A Brief History
Founded over 95 years ago, the Filipino-American Association of Kitsap County’s aims to unite all persons of Filipino heritage and to educate others about the Philippines, the Filipino people, our history, and our rich & diverse culture. Filipino-American Association of Kitsap County grew from a small club of forty members in 1921 to today, representing a community of approximately 8,000 Filipino-Americans in Kitsap County according to the 2010 US Census. Attracted by the quality of life in the Northwest, steady employment and good income, Filipinos began settling in Kitsap County as early as 1910. Many of the early settlers worked at PSNS in Bremerton, the fish canneries in Alaska, and the strawberry farms.
In 1921, the first Filipino Club was established. The club began a program of civic undertakings designed to foster Filipino-American relations. During the war years, the organization was inactive, but continued to celebrate Philippine national holidays.
The organization was revitalized in 1944 and was called The Philippines Society of Bremerton. The club sponsored the first Philippines Independence Day Celebration on July 4, 1946, commemorating the historic event when the United States granted independence to its colony.
From 1947 to 1962, the organization continued to actively participate in the economic, political and social life of the community. It also promoted strong Filipino-American relations and a greater understanding of the Philippine culture and heritage. The club was instrumental in spearheading the Bremerton-Olongapo Sister City Program, and in 1967, a neighborhood park was named Bataan Park, which was dedicated to those who died during WWII.
In the 1970’s, the organization participated in community projects including the city beautification program, where they planted locust trees along 11th streets and Pacific Avenue in Bremerton. The Bataan Park was dedicated in 1976 to honor all the Filipino and American lives lost during WWII, especially those who died in the Bataan Death March.
Over its history, the organization sponsored scholarship programs, and participated in humanitarian, civic, and military affairs both locally and internationally.
The Filipino-American Association of Kitsap County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit: 65-1249301.
The dream to purchase a building came true 94 years later after the founding of the Fil-Am Association. On February 8, 2015, the president of the Filipino-American Association of Kitsap County and Board members spearheaded the purchase of the 8,800 sq. ft. former American Legion building, located at 1240 Sheridan Road, Bremerton. On Saturday, August 20, 2016, the Filipino-American Community Center had its grand opening attended by many city of Bremerton officials. Patty Lent, Mayor of Bremerton, officiated the ribbon cutting.
Our goal is that the building serve as a public meeting hall and a central place for Filipinos to gather, converse, and celebrate. The vision is that it be a cultural center showcasing all things Filipino including a Filipino History library and art from Filipino or Filipino American artisans. Click here to see pictures of the building.
Please click through to see bios of our Board Members. You'll find direct contact numbers or email for most of our board members. Otherwise, the best way to reach us is by the phone number and email found below. If you are hoping to reach a certain board member, please include "attn. Board Member's Name," in the subject line of your email.