As early as 1912, Mr. Agrifino M. Jaucian, the founder as well as the first president of the Filipino-American Association of Philadelphia, Inc. (FAAPI), started organizing around 200 Filipinos mostly discharged navy personnel who settled in the Philadelphia area. The organization was officially organized in 1917 with the drafting of its constitution and by-laws and became charted in the city of Philadelphia and incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania in 1925. One hundred years ago, the organization felt the need to introduce and preserve the rightful identity of Filipinos as the “brown Malay race” and to present their heritage and traditions to their adopted country and its peoples, who like the Filipinos, left their native lands to become involved in the building an even greater United States of America.
The organization has been at the forefront of historic milestones in Philadelphia’s rich history. FAAPI was designated to represent the new Republic of the Philippines during the July 4 1946 Philippine Independence Day celebration highlighted by a Grand Military Parade from Reyburn Plaza to Independence Hall. FAAPI was the lead organizer of the Filipino community during the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration of U. S. Independence . It started the ever popular dinner-dances among Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. It holds the annual Rizal Dinner Ball (started in the early 1920’s) and coronation of Miss Maria Clara (started in the early 1970’s) every December to commemorate the martyrdom of the Philippines’ greatest hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. The Miss Maria Clara beauty pageant attracts young women to the coveted title depicting the ideal Filipina woman, one with grace and dignity. FAAPI also holds the annual Mother of the Year celebration (started in the 1950’s) to honor motherhood on Mothers Day in May.
FAAPI’s legacy lies in its continuous commitment to promote and propagate of the cultures and traditions of Filipinos and its support to causes relevant to its people. FAAPI actively campaigned for the rightful recognition of Filipino Veterans who fought side-by-side with U.S. soldiers in World War II. It crusades for registering and voting in elections and advocates for the Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in our communities. FAAPI has donated to special causes, such as Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine-based program whose mission is to end poverty in that country.
As an older organization, FAAPI is constantly looking for self-motivated Filipino youth, not only to maintain its rich history as a civic organization, but to provide them with opportunities to give and to understand sacrifice. FAAPI maintains and and continues to explore collaborative partnerships with local student organizations and youth groups. FAAPI continues to develop close partnerships with other non-profit organizations, such as the AARP and the Philadelpha Corporation for the Aging, to provide informational sessions on topics relevant to Filipino seniors.
FAAPI was a recipient of a grant from the City of Philadelphia which was utilized to fund educational activities for its youth group including the FAAPI Dance Troupe and senior citizen group. The FAAPI Dance Troupe gave rise to other dance troupes in the area.
FAAPI will formally unveil to the public this year the long-awaited first-ever Filipino mural on the East Coast of the U.S. FAAPI thanks Philadelphia Mural Arts Program muralist Eliseo Silva for this endeavor.
In the 1970’s, the organization purchased a building at 433 West Girard Avenue in Philadelphia. This building housed the organization and was utilized by other organizations for their meetings and other events. This FAAPI building was the first ever Philippine community center in the Delaware Valley. It was sold in the 1980′s. FAAPI has its long-term objective to reclaim, build, and purchase a new “American Filipino Museum and Cultural Center”, which will provide services to all, most especially to Filipino Philadelphian youth and senior citizens.
FAAPI since its inception has produced 35 presidents. FAAPI and its leaders were honored with a large Presidential Hall of Fame plaque from the City of Philadelphia with the inscription: To those who devoted themselves faithfully and unselfishly for the cause of Philippine heritage identity and recognition among many cultures of nations, and ethnicity in the city of Philadelphia.
FAAPI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.
- Mother of the Year Celebration
Saturday May 11, 12–5 PM
Radisson Hotel Philadelphia Northeast
US Rout 1 and Old Lincoln Hwy.
Trevose, PA 19053
- Filipino-American Mural Dedication
Saturday June 15, 2–5 PM
8426 Bustelton Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19152
- Rizal Ball and Miss Maria Clara 2014
- Mother of the Year Celebration