Its More Fun

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Manilamen of Louisiana

Manilamen lived in small houses which were supported above the water by stilts

According to the American Census of 2010, there are about 3.4 Filipino-Americans  (Fil-Ams or Pinoys) comprising of about 20% of the Asian-American population.

It all started when the First Filipino sailors reached America at Morro Bay, California (north of Santa Barbara) in October 1587. They were mariners under the Spanish galleon trade.

However, the earliest permanent Filipino settlers were first documented in Louisiana in 1763. It is believe that Saint Malo, were the site of early settlements. They settled in the marshlands of Louisiana and the people who settled in the bayous were called the “Manilamen”.

The “Manila village” rarely have women and this can be attributed to the isolated and harsh conditions of the settlement. Since there were no Filipino women, the Manilamen often wooed and pursued Cajun women.

 Saint Malo was a small fishing village in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana on the shore of Lake Borgne 

Aside from Saint Malo, the other settlements in Louisiana were Manila Village on Barataria Bay (largest) in the Mississippi Delta, Alombro Canal and Camp Dewey in Plaquemines Parish and Leon Rojas, Bayou Cholas, and Bassa Bassa in Jefferson Parish.

Among the heritage introduced by the Filipinos was the production of dried shrimp, known as "sea bob". To date, dried shrimp is still produced by the Cajuns of Louisiana.

Related Story:

 Philippine Consulate in New Orleans, United States of America - 2 Canal St., Suite 1843, 70130. Telephone: (504) 529-7561


Amanda Silver said...

very interesting story... I didn't know Manilameg got to America since 1587

Eugene Tordecilla said...

@ Amanda - thanks for reading, I stumble
upon this historical facts. I now know why Filipinos choose LA, it's a lovely place :)