During World War II, when Japanese Americans were forced to leave Bainbridge Island, many of their Filipino neighbors looked after their farms and homes until they were able to return.
One such person was Felix Narte, who looked after the Kitimoto’s strawberry farm. When the Kitimoto’s returned home they gave Narte some of their land to show their gratitude. The Filipino American community center stands there now, where every year the Strawberry Festival is held.
The Filipino American Community was founded 75 years ago. They maintain a community hall that is registered in the national register of historic places. There, they perpetuate the Filipino American heritage and encourage interest in the Filipino language, culture, customs and traditions within our community.
As Bainbridge Islanders, let’s celebrate the Filipino-American community and recognize their numerous contributions to the culture and history of Bainbridge Island.
For further historical information, read this Huffpost article about the Filipino-American community on Bainbridge Island – “This Close-Knit Island Near Seattle Has An Overlooked History Of Defying Hate.”
OTHER STORIES RELATED TO ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH:
American Japanese Exclusion
ABOUT THE BAINBRIDGE ISLAND HISTORICAL MUSEUM. Although the museum is currently closed to visitors, it has an Online Exhibit, “Fearless Music.” Its most recent exhibit is, “Her Vote. Her Story.” MISSION: Preserve and share the stories of Bainbridge Island to promote a greater understanding of our community and the world in which we live.