The Major Contributions and Jobs Held by Filipino Immigrants

What are the major jobs held by Filipino Immigrants? Americans know that people of Filipino ancestry have contributed much to our society. According to migrationpolicy.org, Filipinos over the age of 25 have higher education rates compared to native and overall foreign-born populations. Half of all the immigrants reported having at least a bachelor’s degree.


What Cities Have the Most Filipinos? 

Did you know that Los Angeles has the highest number of Filipino people, yet Hawaii has the greatest percentage at 8.2 percent? Other cities with high populations include:

  • San Francisco – Oakland – Hayward
  • New York – Newark – Jersey City
  • San Diego – Carlsbad, CA
  • Chicago – Naperville – Elgin, IL
  • Urban Honolulu, HI
  • Las Vegas – Henderson – Paradise, NV
  • and others

The highest number of workers from the Philippines and those native born are in the management, business, science and arts occupations; service occupations, sales and office jobs follow. It is a fact that Filipinos show significantly higher incomes compared to the total foreign- and native-born populations.


Where You Can Find Them


With many Filipinos living in California, the arts has been a major source of employment over the years for immigrants and their descendants. Some of today’s actors and musicians have a parent who is from the Philippines.


The music industry has several famous names including Bruno Mars, whose mother was born in the Philippines and is Filipino-Spanish; she later migrated to Hawaii.


Jessica Sanchez, Jasmine Trias, and Nicole Scherzinger, of Pussycat Dolls fame, have Filipino blood that runs through their veins.


Hollywood has been the source of many jobs held by those who have Filipino origins in their background. Vanessa Hudgens, of High School Musical film, has a mother of Chinese and Filipino origins. Enrique Iglesias is the son of the Filipino socialite Isabel Preysler as well as the Spanish singer Julio Iglesias.


Darren Criss, the actor, has a mother who is Filipino.


Contributions, Fame and Money


Having the ability to transfer money to the Philippines has made it easy for those who have accomplished much here to remember their origins and those back home.


You may not know that some actors and actresses, who have work we admire, are of Filipino origins. Included are the following:

  • Lou Diamond Phillips – Golden Globe and Tony nominee
  • Manny Jacinto – actor
  • Vincent Rodriguez III, actor
  • Mark Dacascos – actor and director
  • Ella Jay Basco – actress
  • Dan Inosanto – actor, stuntman and martial arts teacher
  • Cassie Ventura – R & B artist, actress
  • and many others

Major contributions in dance have been made by Cheryl Burke, Ryan “Ryanimay” Conferido, Napoleon D’umo, Chris Judd and others. The fields of art, writing, education, journalism, law and theater have all benefited from those of Filipino blood. 


There have also been award-winning restaurant owners, such as Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan as well as a chef at the White House, Cristeta Comerford, who are born in the Philippines. 


Many of the other professions have been guided and aided by those of Filipino origins. Immigrants as well as their children have always played an important role in the diversity of Americans. Some have become major household names, and others are quietly doing their jobs with pride. Whether actor, music legend, housekeeping manager or secretary in an office, Filipino immigrants have made major contributions to the United States.

Adam Torkildson