5 Books That Capture the Filipino-American Experience

5 Books That Capture the Filipino-American Experience
Posted on 02/11/2019 . 11:30am

Growing up, the library was my sanctuary. Only a block away from my house,  yet it continuously transported me into a new world of possibilities. But it wasn’t until college that I discovered books luring me to explore and embrace my identity as a Filipinx-American. Thank you to those who  shared book recommendations surrounding the Filipino-American experience and rising Filipino-American authors.

Check out some of them below:

America is in the Heart 




Buy on Amazon

What it’s about:  America Is In The Heart is a must-read classic and may be the most well-known Filipino-American piece of literature. Written by Filipino poet and activist, Carlos Bulosan in 1946,  this is for anyone who is a child of immigrants that describes the working class struggles as a migrant worker, racism in America, and how the promise for a better life is far from an easy road.



The Latinos of Asia 



Buy on Amazon

What it’s about: As a Filipino-American, the social construct of race and cultural identity is never more apparent when you get the question, “So how are you Asian but your last name sounds Latino?” Ocampo explores racial identity for the Filipino diaspora illustrates the many parallels that Fil-ams share with Latin culture and how we differ as an Asian country through Spanish colonization.



Little Manila is in The Heart 

Little Manila Is in The Heart



Buy on Amazon

What’s It About: Written by the late Filipina activist, Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, Little Manila is in the Heart uses family history, personal archives, newspapers and photographs. Mabalon illustrates the history of Stockton, California’s Little Manila neighborhood and the role Filipino-Americans had in the development of California agriculture alongside Latino Americans.  The “manongs”of Stockton as Filipino laborers are truly at the heart of it all and built a strong community for Filipino immigrants that are apparent even today.


Brown Skin, White Minds

Brown Skin White Minds



Buy on Amazon

What it’s about: Such an important read about colorism within brown communities especially highlighting Filipinos and the long lasting effects of European colonialism reinforcing the systems of oppression. David’s psychological angle on the mental health is very insightful piece that any Asian American studies class should incorporate.


Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans 

Filipinos:Forgotten Asians



Buy on Amazon

What it’s about: Through a collection of 250+ photographs, essays, and historical documents, Cordova gives us 200 years worth of history as Asian Americans and our presence in the US.


Other notable Fil-Am books to read:


Follow TFCU: