NewsCovering Kern County


Community leader speaks about knowing your history during Filipino American History Month

Posted at 8:01 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 23:01:29-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — October is National Filipino American History Month and while it is important to celebrate many Filipino Americans are taking a moment to remember their history.

It was in Delano where Larry Itliong a Filipino farmworker organized to convince the grape workers at the Filipino hall to strike. His courage empowered a movement that hasn’t let up yet.

“Coming here in the civil rights movement where there was so much movement so much action folks really asserting their rights and their power to change their future. You know I was so happy to be part of that,” said Cynthia Bonta a member of the Board of Directors of Central Valley Empowerment Alliance.

The Board of Directors of Central Valley Empowerment Alliance where is working to uplift Filipino, Yemen, and Mexican communities.

Bonta said seeing Itliong work in the 60s really inspired her.

“He really saw that by raising wages for farmworkers that was his way of resisting the impact of capitalism he knew it was impacting agricultural workers,” said Bonta.

Bonta said she wants to use this Filipino Heritage Month to educate more people about its importance.

“I’m very concerned about the younger generation they don’t know who Larry Itliong is,” said Bonta.

Bonta knows the importance of preserving your history and thinks more people should be aware of it.

“It’s very important for them to know their history in the United States even those that are new immigrants they only know history from the Philippines, but they should understand the history and experience of Filipino immigrants,” said Bonta.

Bonta said that in knowing your history comes understanding.

“If they know who they are they’ll respect other people’s identities and that’s important right now,” said Bonta.

This year Bonta plans to celebrate Filipino American History Month by continuing to organize, for her the work is never done.