To this day, people of Filipino and Mexican backgrounds have similar cultures in a way. They are seen and heard through their language, their attitudes, and their culture seen in television, media, food, and religious faiths. But while that may be, the similarity of the culture and background between Filipinos and Mexicans shows a connection between the two based on some factors. One being that the Filipinos had a connection with the Spaniards during the time when the Spaniards took over the Philippines, the revolutionary war between the Filipinos and the Spaniards, the pronunciation of certain words in the Tagalog and Spanish language, and the behavior, attitudes, and beliefs that are shared between Filipinos and Mexicans.



  1. The Philippine Revolution
  2. 1900s to 1940s – The U.S. Immigration of Filipinos and World War II
  3. Filipinos in the 1960s, 1970s, and Now
  4. Behavior, Culture, Language, and Other Similarities Shared Between Filipinos and Latinos
  5. A Summary and Conclusion
  6. Annotated Bibliography

1. The Philippine Revolution

In the late 1590’s, the Spaniards began their rule in the Philippines. During those times, the Spaniards influenced the Filipinos with their culture, especially with the religion of the Roman-Catholic faith. But as it may be, the Filipinos saw the abuse of power within the colonial rule of the Spanish. When tensions between the Spaniards and the Filipinos were strains due to the Spaniard’s abuse of power, the Filipino clergy saw nothing but corruption of “the Spanish monopoly of the Roman Catholic church” (“Philippine Revolution” 1). In the year 1872, there came the Cavite Mutiny. The Cavite Mutiny was a day that was meant for the deaths of three Filipino priests — José Burgos, Mariano Gómez, and Jacinto Zamora. With their deaths, this gave the Filipinos “an excuse for renewed Spanish repression” (1). In other words, it was the time for the Filipinos to rise up against the Spaniards for the oppression they had faced while under their rule. In due time, rebellions were created against the Spaniards with “a wave of anti-Spanish sentiment” (1). 

Filipinos during the Philippine Revolution. (Link:

As the Philippine Revolution was rising, there came significant figures that lead the way for Filipino independence. In order to highly motivate the Filipinos to fight for Filipino independence, a significant figure by the name of Dr. José Rizal showed the Filipinos the “corruption of the Manila Spanish society” (“Philippine Revolution” 2). After Rizal was captured and executed by the Spaniards, the mantle of leadership was passed onto Emilio Aguinaldo. Although his leadership skills were moot which resulted in the Spaniards dominating the rebellion and Aguinaldo and his forces faced exile. But in 1898, the U.S. intervened and the Spanish were pushed back and the colonial rule of the Spaniards in the Philippines had dissolved. After a certain period, the Filipinos later fought for independence against the U.S. but later lost. From this, Aguinaldo called for all Filipinos to “cease fighting and accept U.S. sovereignty” (2).

Left: José Rizal (Link:

Right: Emilio Aguinaldo (Link:

2. 1900s to 1940s — The U.S. Immigration of Filipinos and World War II

After the war between the United States and the Philippines, the Philippines was one of the colonies under the rule of the United States. This is specifically due to the “cultural Americanization of the Philippine population” (Becker et al. 4). Since then, the Filipino immigration rates to the U.S. was increasing at a meager rate. At that time, Filipinos came to Hawaii to work at its sugar plantations; Alaska working as fishermen catching salmon; and California working in its agricultural fields. When World War II was came, the Philippines became allies with the U.S. in the fight against the Japanese. In turn, some Filipinos who served during World War II were rewarded the chance to immigrate to the U.S. for their dedication in working with the United States and fighting against the Japanese. In 1946, more than 100,000 Filipinos (Roces 3) migrated to the United States. 

Filipinos during World War II. They are preparing for the war in Luzon, Philippines. (Link:

Prior to World War II, the Filipinos that migrated to the United States were mostly consisted of males. From this, it meant that they were barred from marrying white females (Roces 3) due to laws that prevented Filipinos from starting an interracial marriage and family. This resulted in Filipino males marrying a woman of a different race in order to start a family. Those laws that barred them from doing so were later dissolved after World War II. Although, the flow of Filipino immigrants coming to the United States came to a halt due to the Luce-Celler Act of 1946. But after 44 years, the immigration rate for Filipinos coming to the United States rose up once again when the Immigration Act of 1990 was passed. At that point in 1946, the colonization of the U.S. in the Philippines that happened after the Philippine-American War later brought in “the era of globalization” (Becker et. al 3). In other words, a significant influence of Filipinos soon came to the United States once the war was over.

