About FASO

Established in 1992, the Filipino American Student Organization is a group of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison dedicated to the issues and experiences of Filipino and Filipino Americans. FASO is based on the spirit of bayanihan/community, kapwa/shared identity & kagandahang loob/shared humanity.

For questions/comments, hit us up!

Isang Mahal! (One Love)

About "Pinoy"

Dr. Michael Cullinane, Director for the Center for Southeast Asian Studies gives us a brief history of the term, Pinoy:

"Pinoy" is a common term used for "Filipino" and is now used widely among Filipinos in and out of the Philippines. As the history goes, the term is reported to have first been used by Filipinos migrant workers on the west coast of the US in the 1920s to refer to themselves; that is, to distinguish themselves from other minorities, especially other Asians. During the pre-war years, the term Pinoy was also used by non-Filipinos in a pejorative way, like the even more condescending word "Flip." I like to think that since it was a term that emphasized ethnic identity in a frequently hostile environment, Filipinos increasingly used to term to both define themselves to others and to achieve a sense of solidarity. The term soon spread back to the Philippines, where it has also been used since the late 1920s.

In the US the term competes with other designations, among them Fil-Am and is clearly a more popular expression of identity. One of the first major books attempting to write the history of the first generation of Filipinos in the US, a group sometime referred to as the "Manongs" (the older brothers), was written by Roberto V. Vallangca, who titled his book: Pinoy: The First Wave, 1898-1941. San Francisco: Strawberry Hill Press, 1977. Vallangca was himself an early Pinoy.

My own familiarity with the term emerged in the 1970s in the Philippines when a new genre of Filipino popular music emerged with traditional kundiman melodies and Tagalog lyrics and was quickly labeled “Pinoy Folk” and later “Pinoy Folk Rock,” sometimes today calle “Pinoy Pop” and in the music malls of the Philippines: “OPM” – Original Pinoy Music.

Though words in Filipino languages do not distinguish gender, loan words that derive from Spanish generally adopt a Spanish form of genderization: thus, Filipino and Pinoy is a male Filipina as Pinay is a female.