Filipino American National Historical Society

Rio Grande (FANHS RG)

FANHS mission:  To promote understanding, education, enlightenment, appreciation, and enrichment through the identification, gathering, preservation, and dissemination of the history and culture of Filipino Americans in the United States.  The headquarters is located in Seattle, WA. As of 2013, there are 30 FANHS chapters in the US.

NOTE:  FANHS RG is not the same as the Filipino American Foundation of NM although all members of FANHS RG are also members of FAFNM.

For the history of FANHS Rio Grande, click:  Making Invisible Visible by Dr. Dely Alcantara.

FANHS RG, the 20th chapter of FANHS, was founded in 1998. The founding members (top left photo): Connie Perkins, Myrna Samson, Chol Aquino, Dr. Dely Alcantara, Vir Velasco, Ruth Velasco, David Galbiso, Evelio Sabay and Josephine Stevens.    

The FANHS RG (2015) officers are:

President:           Pearl King
Vice President:   Dr. Dely Alcantara
Secretary:           Emilie Underwood  
Treasurer:           Cora Romillo

Executive Committee Members (Past/Present Presidents)
Dely Alcantara (co-founder) -1998-2000
David Galbiso (co-founder) - 2001-2002
Evelio Sabay (charter member) - 2003-2004
Tessie Greenfield 2005-2006
Emilie Underwood 2007-2008
Pearl King 2009-2014

For inquiries, write to:
FANHS Rio Grande
c/o Emilie Underwood
1501 California NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110


To apply for membership, print form and send it with the check (payable to FANHS RG) to the above address :  Membership Form
Oral History Lecture Series

FANHS RG sponsors lecture series two to three times a year (usually held in community centers or residences) featuring Filipino Americans who share their stories.  We have video or audio recording of the events.  The following have been featured:

    * In 2003, Chito Zafra (war bride who introduced the Santacruzan celebration).
    * In 2004, Teem Suelto (financial adviser), Dr. Jose Sacramento Martinez (medical director), and Nita Pascual (retired educator/administrator)
    * In 2005, the late Myrna Manuel Tsinnajinnie (educator/daughter of Filipino pioneers), Pat Teston (former naval officer), Pete and Aurora Noriega (husband & wife engineers)
    * In 2006, Sons of Sakadas:  (Michael Gorospe, David Galbiso & Nick Balido), Daphne de Leon (NM Archive Director), and Dr. Dely Alcantara (senior demographer/professor, founding pres. of FANHS RG)
    * 2007, Perli Cunanan (United Way SF & Con Alma Health Foundation Officer), Members of the Youth Filipino Professionals: Ted Grumblatt (architect), Nanette Hayek (physician), Mary Ann Orate (TV personality), and Rod Ventura (lawyer).
2008, co-sponsored by the Albuquerque Historical Society and FANHS RG, topic: "Filipino Americans' Contribution to New Mexico" held at the Albuquerque Museum:  Speakers:  Dr. Dely Alcantara, Celia Tomlinson, & Emilie Underwood; and 
2008, Cris Underwood (adopted by a US Army Lt. after WWII).
2009, Stan Agustin (former principal, son of Filipino migrant worker), 2010: Fras Sabay (Engineer & former pres. of Fil-Am Ass.), Jessica Pascual (Deputy Director Human Resources)
2011:  Panel of Physicians: Luis Centenera (Intervention Radiologist), Lilibeth Sanchez-Gesualdo (Surgeon), Nannette Hayek (Family Practice), Juliet Coquia (Rheumatologist), Elvie Lim (Forensic Psychologist) and Melissa Sanchez (Pediatrician) and Pinoy Teens & Young Adults Get-Together.  
2012: This was not an Oral History meeting but an orientation (geared towards young adults) of the 2012 conference.  Speakers: Evelio Sabay & Emilie Underwood (regarding the FANHS Conference) and Linda Cuenco of the Sandia Mountain Lions Club regarding community service for youth.  This is the biggest year for us because we hosted the 14th National Conference.
2013: Ted Jojola interviewed Mr. Al David, a Bataan Veteran at the residence of Cris and Emilie Underwood. 
2014:  New Wave of Filipino Educators:  Vicky Adaoag, Medy Tabaday, Domingo Napolitano, and Susan Sagisi; and the Community Oral History: Asian Legacy in New Mexico.  A joint project of FANHS RG with the Chinese and Japanese communities.  

Yearly Activity with Bataan Veterans and Filipino American Foundation of NM:
The Bataan Corregidor Memorial Foundation of NM ( and the Filipino Community celebrate the Bataan Memorial at the Bataan Park (Carlisle & Lomas) every year in April.  See an article published in 1942 by the Tribune in Manila about the Occupation of Japanese in our page, Phil-NM Connection.

Bataan Memorial
The Bataan Memorial at the Bataan Park consists of 12-granite columns bearing the names of 1800 veterans, New Mexicans who fought in the Philippines.  Through the auspices of the City of Albuquerque and NM State Legislature. Dr. Dely Alcantara and the BCMF of NM members  finally made this happen in 2002 (59 years after it was first proposed).

Current Publication during Pamana Events

Book/eBook:  The Filipino American Experience in New Mexico.  Published in Oct. 2014.