Left: Filipino-Americans living their lives in Hollywood during the 1940s. (Link:

Right: A Filipino family during the 1990s. (Link:

3. Filipinos in the 1960s, 1970s, and Now

Twenty years after World War II and after the immigration rates of Filipinos had significantly dropped, Filipinos faced high rates of hate and racism along with the Mexicans who did so. In time, those Filipinos were a part of the Civil Rights Movement and began to combat against racism and oppression. A specific example would be the Filipinos that faced the same racism that the Mexicans did in Delano, California over the lower wages that they received. Soon, they too were a part of the Civil Rights Movement and fought back against the oppression they faced. In the 1980s, the population of Filipinos in the United States increased due to two factors: one factor being that Filipinos migrated to a different country, then migrated to the United States under their citizenship of the country they migrated to prior to coming to the United States. Then, in the 1990s, the rate of immigration between the Philippines and the United States increased once the Immigration Act of 1990 was passed. With that, the Filipino population in the United States increased. Today, there is a total of “over 3 million Filipinos in the United States” (Roces 4).

Left: Larry Itliong, leader of the AFL-CIO.
Middle: Filipino farm workers protesting.
Right: A Filipino protestor.

During the Delano Grape Strike in the 1960s to the 1970s, Larry Itliong made history with his alliance and connection to the Latinos that protested during the Delano Grape Strike by working alongside with Cesar Chavez and leading the Filipino farm workers to equal civil rights and an end to the discrimination that the Filipino and Latino workers faced in Delano. Itliong was the head of the AFL-CIO — Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee — and the co-founder of the NFWA — National Farm Workers Association. In one moment that was recalled by a certain individual during his youth, his father participated in a meeting called by Itliong. According to Guillermo, he stated from that individual account, “He recalled watching his father, Bob – a Filipino laborer – make the motion to strike in the meeting called by Iltiong, then the head of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AFL-CIO)” (3). From this meeting that was called upon by Itliong, they started their protests which soon caught the attention of Cesar Chavez. At that point, Itliong and the NFWA soon made an alliance with Cesar Chavez and later created the United Farm Workers Union. From this collusion, this event “brought together Filipinos and Mexicans,” (Guillermo 5) and made the protest movement a greater force against their oppressors.

Cesar Chavez, left, and Larry Itliong, right. (Link:

4. Behavior, Culture, Language, and Other Similarities Shared Between Filipinos and Latinos

As it may be, there is a connection between Filipinos and Latinos on some levels. One shared factor is that “80% of U.S. immigrants migrate from Asian Pacific or Latin American countries” (Tseng and Fuligni 2). Another factor being that there is a conflict in some Latino and Filipino families in which children and adolescents would get into conflicts due to the usage of English in conversations between family members. According to Tseng and Fuligni, it is shown that “adolescents who preferred English and who were less proficient in their parents’ native Spanish or Asian Pacific languages also reported greater conflict with their parents” (4). On the contrary, there are some Latino and Filipino families that have no conflicts over the usage between their native language and English. This is the case for that type of family since those types of parents “have close relationships with their English-speaking children” (5). According to a study by Tseng and Fuligni, there is a balance between the Filipino and Latino families that speak both their native language and English. Specifically, 20% percent of Filipinos and 21% of Mexicans speak both of their native languages and English. (Tseng and Fuligni 16). 

Another connecting factor between Filipinos and Latinos are the words that are shared in the Spanish language. Specifically, both sides share the same pronunciation in numbers, foods, and other words. The only different being how their spelled. For example, calle (“street” in Spanish) would translate to kalye in Tagalog; sayote — an edible vegetable — would translate to chayote in Tagolog. In terms of grammar and spelling, an example from Tagolog is the word gusto which has the same roots as the Spanish verb gustar which means “to like”. The only difference between Tagolog and Spanish is how they’re used based on grammar and spelling. According to Erazo, the mix of Spanish and Tagalog resulted in the idea of Filipino Spanish which “contains many Mexican Spanish words of Nahuatl” (4). The Catholic is shared by both Filipinos and Latinos alike. The reason being that “Filipinos and Latinos really love baby Jesus” (8). Finally, there are some last common last names shared between Filipinos and Mexicans — Santos, Reyes, Cruz, Garcia, Mendoza (Erazo 8), and other last names.

An example of a Mexican-Filipino family would be the Latino popstar and singer, Enrique Iglesias (left), whose mom, Isabel Preslyer, is a Filipina (middle) and dad, Julio Iglesias Sr., is of Spanish descent (right).

