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Profile of Pablo Manlapit

Photo and bio of Pablo Manlapit, organizer of Filipino workers on Hawaii's sugar plantations in the 1920's.

Pablo Manlapit

Pablo Manlapit was born in the Philippines on January 17, 1891. He traveled to Hawaii in 1910 to work for the Hamakua Mill Company.

While he was working on the plantation, he took night classes, and eventually he left the plantation to become a labor clerk. In the 1920's he became a lawyer, and he became a spokesperson for the Filipino labor movement.

He founded the Filipino Labor Union in 1919 and be began recruiting Filipino workers from Hawaii's sugar plantations. In 1920 he helped Japanese and Filipinos workers organize a strike for higher wages. They lost that strike, but they learned to work together for the common good. That same year Manlapit joined Japanese labor leaders to form the Higher Wave Movement.

In 1924 Manlapit led an eight-month strike of plantation workers on the island of Kauai. Sixteen workers and four policemen were killed on September 9, 1924 in gun battle between police and Kauai workers. This incident is known as the "Hanapepe Massacre". Pablo Manlapit was not present at that uprising but he was arrested, along with sixty other Filipinos, and tried for conspiracy. He was convicted and was given a sentence of two to ten years in Oahu Prison.

He moved to California after his release from prison. In 1933 he moved back to Hawaii.He was deported and sent back to the Philippines, where he died on April 15, 1969.

TITLE: Unbending Cane: Pablo Manlapit
AUTHOR: Melinda Tria Kerkvliet, Ph.D.
PUBLISHER: University of Hawaii Press
FULL TITLE: Unbending Cane: Pablo Manlapit, A Filipino Labor Leader in Hawaii

- Buy the "Unbeinding Cane" Book at Amazon.com
- Buy a Pablo Manlapit Article at Amazon.com

See also:
- Wikipedia on Pablo Manlapit
- Philippine News on Pablo Manlapit
- Plantation Worker Gave Filipinos a Voice
- Filipino Strikes in Hawaii: 1920 and 1924

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