Gabriel M. Garcia
Dr. Gabriel Garcia is a Philippine-born, Alaska-grown Assistant Professor of Public Health at University of Alaska Anchorage. He completed his PhD in Public Health with a minor in Anthropology at UCLA. His research interests include Filipino health and experience, racial and ethnic health disparities, and Asian and Pacific Islander health.
Both the U.S. and State Legislature have declared October as Filipino- American History Month. Yet with so much happening in the news, and with plenty at stake both in our nation and state, it is easy to overlook the importance of this occasion. But let us just pause for a moment to think about Filipino-American history.
Filipinos have been part of American history for many centuries. The first Filipinos landed on the continent in 1587, several decades before the Pilgrims arrived. Before our Founding Fathers declared independence from the Brits, a group of Filipinos had already settled in Louisiana.
More than a century before Alaska became a state, Filipinos had already made it here, engaging in fur trade with Alaska Natives.