New York City has a shorter settlement history compared to historically more common locations for Filipinos to immigrate to, such as the
While larger populations Filipinos immigrated to New York City after 1965, many Filipinos began arriving in New York in the early 1900s. Many came to study as pensionados (or sponsored students) in universities like
Columbia University and
New York University. Like other immigrants at the time, these Filipinos entered through
Manuel Quezon and
Carlos Romulo are among the small group of Filipinos who arrived in this way. In 1911, some Filipinos worked at the Dreamland Amusement Park in
Coney Island, where they simulated what "savage" life was like in the Philippines. Most other Filipinos in New York at this time were seamen who docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yards. A Filipino restaurant called Manila Restaurant opened in the late 1920s and was located at 47 Sand Street in
In 1927, one of the first Filipino
civic organizations in New York City, the Filipino Women's Club, was founded. In 1960, there were only 2,744
Filipino Americans in New York City. In 1970, there were 14,279 Filipinos in
New York State, 52.4% of whom were college graduates. Filipinos in the New York City metropolitan area also did not enjoy the early advantage of their counterparts on the West Coast of the United States in terms of perceived geographic proximity to the Philippines by marine and air routes. Also in the 1990s,
Philippine Airlines, which had provided service to
Newark Liberty International Airport, discontinued this service due to financial difficulties. However, the determined Filipino American communities of the New York City metropolitan region ultimately overcame these obstacles in conjunction with the sheer number of opportunities provided by the region for Filipinos to work and thrive as a highly achieving, ambitious, and rapidly growing presence, first within the New York City region's Asian American milieu and eventually amidst its mainstream population. Filipino Americans started working in the traditional
nursing and healthcare fields in the region's numerous hospitals and clinics, before branching out to other professional fields.
East Village and the
Lower East Side,
Manhattan, there was significant Filipino migration in the late 1980s due to mass recruitment of Filipino
medical professionals to area hospitals, notably
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary,
Beth Israel Medical Center, and the former
Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center. Migration was spurred by the hospitals' offer of subsidized housing to employees, in the midst of ongoing rent strikes in the neighborhood. The burgeoning Little Manila centered on 1st Avenue and 14th Street, around which there were, at the peak, a number of grocery and video-rental stores and Filipino restaurants within a few blocks of one another. Filipino American community relations were strengthened by local
Roman Catholic churches in the East Village and
Gramercy Park areas. As rents increased, and properties were taken over by New York University, the number of Filipinos and Filipino businesses in the East Village's Little Manila waned. Elvie's Turo-Turo, the longest standing Filipino business in the area, closed in late 2009 after almost 20 years of operation. New Filipino businesses continue to sprout up.
All except the pink/lavender-illustrated counties compose the New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island NY–NJ–PA
Metropolitan Statistical Area, the most populous in the US: New York–Jersey City–White Plains, NY–NJ Metropolitan Division Dutchess County–Putnam County, NY Metropolitan Division Nassau County–Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division Newark, NJ–PA Metropolitan Division Remainder of the New York-Newark, NY–NJ–CT–PA
Combined Statistical Area
In the 1970s and '80s, Filipinos in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan region had a higher
socioeconomic status than Filipinos elsewhere, as more than half of Filipino immigrants to the metropolitan area were healthcare professionals or other highly trained professionals, in contrast to established working-class Filipino American populations elsewhere. In 1990, there were 43,229 Filipinos in New York City, with the number increasing to around 50,000 in 2000. The
Queens is home to the largest concentration of Filipinos within New York City, with about 38,000 Filipinos per the 2010 Census. In 2011, New York City was home to an estimated 82,313 Filipinos, representing a 7.7% increase from the estimated 77,191 in 2008, with 56%, or about 46,000, living in Queens. The Filipino
median household income in New York City was $81,929 in 2013, and 68% held a
bachelor's degree or higher.
