History of Fil-Minnesotan Association
In 1952, several Filipino graduate students at the University of Minnesota met and discussed forming a cultural and social organization. By 1953, the group had grown to 12 students who organized themselves into the Fil-Minnesotan Association.
What began as several get-togethers in the homes of U of M faculty grew into ongoing events highlighting Philippine heritage and culture. In the years that followed, FMA has served the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota communities by offering Tagalog classes, establishing a blood bank, organizing bi-cultural parent-youth seminars, creating Bantay Presyon (Free Health Clinic & Health Fair for underserved Asian Americans), providing Consular Services, offering volunteer opportunities such as the Soup Kitchen Project, and Nursing Home Outreach. FMA has also raised funds to benefit victims of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption (1992), and Typhoon Haiyan (2013), as well as local charities, such as The Children’s Heart Fund, MN Food Shelf, among others.
FMA sponsors several annual socio-cultural events include the Paskong Pilipino, Easterfest, and the Valentine’s Ball and Presentation of Debutantes, as well as Sports & Leisure tournaments in tennis, golf, basketball, bowling, chess, and fishing.
Seeking to uphold and showcase Filipino arts and culture with its Filipiniana Series, Klasika, Filipino Cooking Classes, as well as theatrical endeavors Musikal! and Musikal II. FMA also sponsored local performances by internationally known, Philippine-born artists such as violinist Gilopez Kabayo and pianist Corazon Pineda, the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, the Ateneo de Manila University Glee Club, the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, and the Philippine Women’s University Philippine Music Ensemble.
Over the years, FMA has had the honor of hosting several notable Filipinos, such as Miss Universe Gloria Diaz, The Vice Consul of the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, Philippine Vice President Fernando Lopez, and Former President of the UN General Assembly Carlos P. Romulo.
Today, the Fil-Minnesotan Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and continues to serve the community of over 14,000 Filipino Minnesotans statewide.