Filipino American leaders in Queens are calling for a Little Manila Avenue street sign to be erected on Roosevelt Avenue at 70th Street.
They’ve launched an online petition that has so far generated nearly 1800 signatures. According to the organizers, 54% of New York City’s 86,000 Filipinos live in Queens. Many of them live in the neighborhood of Woodside.
The Unofficial Guide reports New York’s Little Manila runs along Roosevelt Avenue from 61st through 70th Street. The area has a high concentration of Filipino businesses and its common to see signs in Tagalog in the area.
“I have seen what it has become in the last 10 to 15 years. It’s extraordinary,” said Joseph Castillo, whose parents established the popular Filipino grocery store PhilAm. “We learned about Chinatown and Little Italy [at school]… but it’s amazing to watch Little Manila come about first hand.”
Castillo told LicPost he grew up living upstairs from his parent’s grocery store and is among those pushing to co-name the street.
This past June, a mural dedicated to Filipino health care workers went up just a block away.
“The street co-naming will bring visibility to the Philippine community’s contributions to New York City,” the petition reads. “There are no records of “Little Manila” elsewhere in NYC and this would make it the first. Our hope is that Little Manila will be recognized as more than an ethnic enclave that adds to the diversity of the borough and the city, but home to a community who has been an integral part of the care and thrivance of fellow New Yorkers.”
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