Upcoming Event: Santo Niño Celebration á la Sinulog

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                                                                                          PRESS RELEASE

                                                                                                PLHS-5/12

UNVEILING OF HISTORICAL MARKER FOR EARLY FILIPINO SETTLERS ANNOUNCED:

“MANILA VILLAGE” SETTLEMENT SERVED AS THE FORERUNNER OF LOUISIANA’S SHRIMPING INDUSTRY

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AFTER MONTHS OF PAINSTAKING WORK AND COLLABORATION, THE PHILIPPINE-LOUISIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC. HAS BEEN FINALLY GRANTED PERMISSION BY THE LOUISIANA’S DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE, RECREATION AND TOURISM TO ERECT A “MANILA VILLAGE” HISTORICAL MARKER IN THE TOWN OF JEAN LAFITTE, LOUISIANA.

ACCORDING TO ROBERT G. ROMERO, PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY, THE UNVEILING  OF THIS HISTORICAL MARKER WILL TAKE PLACE IN FRONT OF THE JEAN LAFITTE TOWN HALL ON SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2012 AT 11:00 AM. “IT IS PART OF OUR CONTRIBUTION TO LOUISIANA’S  BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION ” ROMERO ADDED. AS THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY AND THEIR FRIENDS GATHER TO COMMEMORATE THE EARLY FILIPINO SETTLERS IN LOUISIANA AT THE TURN OF THE 19TH CENTURY, “WE EXTEND AN OPEN INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS HISTORIC EVENT”.

 MOST OF THE EARLY FILIPINO SETTLERS ARE  SAILORS WHO WORKED ABOARD MANILA GALLEON SHIPS THAT PLY THE MANILA-ACAPULCO TRADE ROUTE. GALLEON LIFE WAS GRUELING AND PERILOUS AND MANY SAILORS DIED DURING THOSE GALLEON VOYAGES.  TO ESCAPE THE HARSH TREATMENT FROM SPANISH RULE ABOARD THOSE SHIPS, GROUPS OF FILIPINO SAILORS JUMPED SHIP AND FOUND THEIR WAY ALONG THE OUTSKIRTS OF LOUISIANA MARSHLANDS. 

BAYOU COMMUNITIES SUCH AS MANILA VILLAGE, ALOMBRO CANAL, LEON ROJAS AND OTHERS SPRANG OUT AND THESE “MANILAMEN” AS THEY BEGAN TO BE CALLED, SETTLED IN SMALL HOUSES WHICH WERE SUPPORTED ABOVE THE WATER IN STILTS.  THE LARGEST OF THESE EARLY SETTLEMENTS IS THE MANILA VILLAGE FOUNDED BY LOCAL FISHERMAN AND FILIPINO NATIVE QUINTIN DELA CRUZ OF ALBAY PROVINCE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

HONING UP ON THEIR SURVIVAL SKILLS, THE SAILORS THEN TURN FISHERMEN, INTRODUCED THE SHRIMP DRYING PROCESS THAT PROVIDED THEM WITH EARLY LIVELIHOOD.  THIS SURVIVAL ACTIVITY INDIGENOUS TO THE PHILIPPINES WAS LATER ON EXPANDED INTO A COMMERCIAL VENTURE AS THE DRIED SHRIMP WERE SENT TO NEW ORLEANS FOR SHIPMENT TO ASIA, CANADA, AND TO SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA. 

MANILA VILLAGE FLOURISHED FOR SEVERAL DECADES UNTIL HURRICANE BETSY DESTROYED IT IN 1965.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT PHILIPPINE-LOUISIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.  C/O ROBERT G. ROMERO – PRESIDENT WITH TEL. 504/461-8122 OR 504/914-1032 (CELLPHONE) AT EMAIL  OREMOR_INTL@COX.NET.

Thanks Letter from Philippine Comm.pdf

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