Left photo:

Middle photo:

Right photo:

5. A Summary and Conclusion

From the late 1590s, the Spanish colonized the islands of the Philippines and later created the Asian versions of themselves — Filipinos. That being said, the influence of the Philippines was became another version of Spain which was later colonized by the United States after two revolutionary wars. In turn, the presence of Filipinos in the United States rose once some people made their way through to the United States. But after World War II and the 1990’s, Filipinos made themselves more known in the United States and show to the Latinos that were present in the United States as well. Today, the connection between Filipinos and Latinos still grows because of the Spanish colonization and American colonization.

6. Annotated Bibliography

Becker, Gay, et al. “IMMIGRATING FOR STATUS IN LATE LIFE: Effects of Globalization on Filipino American Veterans.” 3rd ed., vol. 14, Elsevier Science Publishing Company, Inc., Sep. 2000. EBSCO Host, Accessed 24 March 2019.

The authors bring the readers statistics and and summaries of Filipino veterans that immigrated to the US after World War II. That being said, Becker and the following authors will mention how lives were for the Filipinos ever since they immigrated to the US; what they had done during their time here in the US; and much more. This source will be used to show what Filipino veterans had done ever since they immigrated to the US and lived their lives here. Moreover, I will use this source to prove a connection between Filipinos and Mexicans. Gay Becker and the following authors are all professors from the University of California, San Francisco. 

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Philippine Revolution.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 5 Aug. 2016, Accessed 17 March 2019.

This article summarizes the whole story of the Philippine Revolution and how the Philippines came to be under the colonial rule of the Spanish and the rule of the United States afterwards. Specifically, the article mentions critical events and figures that led up the Philippine Revolution, such as the Cavite Mutiny, Dr. Jose Rizal, and other topics. This article will be used to discuss the history between the Filipinos and the Latinos in the late 1590s, how the Spanish culture came to terms with the Philippines and its inhabitants, and what exactly made the Filipinos what they are based on their culture and background. The Britannica has been the major hub for historical topics and figures by giving a summary of those topics.

Erazo, Vanessa. “10 Reasons Why Latinos and Filipinos Are Primos.” Remezcla, 2015, Accessed 17 March 2019.

Vanessa Erazo gives a quick rundown and correlation to why Filipinos are the Asian counterparts of Latinos. In doing so, she compares Filipinos to Latinos based on the language, religion, food, culture, and other factors that are shared between the two. This source is used to better support the connection between Filipinos and Latinos and explain why they are connected. Vanessa Erazo is a film and TV Editor for Remezcla — a news hub for entertainment and media regarding Latinos in films, television, music, and social media.

Guillermo, Emil. “Eclipsed by Cesar Chavez, Larry Itliong’s Story Now Emerges.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 8 Sept. 2015, asian-america/eclipsed-cesar-chavez-larry-itliongs-story-now-emerges-n423336. Accessed 24 March 2019.

Emil Guillermo raises the history and persona of Larry Itliong, a leader for the Filipino farm workers who protested for the same goal that Cesar Chavez wanted for him and the Mexican farm workers — equal civil rights and higher pay. With the accounts of few people who saw Itliong firsthand, Guillermo used those accounts to show what they saw and how those events led up to the formation of the United Farm Workers Union. This article will be used to discuss and give evidence about Filipinos in the 1960s and 1970s and their connection to the Latinos by talking about Itliong’s actions in the Delano Grape Strike. Emil Guillermo graduated from Harvard University and is a journalist and commentator. 

Roces, Mina. “Filipina/o Migration to the United States and the Remaking of Gender Narratives, 1906-2010.” 1st ed., vol. 27, Wiley-Blackwell, Apr. 2015. EBSCO Host, Accessed 24 March 2019.

Mina Roces talks about how feminism has evolved over time for the Filipinas. She talks about how religion has been the foundation for all Filipinas as well as what has changed for them. This is source is only used to mention the history of the Filipinos in the United States. Mina Roces is a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan.

Vivian Tseng, and Andrew J. Fuligni. “Parent-Adolescent Language Use and Relationships Among Immigrant Families With East Asian, Filipino, and Latin American Backgrounds.” 2nd ed., vol. 62, May 2000. EBSCO Host, Accessed 24 March 2019.

The authors Tseng and Fuligni mention the observations of the behavior of Latino and Asian families. In a sense, there is a correlation as to how youths would interact with their parents based on the connections to their cultural background. This source will be used to correlate the connection as to how similar Mexican and Filipino families interact. Tseng is a professor from UCLA and Fuligni is from the William T. Grant foundation.