Add some of these wonderful titles by and about Filipinos & Filipino Americans to your celebration of Filipino American History Month! October 18, 1587, marks the first known arrival of Filipinos to the continental United States and, in 2009, the US Congress officially recognized Filipino American History Month for the first time. While it became a national holiday in 2009, many organizations, local and state governments throughout the country have celebrated the history, achievements, and legacy of Filipino Americans in October for many years. Check out the links at the bottom of the page to discover more ways to honor the rich cultural heritage of Filipino Americans. 

All titles are available through the Debra S Fish Early Childhood Resource Library, a branch of the St. Paul Public Library. If you’d like more title recommendations, our librarian would be happy to help! Please contact Jennie at  

Children’s Titles: 

When lola visits (Age Focus: 1 – 6 years) 

When Lola Visits

For one young girl, summer is the season of no school, of days spent at the pool, and of picking golden limes off the trees. But summer doesn’t start until her lola–her grandmother from the Philippines–comes for her annual visit. When Lola visits, the whole family gathers to cook and eat and share in their happiness of another season spent together. From the publisher 

Keep dancing (Age Focus: 5 – 7 years) 

Keep Dancing

Lito and his twin sister, Nenita, plan to perform a Filipino folk dance at their school’s spring festival, but when snickering classmates threaten to derail his confidence, Lito learns to dig deep and keep dancing. From the publisher 

Is it a mermaid? (Age Focus: 3 – 7 years) 

Is it a Mermaid?

Set in the Philippines, this picture book is about a very magical dugong who thinks she’s a mermaid. From the publisher 

Cora cooks pancit (Age Focus: 5 – 8 years) 

Cora Cooks Pansit

When all her older siblings are away, Cora’s mother finally lets her help make pancit, a Filipino noodle dish. Includes recipe for pancit. From the publisher 

Lakas and the Manilatown fish (Age Focus: 6 – 8 years) 

Lakas and the Manilatown Fish (Age Focus: 6 – 8 years) 

A boy, his father, and an increasing number of people rush through the streets of San Francisco’s historic Filipino American neighborhood, Manilatown, in pursuit of a fish that can talk and jump and play. From the publisher 

English/Tagalog bilingual edition 

Adult’s Titles: 

Love you: Poems 

Love You Poems

Sarah Gambito explores the recipe as poetic form and a mode of resistance. Through the inclusion of real recipes that she and her family cook from, she brings readers to the table, not only to enjoy the bounty of her poems but, slyly, to consider the ways in which Filipino Americans, and people of color in general, are assailed and fetishized. In addition, the book explores the manifold ways that poetry can nourish and provide for us. From the publisher 

Never have I ever  

Never Have I Ever

“Am I dead?” Mebuyen sighs. She was hoping the girl would not ask. Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales: the magic in Isabel Yap’s debut collection jumps right off the page, from the joy in her new novella, “A Spell for Foolish Hearts” to the terrifying tension of the urban legend “Have You Heard the One About Anamaria Marquez.” From the publisher 

I was their American dream: A graphic memoir 

I was their American Dream

“I Was Their American Dream is at once a coming-of-age story and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children. The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents’ ideals, learning to code-switch between her family’s Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid. Malaka Gharib’s triumphant graphic memoir brings to life her teenage antics and illuminates earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised. Malaka’s story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.” From the publisher 

In the country 

In the Country

“A powerful, globe-trotting debut short-story collection from an exciting new writer–vivid, character-driven stories about Filipinos from every walk of life… Exploring the universal experience of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined, In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home.” From the publisher 

Home bound: Filipino lives across cultures, communities, and countries [available through MNLink instead of SPPL] 

Espiritu deftly weaves vivid first-person narratives with larger social and historical contexts as she discovers the meaning of home, community, gender, and intergenerational relations among Filipinos. Among other topics, she explores the ways that female sexuality is defined in contradistinction to American mores and shows how this process becomes a way of opposing racial subjugation in this country. She also examines how Filipinos have integrated themselves into the American workplace and looks closely at the effects of colonialism. From the publisher 

Online Resources: 

Filipino American History Month – October 2022 – FANHS ( The Filipino American National Historical Society announces the theme for this year’s Filipino American History Month, highlights important anniversaries in Filipino American history, and provides some tips on how to celebrate  

Filipino Tradition and Parenting According to a Child Development Coach ( Hear from early childhood expert Bloss Villafuerte as she discusses Filipino traditions, what gentle parenting is and how it aligns with Filipino values, and how this parenting style impacts children 

10 Ways to Celebrate Filipino American History Month — Google Arts & Culture: Jumpstart your celebration of Filipino American History Month with this quick guide from Google, including historical info about the commemorative month and important Filipino Americans 

Food, Crafts, and Fun to Celebrate Filipino American History Month | CAMP: Discover fun ways to celebrate while learning more about the culture  

Filipino Plastic Bag Kite : 4 Steps (with Pictures) – Instructables: Learn how to make a simple, authentic Filipino plastic bag kite 

Tinikling Facts, Worksheets, Origin & Story Behind For Kids ( Tinikling is the Philippines’ national dance and is a traditional folk dance that originated during the Spanish colonial era. 

By Jennie Walker Knoot