Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", reside mainly in the continental United States and form significant populations in California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Washington, Florida, Virginia, Alaska, Guam, and Northern Marianas.
The earliest recorded presence of Filipinos in what is today the United States occurred in October 1587, when mariners under Spanish command landed in Morro Bay, California. The earliest permanent Filipino Americans to arrive in the New World landed in 1763, later creating settlements such as Saint Malo, Louisiana and Manila Village in Barataria Bay. These early settlements were composed of formerly pressed sailors escaping from the arduous duties aboard Spanish galleons and were "discovered" in America in 1883 by a Harper's Weekly journalist.
Significant immigration to the United States began with the need for agricultural laborers in the 1900s, with Filipinos settling primarily in what was then the Territory of Hawaii and California, after the Spanish-American War, which turned the Philippines into a territory of the United States. This immigration would slow to a trickle during the 1930s due to multiple factors, including the United States' recognition of independence of the Philippines on July 4, 1946. Filipino immigration to the United States would not see a resurgence until the late 1960s. Of the immigrants who arrived after the late 1960s, most settled in California, while others found a new home around U.S. Navy bases, major metropolitan areas, the West, and to a lesser extent the South. Some came looking for political freedom, but most arrived looking for employment and a better life for their families.