Date of Award

Winter 3-11-2016

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Mary Hanneman


Filipino presence in the United States has a long history from the time of the Spanish Empire. Spain’s defeat in the Spanish-American War (1898) resulted in American acquisition of the Philippine islands. By granting Filipinos ‘national’ status, a new wave of post-Spanish Colonial immigration began to the United States. As Filipinos immigrated for education and work to the U.S., they began settling within urban areas and created Manilatowns. These Manilatowns were almost always settled in conjunction with other ethnic enclaves, most of these being Chinatowns. In this paper, I examine the rise and fall of Seattle’s Manilatown and its role for the Filipino community. I explore oral histories and newspapers in order to discuss the physical areas of Manilatown. Additionally, I analyze the literature regarding Filipino immigration, unionization, and socialization to address the histories of the Filipino community. Because of external pressures and internal changes within the neighborhood, Manilatown ceases to exist. However, the society and culture the Filipinos created within Manilatown was more important than Manilatown itself. Therefore, although I argue that Manilatown did not physically exist, Seattle’s Manilatown is nevertheless present in the discourse of a community.