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Manila Village was a settlement of Filipino sailors, fishermen and laborers located on an island in Barataria Bay, in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. Settlements such as Manila Village and Saint Malo in St. Bernard Parish were founded in the mid-19th century (or earlier). The fishermen caught and dried their precious commodity, shrimp, for export to Asia, Canada, South America, and Central America. On July 24, 1870, the Spanish-speaking residents of St. Malo founded the first Filipino social club, called Sociedad de Beneficencia de los Hispano Filipinos, to provide relief and support for the group’s members, including the purchasing of burial places for their deceased.
The settlements were eventually destroyed by hurricanes: Saint Malo by the 1915 New Orleans hurricane and Manila Village by Hurricane Betsy in 1965. As of 2016, only a small remnant of Manila island, about one acre in size, remains.
In Jefferson Parish, Manila Plaza, located in front of Jean Lafitte Town Hall, holds several historical markers and commemorative plaques acknowledging important figures in the area's Filipino-American history. While there were several settlements scattered along the Louisiana coast in the late 19th century, Manila Village was the largest.
- Fred Cordova, Filipinos: Forgotten Asian Americans (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/ Hunt, 1983)
- Filipino Contributions Remembered with Historical Markers, Lara Arceneaux's blog article of July 12, 2013, at The Times-Picayune; accessed 22 March 2015.