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Posted on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 : 6:12 a.m.

"Untold Triumph" documentary film about WWII 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of U.S. Army at library

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

This Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11,from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Ann Arbor District Library, the University of Michigan Michigan Community Scholars Program, the University of Michigan Program in Asian/Pacific Islander Affairs Program in the Department of American Culture and the Filipino American National Historical Society Michigan Chapter will be sponsoring a film and discussion, “An Untold Triumph: The Story of the 1st & 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments, U.S. Army,” the acclaimed documentary film which documents and honors the 7,000 men of the 1st and 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army who fought in WWII. Panelists include Jason Gavilan, Josephine Sirineo , Joseph Galura , Adelwisa Weller and Quirico Samonte.

More information about the film is available at the California State University Sacramento Asian American Studies website, including a Viewers Guide, a timeline of Filipino American History, and lesson plans and handouts for educators.

From an Ann Arbor District Library statement:

More than 150,000 Filipinos immigrated to the United States from the Philippines between 1906 and 1935, in search of the American Dream. Facing discrimination and hard times here in California and all along the west coast, thousands of Filipinos worked in agricultural fields, in the service industry, and in other low paying jobs.

Even though they endured a racist pre-war climate and weren't even considered U.S. citizens, Filipinos in America rallied to join the American war effort after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1942, an executive order was signed which allowed Filipinos to join the U.S. Army and form a volunteer all-Filipino unit.

The war provided the opportunity for Filipinos to fight for the United States and prove their loyalty as Americans. At top strength the Regiments, known as "California's Own," numbered 7,000 strong. Please join us and view the heroic story of these unsung heroes as revealed through interviews and never before seen archival footage. This film, which is unrated, is narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips.

The downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library is located at 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. This program is appropriate for adults and teens (grade nine and up). This film is part of the University of Michigan's University-Community Social and Environmental Justice Film and Discussion Series.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at