Program One - Segment Three: Manilamen

Lillian Mae Faxon is a seventh generation Filipina in Louisiana.  Her family represents a chapter in American history that’s often overlooked.  Few have heard the story of the Manila Men, the first Filipino explorers in America. When we think of Asian history in the New World, the Chinese laborers who built California’s railroads usually come to mind.  That was in the early 1860s.  But there’s evidence America’s first contact with Asians was much earlier than that. 


Fred and Dorothy Cordova of the Filipino American National Historical Society, Nestor Enriquez, Marina Espina, Gary Okihiro, Isabel Gedoria Welch, Lillian Mae Burtanog Faxon, Joyce Burtanog Pascual, Rhonda Richoux Fox

Produced by Ruby de Luna


"Manilamen" Slideshow - See some photos to illustrate the stories and interviews (opens in new window).

Further Internet Resources:


Bautista, Veltisezar. The Filipino Americans 1763-Present. Bookhaus Publishers, 2002.

Cordova, Fred. Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans. Demonstration Project for Asian Americans, 1983.

Espina, Marina E. Filipinos in Louisiana. AF Laborde & Sons, New Orleans, 1988.

Filipino American National Historical Society. Filipino Americans: Discovering their Past for the Future (video). FANHS, 1994.

Hearn, Lafcadio. "Saint Malo: A Lacustrine Village in Louisiana." Harper’s Weekly. 31 March 1883.

  © 2006 MediaRites - Contact Web Designer Sara Kolbet

Hosted By

George Takei

Margaret Cho

Major funding
provided by

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

With additional
support from

National Endowment for the Arts

Oregon Council
for the Humanities

And underwriting support from