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Posted on June 3, 2011

Gallery Hours
8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday - Friday

Today there are more than 2.5 million Filipino Americans in the United States. Yet many, including Filipinos themselves, aren't familiar with the details of their history in America: their experiences, rich traditions, and culture.

Singgalot (The Ties That Bind) is their story.

Open now, the exhibition continues through July 19 at California University of Pennsylvania.

After tracing the first trans-oceanic trade missions between Manila and Acapulco in the 1500s, Singgalot explores the tenuous political relationship between the United States and the Philippines, when Spain ceded the Pacific island following the Spanish-American War.

Rarely seen historical images detail Filipino migration between 1906 and 1935 as Hawai’i sugar plantations, West Coast farms, and Alaskan canneries recruited Asians to join the labor force. When the U.S. government sounded the call to arms in the 1940s, Filipino immigrants answered, serving as infantrymen and earning respect from a grateful nation. Nearly 20 years later, the 1965 Immigration Act hastened a third major wave of Filipinos who would champion major changes in gender equality and class in the Filipino American community and make significant contributions to the fight for civil rights.

In 2006, the Smithsonian Filipino American Centennial Commemoration marked 100 years of Filipino migration to the United States with insightful exhibitions, special programs and an extensive curriculum guide. Singgalot celebrates Filipino Americans as they share their struggles, challenges, and achievements with the rest of the nation.


The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 50 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.

See the exhibition at Cal U

All SITES exhibitions at Cal U are open to the public. Singgalot is on display in the Manderino Gallery, on the third floor of the Manderino Library.

To discuss group tours or field trips, call exhibitions coordinator Walter Czekaj at 724-938-5244 or send e-mail to