Throwback Thursday: Fil-Am, Public Market, & Starbucks

Before the Starbucks Coffee Company was at Seattle’s Pike Place Market,  the Filipino Coffee Company, ca. 1909 was there!

Seattle’s Filipino Americans have had a continued presence in the Public Market for generations.  Many people take a leisurely afternoon to experience the colorful culture of the Market. For snacking in the afternoon you can find longanisa with a local Filipino soap opera attitude. There are giant bouquets for sale by the Ilocano flower vendors here. Also, there’s the great Seattle past time of watching people throw fish at each other to experience .

The above image shows “Batango” blend coffee, which is likely a transliteration of Batangas. Kape Barako is still grown in the Philippines today.   Whether Filipino beans or Starbucks, Seattle still has some of the best coffee around.

by Devin Cabanilla
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(user photos via Flickr Creative Commons license)

Throwback Thursday: A Kid’s Yo-Yo

The First Modern Yo-Yo by Pedro Flores

My 5-yr old son began playing awkwardly with a Yo-Yo recently.  I began showing him the tricks I’d learned as a kid.  My uncle taught me how to “walk the dog”, and do “the cradle” trick moves. It was a wonderful place of nostalgia for me. Throwback Thursdays posts are all about fun nostalgia and a chance to remember the little things in life. However, in the larger scheme of history it is often forgotten that the Yo-Yo was popularized by Filipino Americans and shaped modern Americana!

The primary twirler who brought the Yo-Yo into the mainstream was Filipino Pedro Flores. In the 1920’s a Yo-Yo probably sold for around 10 cents.  Flores opened different factories making wooden Yo-yo’s and was the main innovator for using a slip-string on the axle to extend spin for trick moves.  Donald Duncan saw a child playing with a Flores Yo-Yo and decided to later work with Pedro Flores. By the 1930’s Duncan eventually bought full ownership of the enterprise and created Duncan Yo-Yo. Today, a single mint condition Flores Yo-Yo is worth $2,000, while Duncan Yo-Yo’s are now a dime a dozen. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: A Kid’s Yo-Yo”

Filipino American National History Month 2014

Today is the start of Filipino American History Month. The roots of this annual celebration run deep in Seattle. The Seattle-based FANHS National board and trustees voted to establish October as Filipino American National Historical Month in 1988. Since 1991, FANHS National and chapters have coordinated events to celebrate the historical contribution of those of Filipino heritage to American history.

FANHS National has two events to kick-off the month-long celebration.

Friday, October 3rd, 6:00pm. Thank God I’m Filipino Lecture, “Growing Up Brown: Memories of Washington Hall.” Washington Hall, 153 14th Avenue Seattle, Washington 98122.
Free event.

Come hear stories of how Washington Hall was more than a building, it was a vibrant community. From the 1930s to the 1960s, Filipino families and organizations gathered at Washington Hall regularly for dances, events, and family occasions.

Saturday, October 4th, 6:30 pm. Dinner & Program FANHS Pioneering Family Reunion: Growing Up Brown 1945 to 1970. Immaculate Conception Auditorium, 820 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.
Tickets: $25.

Continue reading “Filipino American National History Month 2014”