In 2013, 4,098 Filipinos legally immigrated to the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA core based statistical area; in 2012, this number was 4,879; 4,177 in 2011; 4,047 in 2010, 4,400 in 2009, and 5,985 in 2005. These numerical values do not include the remainder of the New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area. Philippine Airlines has resumed service to the New York City region since March 2015, with direct, one-seat service to
Manila, this time utilizing
JFK International Airport as its gateway. In April 2018, Philippine Airlines launched
non-stop flight service between JFK international Airport and Manila, and has operated this important flight connection between Manila and New York continuously since then, even through the worldwide
Filipino cafés and restaurants dominate the area, as well as several
freight delivery and
remittance centers scattered throughout the neighborhood. Other Filipino-owned businesses including professional services (medical, dental,
optical), driving schools, beauty salons, immigration services, and Filipino video rental establishments are present in the community.
The Phil-Am grocery store in Woodside.
Woodside has many types of transportation used on a daily basis. The
IRT Flushing Line (7 train), known colloquially as the Orient Express, the
69th Street station serves as the gateway to Queens' largest Little Manila, along with other public transportation such as the Long Island Railroad and buses. The coverage of Little Manila is along
Roosevelt Avenue, between 58th and 74th Streets. Elsewhere in Queens, Filipinos are also concentrated in
Jackson Heights and
Elmhurst. There are also smaller Filipino communities in
Jamaica, Queens and parts of
Benigno Aquino Triangle is located on
Hillside Avenue in
Hollis, Queens to commemorate the slain Filipino political leader and to recognize the large Filipino American population in the area.
In February 2008, the Bayanihan Filipino Community Center opened its doors in Woodside, a project spearheaded by the Philippine Forum. The Philippine Forum also hosts the annual Bayanihan Cultural Festival at the Hart Playground in September to commemorate Filipino American History Month.
On June 12th, 2022, a sign-unveiling ceremony and celebration were held at the intersection of 70th Street and Roosevelt Avenue to commemorate the Filipino community’s growing presence and contributions in Queens. Concomitantly, there is also a Roosevelt Avenue in
Quezon City, Philippines. The corner in Queens was co-named "Little Manila Avenue”.
Philippine Consulate of New York has a multipurpose role – aside from its governmental duties and functions, it also caters to many events of the Filipino American community and even has a school called Paaralan sa Konsulado (School at the consulate), which teaches newer-generation Filipino Americans about their culture and language. The consulate is known as the
Philippine Center. The Philippine Center's large edifice is situated on
Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and is open to the public on business days and closed on Philippine and American holidays. The building itself is considered as the largest foreign consulate on the strip of the avenue. The
Archdiocese of New York designated a chapel named after the first Filipino Saint Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila for the
Filipino Apostolate. Officially designated as the "Church of Filipinos," the
Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz in
Lower Manhattan is only the third in the world and the first in the United States dedicated as such.
CentralNew Jersey are home to significant overseas Filipino populations, numbering at more than 100,000 statewide, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. While Filipinos can be found across the state, the commercial districts catering to the Filipino community are found mostly in the state's urban areas. State and local governments in the Garden State have significant numbers of employees of Filipino background, and they play a vital role in the state's affairs, issues, commerce, and health care. Filipino enclaves exist in
Elizabeth, and most recently,
Meadowlands Exposition Center in
Secaucus hosts the annual Philippine Fiesta, a cultural festival that draws Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike from across the New York metropolitan area. The event takes place on the weekend of the second week of August. As of 2021,
Jollibee, the restaurant
conglomerate headquartered in
Metro Manila, had five branch locations in Northern and Central Jersey, including three in
Jersey City alone.
Jersey City: Five Corners, Newark Avenue, and Manila Avenue
Jersey City is home to a high-profile Little Manila. Seven percent (7%) of
Jersey City's population is Filipino.
Five Corners district has a thriving Filipino community, which is one of the largest Asian-American subgroups in the city.
