Philip Vera Cruz: FILIPINO-AMERICAN HERO OF WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Philip Vera Cruz:
Filipino-American Hero of workers’ Rights

There are two videos to choose from to learn about Philip Vera Cruz.

The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz!

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects located at the end of this learning block!

What was the Delano Grape Strike?

Why did Mexican and Filipino farm workers join together?

Want to Learn More?

Learn more about social justice and the people who fought for it! We focus on the stories that haven’t been told!

With Omnis Education learning is FUN!

Now choose an Activity

Create a poster

Philip Vera Cruz was part of the 1965 movement which fought for rights and better working conditions for farm workers. Create a poster that may have convinced people to join the movement. You can include a slogan, art, photographs, or whatever you think might inspire someone to get involved.

Save your poster for your portfolio.

Write a letter or journal entry

Imagine you are a farm worker at the same time as Philip Vera Cruz. Write a letter or journal entry describing what it is like to be a farm worker and how you feel about the strike. Be sure to include details about working conditions and the risks and benefits involved in going on strike. 

Save your entry for your portfolio.

Philip Vera Cruz Project

Write a poem

Read the poem below. It is written by Philip Vera Cruz. After reading it, write your own poem about an issue you feel strongly about. Cruz wrote about his own experiences and observations. What have you experienced or observed that would make a good topic for a poem?

Profits Enslave the World
(A poem by Philip Vera Cruz)

While still across the ocean
I heard about the USA
So thrilled by wild imagination
I left home through Manila Bay

Then on my way I thought and wondered
Alone what would the future be?
I gambled parental care and love
To search for human liberty

But beautiful bright pictures painted
Were just half of the whole story
Reflections of great wealth and power
In the land of slavery

Minorities to shanty towns, slums…
Disgraceful spots for all to see
In the enviable Garden of Eden,
Land of affluence and poverty

Since then I was a hungry stray dog,
Too busy to keep myself alive…
It seems equality and freedom
Will never be where millionaires thrive!

A lust for power causes oppression
To rob the poor to senseless greed:
The wealthy few’s excessive profits
Tend to enslave the world to need.

Books About Philip Vera Cruz

Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library.

Asian Americans Who Inspire us-Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz Read Aloud

Advanced Projects

Choose at least one.

Analyze poetry by Philip Vera Cruz

Read more in depth about Philip Vera Cruz in this reading from advancingjustice-la.org. After reading the information, pay close attention to the poem written by him at the end of the PDF. Read his words and think about the message he is trying to convey. You can use this template from Nicolet High School to analyze the poem.

Take Action

Philip Vera Cruz took action to solve a problem. Is there a problem that needs to be solved or a cause that you want to take action on? Create a 3-5 minute video introducing your idea, or the problem, and encouraging others to join you in your campaign. Things you might decide to do:

  • Write your legislator
  • Raise money 
  • Volunteer time or skills
  • Raise awareness
  • Support an existing cause
  • Solve a new problem
  • Organize a local event
  • Organize an online event

Include a summary of your project in your portfolio. Be sure to include any written or video content you created as well as a description of the project and your motivation.

Create a Newspaper

Create a mini newspaper with three short articles and at least one advertisement based on Philip Vera Cruz and the movement for better working conditions for farm workers during his time. Use a free newspaper template tool for Google Docs to make your newspaper look professional.

Include your finished copy in your portfolio.

Design and Paint a Mural

If artistic expression is your jam, design and paint a mural based on Philip Vera Cruz and the movement for better working conditions of farm workers during his time. Do the design work small scale, either on paper or digitally. Then, blow it up. You might do a “small” mural, on a roll of industrial sized paper, or a piece of plywood. Or, you might be able to find a space to take your mural larger than life, on the side of a building, for example. 

When designing your mural think about:

  • The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Philip Vera Cruz and the farm workers movement of his time
  • The emotion you want to convey
  • The use of colour to convey emotion as well as theme
  • The style of your mural and what message that sends as well
  • Write a short artistic brief explaining your subject and your choices

Include a description of your mural and photos in your portfolio.

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