Pamana Souvenir Programs:  2000 (Writer/Editor:  Evelio Sabay); 2002 and 2005 (Writers/Editors: Tessie Greenfield/Aggie Dagucon) (2005 Pamana issue was incorporated in the NaFFAA souvenir program during the NaFFAA Regional Conference); 2007 (Writer/Editor: Tessie Greenfield), 2009 (Editors/Writers: Rod Ventura/Tessie Greenfield), & 2011 (Editors/Writers:  Tessie Greenfield/Pearl King).  No Pamana in 2013.  See details about Pamana.

Past Projects
Projects with the City of Albuquerque: 
The activities & publications were funded by the City of Albuquerque, Capital Implementation, Program, Urban Enhancement Trust Fund (UETF).
   *  Oral History Workshop, Oct 6 and Nov 11, 2001, St. Bernadette Parish Hall, Alb.  The two-part workshop aimed to orient members on how to conduct an oral history research. Facilitators were Elizabeth Akiya Chestnut, a historian/anthropologist and Michael Gorospe, historian and second-generation Filipino and American Indian (Laguna Pueblo).  
    * Exhibits.  Stories of Filipino Americans are displayed in exhibit story boards.  (Exhibit curator:  Dr. Ted Jojola)
    * Brochure.  "The Philippines-New Mexico Connection and the Filipino Migration to New Mexico" was published in April 2005.  Authors:  Dr. Dely Alcantara & Tessie J. Ordona Greenfield.  For full copy, click brochure.

Project with University of New Mexico History Dept. and Southwest Center:

Visiting Historian.  "From Missions to Mainstream:  Franciscan Missionary Efforts in Nueva Caceres, Philippines, 1578 to 1768" was the topic of the lecture by Stephen Henry Totanes, PhD (photo above, seated center in barong).  Visiting Fullbright Senior Scholar and Associate Professor from Ateneo de Manila University, May 7, 2005 at UNM.  
UNM Library:
UNM has provided for the venue (Zimmerman Library) during the 2003 FANHS National Trustees' Meeting.  

Project with Albuquerque Historical Society:
Joint Oral History meeting in 2008 (see Oral History above).

Projects with National Hispanic Cultural Center:
Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Exhibits' (photo below) opened on Nov. 8, 2008 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center attended by the Phil. Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon.  Many of the exhibit items were lent by members of the Fil-Am communities.  There were also a series of lectures including one by Dr. Dely Alcantara. 
Thanks to Carlos Vasquez and Veronica Iglesias-Swanson.  Exhibit ran from Nov. 8, 2008 to August 30, 2009.

Oral History Session with NM leading historian. Oral History Workshop by Premier New Mexico Historian, Carlos Vasquez on August 30, 2008, National Hispanic Cultural Center, attended by members of FANHS RG and Southwest Writers.
Philippine Flag.  Our flag is one of the 27 countries displayed at the National Hispanic Cultural Center which features countries with Spanish influence and history.  (This was made possible by Dr. Dely Alcantara.)

Other Activities and Projects:
Tagalog Lessons (2005)
 Lessons were taught by volunteer Tom Clay Tomlinson (during Oral History sessions) for spouses and children.

Library:  Books and videos donated by members and friends.

Past Publications

FANHS RG Newsletters (2 issues/year) was published in 2000-2001 (Editor:  Evelio Sabay); 2001-2002 (Editors:  Tessie Greenfield/Aggie Dagucon).   This was discontinued and merged with FAFNM newsletter, Pinoy Roadrunner.

Pinoy Roadrunner Newsletter:  A joint publication with the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico (FAFNM) was started in 2005.  It had three issues a year with three rotating editors (Evelio Sabay, Jim Custodio and Vanessa Alter).  This was discontinued in 2008.  Activities are now available from the website.  

Pamana Souvenir Programs:  Six publications during the Pamana Heritage Awards Night which features the achievements of the awardees.  See Pamana Awards.  

For videos on philippine folktales, visit

for videos on music & dances from the philippines, visit

FANHS Rio Grande hosted the 14th Biennial FANHS National  Conference on June 28-30, 2012 at the Marriott Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It was attended by over 200 participants/presenters all over the US.  See photos below.

Clockwise from top left: founding members, Rio Grande members attending national conference, Oral History lecture, visiting historian from the Philippines.

First book and eBook about Filipino Americans in New Mexico.  For details:  Fil Am Experience.


Pamana Heritage Awards Night  Sept. 26

Past Conference:

15th Biennial FANHS Conference

July 31-Aug 2, 2014, Kona Kai Resort, San Diego, CA

400 participants

From top:  At the banquet with FANHS Rio Grande members and a member from the Los Angeles chapter; Dr. Mariano, guest speaker, former physician of Presidents George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton; San Diego Dance Group.

Top photo: Gorospe Family whose father, Potenciano, was the first Filipino property owner.

See more:  Book Launching or the book/ebook: Fil Am Experience.

The Oral History Meeting featured four Filipino educators from Espanola Public Schools held on Sept. 27, 2014, Sat. at the Halle Manoa (NM Asian Family Center) Bldg.  It was sponsored by the Filipino American National Historical Society Rio Grande.

The speakers were (photos, clockwise from top left):  Vicky Adaoag, was a former Special Ed teacher who also has two daughters teaching, Domingo (Nap) Napolitano and Susan Sagisi, HS Math teacher, and Medy Tabaday, Special Ed supervisor in HS.

Thank you all for sharing your stories. 

Book Launching of “The Filipino American Experience in New Mexico”

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