Newark Avenue's strip of Filipino culture and commerce is significantly large and growing. A variety of Filipino restaurants, shippers and freighters, doctors' officers, bakeries, stores, and even an office of
The Filipino Channel made Newark Avenue their home. The first Filipino owned grocery store on the East Coast, Phil-Am Food, originated in Jersey City since 1973; while that establishment's name changed to FilStop, the moniker Phil-Am has since expanded to businesses in
Middlesex County, including
East Brunswick. An array of Filipino-owned businesses can also be found in Jersey City's
West Side section, where many of its residents are of Filipino descent. In 2006, a
Red Ribbon pastry shop opened its first branch on the East Coast in the Garden State.Manila Avenue in
Downtown Jersey City was named for the Philippine city because of the many Filipinos who had built their homes on this street during the 1970s. A memorial, dedicated to the Filipino American veterans of the Vietnam War, was built in a small square on Manila Avenue. A park and statue dedicated to
Jose P. Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, exists in downtown Jersey City. Jersey City is the host of the annual Philippine-American Friendship Day Parade, an event that occurs yearly in June, on its last Sunday. The City Hall of Jersey City raises the Philippine flag in correlation to this event and as a tribute to the contributions of the Filipino community. The Santakrusan Procession along Manila Avenue has taken place since 1977.
In 2011, Rolando Lavarro, Jr., became the first Filipino American to win an elective position in Jersey City as city council member, and in 2013, Lavarro became the first Filipino American council president of Jersey City. Several Filipinos have been appointed to various Jersey City municipal posts and commissions.
Bergenfield is informally known as the Little Manila of
Bergen County with a significant concentration of Filipino residents and businesses. Between 2000 and 2010, the Filipino-American population of Bergenfield grew from 11.7 percent, or 3,081 residents, to 17.1 percent, or 4,569, and increasing further to 5,062 (18.4%) by 2016. In 2014, Filipino-born attorney Arvin Amatorio was elected a
borough councilman; while in the late 1990s, Bergenfield had become the first municipality on the
East Coast of the United States to elect a Filipino mayor, Robert C. Rivas. On the other side of Bergen County, the Filipino population of
Fair Lawn was estimated to have more than doubled between 2010 and 2017.
Also in Bergen County, Jonathan Wong was elected city councilman in
Mahwah in November 2014. The annual Filipino American Festival is held in Bergenfield.
Philippine Independence Day Parade in a New York City, the world’s largest outside the Philippines, is traditionally held on the first Sunday of June on
Madison Avenue in Manhattan. The parade is said to be one of the largest parades of any kind in the city and the largest Philippine celebration in the United States. This celebration is a combination of a parade and a
street fair. Madison Avenue is replete on this day with Filipino culture, colors, and people and is attended by many significant political figures, entertainers, civic groups, etc. Former Mayor
Rudy Giuliani and Senator
Charles Schumer are devout attendees of this annual parade.
The growth in the New York City metropolitan region's Filipino populace has been accompanied by growth in the number of Filipino cafés serving Filipino coffee, especially of the
ube varieties; and Filipino restaurants, with the accessibility of Filipino-
Chinese specialties such as
siopao joining traditional
Philippine cuisine, including
inihaw na liempo and
kare kare, snacks such as
pandesal, and desserts including
purple ube cakes,
mango cake rolls.Turo Turo-style
buffet dining has become readily available. Beginning in the mid-2010s, Filipino cuisine began to take on a more prominent place in the
New York metro as well as
Washington metro areas. As of 2022, Kabayan Grill had opened six branches on Long Island, including four in Queens, and its largest Turo Turo-style dining branch in
Suffolk County, where a growing Filipino community has been thriving on the county's
peninsular geography resembling some parts of the Philippines.
Filipinos in New York and New Jersey, as in the United States as a whole, are highly fluent in English. However, in the largest Little Manilas in the area, including Woodside, Jersey City, and Bergenfield,
Tagalog signage is commonplace. Spanish is also learned due to local and cultural proximity to the in New York as well as being commonly taught as a second language in public schools through the NYC Department of Education's bilingual programs.
abcdefMarquez, Liaa (January 19, 2011).
"Little Manila rises in New York City's Queens borough". GMA News. Retrieved November 26, 2014. Previously an Irish neighborhood, Woodside has grown to be one of the most diverse areas in the city. Amid Mexican-, Indian-, and Korean-owned stores lies a hefty sampling of the Philippines. The area now serves as home to the rising population of Filipinos in the city.