and worked as farm laborers in work camps, such as the Arneill Ranch and Springville Ranch in Camarillo. "They organized early societies like the Filipino Brotherhood Association of Ventura County, the Jordan Lodge 604 Legionarios del Trabajo, the Caballeros de Dimas Alang, the Filipino Optimist Club, and the Filipino Community of Ventura County. During World War II, Filipinos served in the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army. The omnipresence of the U.S. Navy in coastal Ventura prodded many second- and third-generation Filipinos to serve their country in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the Persian Gulf. Today the same spirit of community engagement is illustrated in the 26 local Filipino organizations all under the umbrella of the Filipino American Council, which celebrates history, community, and culture."

Book cover for Frontline: A Thousand Cuts
Frontline: A Thousand Cuts
Call Number: DVD 070.092 R435Di

This Frontlinedocumentary covers the journalist Maria Ressa and three other colleagues who bravely created Rappler in 2012. In 2016, this publication grabbed the attention of the Duterte-led Phlippine government, and what followed were detrimental consequences for freedom of speech, the press and the personal safety of the journalists.

Nobel Peace Prize 2021, along with Dimitry Muratov, "for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia."

Book cover for Los Angeles's Historic Filipinotown
Los Angeles's Historic Filipinotown
Montoya, Carina Monica.
Call Number: 979.41 L881Mont

August 2, 2002, the Los Angeles City Council designated District 13, as Filipinotown. "It is the first Filipino community in America to merit a named area with distinct geographic boundaries. Also known as the Temple-Beverly Corridor, this area is located just west of central downtown. Historic Filipinotown was once home to one of the largest Filipino enclaves in California, a place where many Filipinos purchased their first homes, raised families, and established businesses. The cultural continuity of Filipino families and businesses in the corridor in the 21st century inspired the collective efforts of Filipino organizations, Los Angeles community leaders, and individuals working in concert to establish Historic Filipinotown and maintain its vibrant culture."

Book cover for Mixed plate : chronicles of an All-American combo
Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo
Koy, Jo
Call Number: 812.092 K885

The irreverent and hilarious memoirs of comedian Jo Koy, who grew up as a half-Filipino and half-white kid, and became a successful performer.

Book cover for Musical renderings of the Philippine nation
Musical renderings of the Philippine nation
Castro, Christi-Anne.
Call Number: 789.99 C355

The book encompasses music, performance and cultural references from the Filipino-American War to the 1998 Centennial celebrating indepdendence from Spain. The author has done archival research and ethnographic fieldwork.that pays homage to the country's "hybrid entity within a global community."

Book cover for The Philippines : what everyone needs to know
The Philippines : what everyone needs to know
Rood, Steven
Call Number: 991.4 R776

Steven Rood is a scholar of the Pacific Island Nations and the Philippines, and in this study provides pertinent and accurate information about the country's history, geography, culture, economy, politics, government and geopolitics.

Book cover for White House doctor : behind the scenes with the Clinton and Bush families
White House doctor : behind the scenes with the Clinton and Bush families
Mariano, Connie, 1955-
Call Number: 973.929 M333

For nine years Dr. Connie Mariano was the White House doctor during the presidencies of George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton and George W. Bush. As a doctor, and a doctor who had a very special assignment, she does not reveal private information about her former patients. She was able to travel all over the world and took care of visiting dignitaries and members of the First Family. The doctor will regale readers with fun-filled episodes such as spending a night on the yacht of Queen Elizabeth.