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Filipino forum. [volume] : (Seattle, Wash.) 1928-196?
Place of publication:
Seattle, Wash.
Geographic coverage:
  • Seattle, King, Washington  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Victorio Acosta Velasco
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 15, 1928)-
  • English
  • Filipinos--Northwest, Pacific--Newspapers.
  • Filipinos.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00924213
  • Pacific Northwest.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01242543
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Newspapers.
  • Washington (State)--Seattle.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204940
sn 88085780
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Filipino forum. [volume] October 15, 1928 , Image 1


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Filipino forum

The brainchild of editor, writer, and publisher Victorio Velasco, the Seattle Filipino Forum was one of the many newspapers aimed at the early 20th century's growing Filipino community in Seattle and the broader Pacific Northwest. Velasco had previously edited the Philippine Seattle Colonist, the Seattle Philippine American Review (later the Philippine Review), and a handful of cannery newsletters. The Filipino Forum published bi-weekly from October 1928 until 1937, and then monthly after returning from a hiatus in 1943. The Forum reached, at its height, 4,000 subscribers in the Seattle area and beyond.

Though only briefly the paper's masthead motto, Filipino Forum held itself to the standard of "Independent but not Neutral" throughout its printing. It was consistently a pro-labor, pro-Philippine Independence voice in the region. Labor issues in the cannery industry were of particular relevance to the paper's audience, as the Filipino population swelled in the early part of the 20th century thanks to that industry's need for workers. So, too, was news from the Philippines. Sometimes placed in the section "Philippine News in Brief," sometimes simply on the front page, international news coverage was a priority over the life of the paper. Covering such diverse stories as The Tydings-McDuffie Act, Philippine independence after World War II, and the election of Ferdinand Marcos in the waning days of the paper, news from across the Pacific was always granted prominent placement.

Back home in Seattle, sections such as "Bremerton News," "Here and There," "News from Minnesota," "News from Pullman," "Chinatown Whispers," and "Brevities" covered local beauty pageants, social gatherings, graduations, weddings, society news, and gossip about who was seen with whom and on what occasions. Local coverage incorporated labor issues, especially in the sections on Bremerton and Pullman. The paper also covered local news beyond the Filipino community, especially the participation of Filipino Seattleites. The Seattle World's Fair, or Century 21 Exposition, is one example of that coverage. Beyond the news of the day, the paper also featured poetry in English and Filipino in the section "Filipiniana," aphorisms in wit and humor, and advertisements for local businesses and products.

In the paper's first issue, a letter to the editor: stated: "We need such a medium to bring closer together all the Filipinos that are scattered in the city and in neighboring towns. It will promote better cooperation and a more concerted action of the Filipino community not only in the city of Seattle where there are no less than one thousand but also in the other cities of the state and in fact thruout (sic) the whole Pacific Northwest. I pray that this enterprise which you have just started will find a long and serviceable life…" The paper lived up to that wish, serving the Seattle Filipino and Filipino American community long enough to feature Vittorio Velasco's obituary in its latter days.

Provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA