Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Filipino History Remembered in October

MEDIA: Ethnic NewsWatch

Article: Filipino History Remembered in October
Copyright The Filipino Express Oct 15-Oct 21, 2007
IN 1898 the United States of America paid the Spanish government $20 million for control of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. In 1899, a violent three-year war ensued between American and Filipino forces that resulted in almost 8,000 American casualties and an estimated 1.3 million Filipino casualties. It was a war in a far away country that the majority of the American public did not know much about Sound familiar?
To Filipino-Americans, October is National Filipino History Month, and sometimes a brief look into the past can prove to be very relevant to current events.
According to the Filipino American National Historical Society, which established National Filipino History Month in 1988, Filipino people have lived in North America since 1763, when the Spanish held the Louisiana territory as a colony. Yet it was the Philippine-American War that brought about much greater contact and integration between the two cultures, according to the FANHS.
The circumstances of that little spoken-of conflict and the current conflict in Iraq have very interesting parallels.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported in 2003 that President George W. Bush said to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen, "God told me to strike at alQaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam Hussein, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East" This comment was later widely published in American newspapers and was a topic of national news at the time.
According to Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States and currently a professor at Boston University, President William McKinley, who served from 1897 to 1901, also made a similar religious comment to a delegation of visiting ministers on the eve of the Philippine-American War.
"That there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them."
According to the official website of the U.S. Department of State, "The United States did not 'create' Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda. The United States supported the Afghans fighting for their country's freedom - as did other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Egypt, and the UK - but the United States did not support the 'Afghan Arabs,' the Arabs and other Muslims who came to fight in Afghanistan for broader goals."
However, the New America Foundation has been one of many organizations to report otherwise. "Osama bin Laden was cultivated, funded, and armed by the CIA to help further America's foreign policy objectives at that time. In 1979, bin Laden and several hundred of his loyal workmen in the Saudi construction industry moved to Afghanistan to fight Soviet 'infidel invaders.'" While this accusation has been widespread in the years since 9/11, the debate is ongoing.
The Philippine-American War began in an identical manner. Emilio Aguinaldo, an exiled Filipino who had led rebellions against the Spanish, was sent back to the Philippines in 1897 with American arms and funds to continue his rebellions, according to Zinn. As soon as the Philippines were sold to the United States in 1898, Aguinaldo used his American arms to wage a guerilla war against the U.S. Army stationed in the newly acquired colony.
These few facts about the conflicts, more than 100 years apart, draw striking similarities. In a time of remembrance, as October is National Filipino History Month, it is important to regard the facts of the past and realize how they can be replayed in current times.
Shane Madden
Filipino casualties on the first day of Philippine-American War, February 5, 1899. The original caption was, "Insurgent dead just as they fell in the trench near Santa Ana, February 5th. The trench was circular, and the picture shows but a small portion." The war lasted until 1913 and resulted in the colonization of the Philippine Islands by the United States.


I chose this article because it summarizes how the Filipinos are part of America’s history, and that their treatment back when America was only recently discovered that they were treated with brutality. America bought the Philippines from Spain and then tried to “Americanize” them by coming into their country. They did this by changing their school curriculum to teach history from American’s point of view, and even attempted to force religion upon everyone. "That there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them." The Filipinos were furious and decided to revolt, in which many casualties had occurred due to the Filipino-American war. The article relates this even to recent events such as the war in Iraq, with only slightly different circumstances. This relates to the course material because it shows that America is still having conflicts with other countries, and because of such wars, there are slight discriminatory factors that are pointed towards people of Iraqi and Iranian descent, with the assumption that they are automatically presumed as being terrorists and/or need to keep a close eye on.

This article connects to Takaki Chapter 10 “Pacific Crossings: Seeking the Land of Money Trees” in the sense that it deals with those of Asian descent coming over to America in search of equal treatment, but ended up treated like minorities. Takaki describes how on the mainland and even Hawaii, when the Asian children had to attend school, they had to learn America’s history, and learn not to be independent in choosing their own future, but they were being trained to work in the fields and other businesses under Caucasian rule. Again, the Asians were discriminated against for not being capable of having the same rights as those who are of Caucasian descent. Because of this started a war back in the Philippines and some upsets in the other Asian countries, as this article describes, and compares to the current war in Iraq as being quite similar. According to an Iraqi newspaper, President George Bush stated that "God told me to strike at alQaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam Hussein, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East". So apparently it was the “right” thing to do to engage in this war because a higher being said to attack alQaeda. In a few of the readings we read in class, the Caucasians of America strongly believed that their religion was the only correct one, and others, such as the Indians when the settlers first arrived, who did not follow their religion were considered beasts that needed to be “struck down” because they differed from the settlers norm.

I believe that America still has its faults with trying to embrace diversity and attempting to not be racist and discriminatory. Sure the situation has improved massively as compared to many, many years ago, but the problems still do exist, and need to be dealt with. This article compares the war between the Philippines and America to the current war between Iraq and America, and states that both of the wars started out with the countries fighting for their freedom from America, and because America does not want to let them go, they let a war develop. These wars were pretty much over a hundred years apart, and as the article says, they draw striking similarities.

South Park: The Ginger Kids

TV SHOW/Summary: South Park

Summary of Episode: The Ginger Kids
In a class presentation, Cartman argues that "Gingers" — those with red hair, freckles, and pale skin — are creepy and evil (a feeling that probably had its origins in Cartman's incident with Scott Tenorman). He explains they suffer from "gingervitis" and their light skin comes from their lack of a soul. He also argues that they cannot stand the sun, and that Kyle, who has auburn hair (but not light skin or freckles) — is a "daywalker". After his speech encourages other students to discriminate against gingers, Kyle decides to make his presentation about the genetic causes of gingers being born. Kyle interviews a family with ginger children, and it soon becomes apparent that although Cartman's prejudiced ideas about Gingers are untrue, the fact remains that the general public, even their own parents, carry a similar bigoted hatred and intolerance toward them. Kyle's status as a "Daywalker" prevents anybody from listening though, so he and the others agree that Cartman needs to be taught a lesson. They get together in the night to dye Cartman's hair red, bleach his skin a lighter hue, and give him henna freckles, to make him "ginger", after which Cartman begins to be discriminated against by the kids he influenced by his speech. However, Cartman becomes a leader of the "Ginger Separatist Movement", at first asking to be treated like everyone else.
Quickly, however, Cartman's movement becomes violent and Hitler-esque in tone. He begins to preach that gingers are, in fact, the "chosen race," and orders the eradication of all non-gingers from the Earth. Following Cartman's orders, the gingers abduct as many of South Park's children as they can, including Stan and Kyle, then bring them to their meeting place the Sunset Room at the Airport Hilton to throw them all into a pit of lava.
Kyle is chosen as the first to die, but before the gingers throw him into the lava, he whispers to Cartman that they really made him look ginger, and Cartman is shocked. He then tells his followers that he has suddenly had an epiphany, and now realizes that everybody has to get along. As the other children are freed, Kyle mutters to Cartman that he is a manipulative asshole. Cartman (for once) agrees, but doesn't care as long as he isn't killed by the people of his movement.

I chose this episode of the television show South Park because it shows how the society of the South Park children are easily influenced to be discriminative against those who have certain characteristics. It also adds a twist of when Cartman’s physical appearances are altered, he leads the once “minority” and discriminated group of people into an uprising, claiming they are actually the “chosen race”, and any of those who do not possess the “ginger” physical characteristics should be wiped off the face of the planet. This is basically what Hitler did with his Arian race, and extinguishing the Jews from his country. This episode shows an interesting turn of events as to how those that were once discriminated against, if they can unite and work as a group, they can overthrow the population and fight for their rights to be treated equal in a society. Though in this episode, Cartman takes things a little bit too far and brings the Hitler elements into play, which is just turning sides on what types of people are being discriminated against.

This media item can be connected to the article we read in class which involved the west coast importing labor workers from Asia to work on the sugar cane crops. Later on when some of the Asians moved to California to start up their own new lives to live on the mainland alongside the other Americans, they faced the same discrimination as the Ginger kids did in South Park. In the episode of South Park, Cartman proclaims a stereotype about ginger kids saying that they are all cruel and evil, and the way that they look happened genetically, so they cannot be changed. The rest of the school ends up believing Cartman’s discriminatory points of views of the ginger kids, and everyone in that society, including their own parents, looked down upon those children. In California, the Asian Americans were discriminated against by not having equal opportunities as someone who was Caucasian. For example, a simple barber shop would gladly serve a white male, but if a Japanese man, who may be of the same social class as the white male, were to come into the barber shop, he would be shooed away like a stray dog. The only difference between these two men would be the outward appearance, one of slightly darker skin and distinct facial features that would label him as an Asian American. The same goes for the Ginger kids, with their red colored hair, freckles, and pale skin, they are easily distinguished from the rest, and received bouts of ridicule from society, being treated differently than anyone else within the society of South Park.

I find South Park to be a mix of comedy and borderline offensive. South Park is a television show that is meant to test the boundaries that still unfortunately exist within our country. Most of the material on this show uses humor and puns about situations that were once existing within the current times society. This particular episode clearly portrays the events of being discriminated against because of the way a person looks, not who they really are and regardless of their standings within the society. The episode also included a slight parody of Hitler also, which is basically turning the once minority group into the “true race”, and everyone who is of the different race should be killed. It was basically turning the tides of discrimination against various groups of people. This show clearly exhibits the fact that even though it’s meant to be humorous, there are bouts of racism and discrimination still existent within today’s modern society.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cavemen: The TV Show

TV SHOW: Cavemen


I chose this tv show because it deals with stereotyping of certain people, in this case, cavemen. The portion of this clip shows that the cavemen were believed to all have long shaggy hair and facial hair. This show was inspired by the Geico insurance company commercials which always ended with “So easy that a caveman can do it”. In this excerpt of the episode, the cavemen are just having casual conversation while two of them are playing boxing in Wii Sports, a video game on the Nintendo Wii videogame system. The combined stereotype of how a caveman typically looks, and that cavemen are not educationally advanced to supposedly do difficult tasks, they are portrayed in the show and the commercials as simple minded, “dumb”, and hairy looking people.

This media example can be tied to various articles that dealt with stereotyping of certain races, such as the African Americans and various descents of Asian Americans. Specifically, the site which contained the different caricatures with the Chief Wahoo face and the facial differences between those who were Indian, African American, Jewish, Chinese, Irish, and other various stereotypes would be closely related to what the Cavemen show portrays. Based on assumptions, the cavemen’s features were decided to be hairy, with long shaggy hair, facial hair, and normally speak in broken English or grunts. As for their characteristics, they were believed to be not very intelligent, living in caves (as their name suggests), most likely wearing skin hide as clothing, carrying around a club. Overall, they were very simple creatures, almost to be presumed as behaving more like a beast or animal than human. The outward appearances are more clearly distinguished in the Geico commercials than the TV show, where it suggests how cavemen were to be like if they were living in today’s society and norms. Their outward appearance of clothing and living conditions are of today’s society, but their physical features still clearly resemble those to be of a cavemen stereotype. Basically, how the cavemen are portrayed in the TV show and the commercials, the person who did the caricatures could easily create one to resemble the cavemen.

I believe that the cavemen are represented very stereotypically in the commercials and in the television show. Though clearly, the show was made to be a comedy, portraying how a caveman would fit into modern day society. It is clear that adopting our clothing and style of living is not a difficult task, which is basically changing one’s culture. On the other hand, something that cannot be changed is a person’s physical features. Like the Japanese, African Americans, and other minorities, they are easily distinguished by their outward physical appearances, not by what clothes they wore or what part of town they lived in. Even the way they act can easily be changed and adopting by just observing one’s surroundings. In the television show this holds true, where their physical features are still intact with the shaggy hair, facial hair, and overall, just hairy and messy looking.

The Princess Bride

MOVIE: The Princess Bride (released in 1983)


I chose the movie media item to be The Princess Bride, because it shows in somewhat recent media, that the stereotype of women being the damsel in distress, and having to be “rescued” by the heroic male to escape harm’s way. The story of The Princess Bride revolves around a classic fairy tale involving a young and beautiful woman named Buttercup, who was captured and reluctantly chose to being betrothed to the evil Prince Humperdinck. The hero of the story, a male who is skilled at weaponry and stealth, heads towards the kingdom and falls in love with the captured Buttercup. Throughout the story the princess remains quite passive and practically defenseless within her surroundings. She is also treated with such delicacy and protection that may or may not be unnecessary. While most of the battling ensues, she is nowhere to be seen until she is found and it is time to flee the castle. The hero contributes to the majority of the fighting, with help from his partners along the way. The princess is being protected and does not participate in any sort of fighting because it would be unladylike.

The concept of female stereotyping found within this movie is directly related to some of the comic book covers we have viewed in class. A few of the comic book covers concern a Caucasian male seeming to save a beautiful damsel in distress from evil, in these cases the minorities of either African American or Asian descent. Through the majority of history, it was believed that the male was supposed to do most of the work and bring in money for the household. The women were supposed to stay back in the household, do chores around the house and take care of the children if there were any in the family at the time. This shows that men were viewed as the dominant gender, whilst females were the recessive gender, staying in the background and bowing to the will of her husband. In this film, though it is not as extreme as it was back in history, it is still interesting to see certain women, such as Buttercup in the movie, being portrayed as helpless, unable to escape by herself, and needing to depend on the male hero in order to be free.

Even within today’s society, there are seldom gender stereotypes that still exist. Thankfully they are not as bad as it was back then, and women nowadays do have more equal rights. Also, women are now able to work jobs that used to be deemed as a male only job. Though having the female being the damsel in distress in fairy tales, and having to have the male hero come in and save the day may just be a crucial part of the storyline, it sociologically gives off a message to young children that women tend to be the weaker gender within the culture. This is one of the reasons why slight cases of sexism still exists within our society, among other reasons dealing with sociological observations concerning a child and gender roles of his or her mother and father. Besides that, I believe women should at least be portrayed to be able to defend themselves in given situations, and not be presumed helpless. Even though this is true in today’s society, having the female stereotype of being dependent on males still exists, as shown in this movie.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Debut

Trailer for the movie “The Debut” (2000 release)
YouTube video from:

Summary of the movie, credit :
The story revolves around Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage. The long-simmering feud between Ben and his immigrant father Roland threatens to boil over and ruin the 18th birthday party of Ben's sister Rose. But to Ben's surprise, his sister's celebration challenges his sense of misplaced identity, and the way he regards his father and grandfather. In one night, Ben faces the true nature of his relationships with his family, his friends, and himself.

Brief synopsis of the movie, credit
A high school senior and aspiring artist/illustrator, Ben's dream is to go to art school. This conflicts with the ambitions of his stern father Roland (Tirso Cruz III), a postman who wants Ben to achieve a higher status, preferably by studying medicine at UCLA. When his father dismisses Ben's art as "silly little pictures," he doesn't just shut out his family, but also, by extension, his Filipino heritage. When his Chicano and white friends Doug (Jayson Schaal) and Rick (Brandon Martin) unexpectedly come into his house during preparations for Rose's party, an embarrassed Ben hurriedly shoos them out before they see too much of his "ethnic" environment, whether the smells from the kitchen or the cultural curios that adorn the home.
The bulk of The Debut takes place later that evening at the party, held at a local high school gym. Here Ben, suffused in Filipino-ness, begins to find the beauty in his community (not to mention one particular young woman). This contrasts with a side trip he, Doug, and Rick take to an all-white party where an obnoxiously drunk white woman shocks Ben into recognizing that, just because he yearns to be white, it doesn't mean he is. As Rose admonishes him earlier, "You're just as brown as the rest of us."
But while ethnicity is incidental in BLT's storyline, The Debut explicitly engages it. There's a long tradition of Asian American films -- most famously Wayne Wang's trifecta, Dim Sum (1985), Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989), and Joy Luck Club (1993) -- that simultaneously explore identity alongside the generation gap between immigrant parents and their American-born and -raised children. One of the key tensions in The Debut is how the second generation of Filipino youth forms an identity amongst white, Black, and Filipino cultural influences. (That Flip Side deals with the same issues suggests their pervasiveness for Fil-Am filmmakers.)
The Debut appears to run through a checklist of Fil-Am cultural references designed as intra-community jokes as well as educate the cultural outsider. Whether it's predictable scenes of young teens playing basketball, colorful ethnic costumes or lingering shots of food platters, the film tries to showcase Filipino/Fil-Am culture, but with more style than substance.
More important, The Debut explores less obvious concerns within the community. For example, Roland, like many highly educated but underemployed immigrant men, works in a blue-collar profession that is an embarrassment to the Mercado patriarch from the Philippines, Lolo Carlos (played by legendary Philippines' star Eddie Garcia). Likewise, Ben meets his romantic interest Annabelle (Joy Bisco) when she's being aggressively hassled by her ex-boyfriend Gusto (Darion Basco, one of the five Basco family members in the film), a nod to the issue of domestic violence in the Fil-Am community (an issue more prominently taken up by Filipino-Canadian filmmaker Romeo Candido in 2002's Lolo's Child).

Note: I included a summary and synopsis of the movie because I have not seen the movie yet myself, though after reading about the movie, it does look like an interesting movie to watch.

This video is a trailer of the movie called The Debut. The Debut takes place in modern society from the viewpoint of a Filipino male, who is a senior in high school. This movie deals with the ethnicity of Filipinos and how a Filipino American in modern day may have conflicting views about who they really are, and what path they should follow. The paths would be trying to fit into the American culture and leave behind his or her original heritage, or learn to accept both cultures as one. I chose this video because I believe it represents the Filipino culture and how different it is compared to the American society. Also it gives a good example of how even though the Filipino immigrants may not have a very high standard of living for themselves; their true purpose is to make sure that their child succeeds well in the United States. The Filipinos beliefs of success are just like the other Asian Americans that came over to the Americas. Their goals are to make sure their child has a good education, and will be successful within the American society, no matter if they themselves have to suffer through a blue-collar type occupation in order to obtain their goal.

This video relates to the class material because it demonstrates the conflicts of different cultures within the United States. Though because this film is more recent, the Filipino’s are not really socially rejected by their surroundings, and treated unequally. Rather, the movie revolves around how the next generation of Filipino Americans fit into American’s society. Through a few of our readings, we learned about how Asian’s came over to America in search for a new life. At first they were deceived by being used as cheap plantation labor. But after protesting and slowly proving themselves worthy and capable of earning better wages and living on their own, without having to be detained in concentration camp-like settings, equality was slowly, but not fully, gained. In the brief synopsis of this video, it states that the main character’s immigrant father, Roland, is “a postman who wants Ben to achieve a higher status, preferably by studying medicine at UCLA”. Many of the first wave of Asian immigrants during this time period set out to make a successful life of their own, but more importantly to them, they worked hard to ensure their children receive the best education in order to get a more successful business career than they could ever have.

From what I have gathered from the trailer, summary, and synopsis of the movie The Debut, shows a very accurate representation of how being the child of an immigrant parent would be like. Also, I believe the Philippine culture would be accurately represented within the American society. The immigrant parent caring only for their child’s greater success struck me as being very true based on personal experience and through the readings in class. I could probably relate to this because I am also a daughter of an immigrant parent, with my mother being the immigrant who moved here a year or so before I was born. Though, being only half Filipino, I grew up experience both a mixture of a Philippine culture and of an American culture, therefore the lines between the two differences are quite blurred in my point of view. Though there are various cultural differences that are quite apparent to what half it belongs to.

Filipino American History

According to the U.S. census, there are approximately 9 million people living in America who are of Asian descent. Twenty-three percent of that are of Chinese ancestry; 20% are Filipino; 12% are Asian Indian; and Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese each share about 10%.
It is expected, that by the year 2000 Filipinos will be the largest Asian Pacific Islander group. In the state of California, there are more Filipinos than there are of Chinese.
In San Diego County, Filipino Americans are the largest Asian Pacific Islander group. Yet as Filipino Americans, we are invisible to mainstream society. How often do you see Filipinos in books, in magazines, on television, or on the radio?
We are hidden in the shadows of our Pacific Islander brothers and sisters. It seems that the only thing people know about us is that our youths have the highest suicide rate in the county.
Is that the only thing known about Filipino Americans? Is this what we want our fellow Americans, our fellow Asian Americans, and our fellow shipmates to know? No, of course not. If possible, we would like to be able to tell our friends and neighbors that there is more to being Filipino than just lumpia and pancit. We want to be able to tell our friends and family that we have a unique Asian Pacific Islander heritage. A heritage that reflects our Filipinoness. A heritage that goes deep into the hearts of all Pinoys, whether we speak English or Tagalog, whether we were born in America or the Philippines, or whether we eat "kare-kare" and "pinakbet", or hamburgers and French fries.
We want to be able to tell our friends and fellow shipmates that, "Our history is no mystery." Indeed, as Filipino Americans, we need to tell our story and when our story began. Unknown to many people, Filipino American history began on October 18, 1587. Filipinos were the first Asians to cross the Pacific Ocean as early as 1587, fifty years before the first English settlement of Jamestown was established. From 1565 to 1815, during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, Filipinos were forced to work as sailors and navigators on board Spanish Galleons.
They arrived in as Morro Bay, California. A landing party consisting of Filipino seamen, namely "Luzon Indios ("Luzon Indians"), were sent to the California shore to claim the land for the Spanish king.
In 1763, Filipinos made their first permanent settlement in the bayous and marshes of Louisiana. As sailors and navigators on board Spanish galleons, Filipinos -- also known as "Manilamen" or Spanish-speaking Filipinos -- jumped ship to escape the brutality of their Spanish masters. They built houses on stilts along the gulf ports of New Orleans and were the first in the United States to introduce the sun-drying process of shrimp.
In 1781, Antonio Miranda Rodriguez Poblador, a Filipino, along with 44 other individuals was sent by the Spanish government from Mexico to establish what is now known as the city of Los Angeles.
During the War of 1812, Filipinos from Manila Village (near New Orleans) were among the "Batarians" who fought against the British with Jean Lafitte in the Battle of New Orleans.
This was just the beginning of the first wave of Filipino immigration into the United States. The second wave began from 1906 to 1934 with a heavy concentration going into California and Hawaii.
Between these waves of immigration, it is through the "colonization of our native land", the Philippines, that brought us here. For over 300 years, Spain had colonized the Philippines using Manila Bay as their great seaport, trading silver and rich spices with other countries surrounding Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. In exchange for gold, the Spaniards gave Filipinos Christianity. We were called Filipinos after King Philip II of Spain. This is why we have Spanish surnames like Bautista, Calderon, Marquez, and Santos.
Our Spanish connection came to an end after the Spanish-American War in 1898 when America wanted to control the Philippines. Unknown to Filipinos, through the Treaty of Paris (April 11, 1899), Spain sold the Philippines to the United States for $20 million, thus ending over 300 years of Spanish colonization.
Filipinos celebrated their independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, and declared Emilio Aguinaldo as president. However, the people of the Philippines were not truly free. In fact, they never were. America was its new ruler and had cheated the Filipinos in believing that they were free. Thus, the Filipino American War began shortly after U.S. colonization. Known in U.S. history books as the "Philippine Insurrection", it was a bloody precurser to Vietnam. The Filipino American War was America's first true overseas war. The War lasted from 1898 to 1902, and in those 3 years as many as 70,000 Americans died and close to 2 million Filipinos were killed. American soldiers were ordered to shoot and kill every one over age 10. Filipinos over ten were considered "Criminals because they were born ten years before [America] we took the Philippines."
There was even a special gun designed to kill Filipinos, the Colt.45 1902 "Philippine Model", where only 4,600 were made. This is the real American history that historians, academicians, and scholars forgot to tell us. Soon after the War, William Howard Taft, who later became President of the United States, became governor of the Philippines. American school teachers, called 'Thomasites', came to the Philippines to establish a public school system similar to American public schools.
American educators taught Filipinos that "Aguinaldo and friends" were the enemy. They were taught American songs, and world history through American eyes. This is why so many of us speak such good English. The elite class of rich Filipinos also known as "pensionados" were allowed to come to America to learn in American universities. In November 1903, 103 pensionados became the first Filipino students in American Universities and campuses.
It was here in San Diego at State Normal School, now known as San Diego State University (SDSU), where the School Registrar's records show that there were a few Filipino students, ages 16- 25, who had attended SDSU, proof that we have been here in San Diego since 1903.
In the early 1900's, other Filipinos came to Hawaii to work on sugar cane plantations and to seek a better life in America. Filipinos came to the West Coast of the U.S. They worked many long hours on farms and in the agricultural fields picking grapes, asparagus, lettuce and other fruits and vegetables in places like Hayward, Salinas, Stockton, El Centro, and even in Escondido. In Alaska they worked in the fish canneries.
If they were not working in the fields, then they were working as dishwashers, waiters, and bus boys at the Hotel Del Coronado, some at the "Casa de Manana" in La Jolla, or at the Rome Hotel on Market Street.
These Filipino pioneers were known as the "manong generation" since most of them came from Ilokos Sur, Iloilo, and Cavite in the Philippines. "Many of them [Filipinos] did not plan to reside permanently in the United States. All they wanted was to accumulate as much wealth as possible within a short time and return to the islands as rich men. "But due to the low-paying jobs the migrants obtained, a trip home became more and more remote as the years went by" (excerpt from Adelaida Castillo-Tsuchida's "Filipino Migrants in San Diego: 1900-1946" p.56). Back in the 1920's and '30's, the ratio of men to women was 20 to 1. In some places it was 40 to 1. Because they were Filipino, they were not allowed to marry white women. In the state of California, the local authorities imposed anti-miscegenation laws on Filipinos. Filipinos had to drive out of state in order to marry white women.
And during this time, particularly during the Great Depression, white Americans claimed that Filipinos "brought down the standard of living because they worked for low wages."
Filipinos had to compete against other ethnic groups to earn a living. Tensions grew between white Americans and Filipinos. White Americans blamed Filipinos for taking their women and their jobs. For this reason, many hotels, restaurants, and even swimming pools had signs that read "POSITIVELY NO FILIPINOS ALLOWED!" Sometimes they read, "NO DOGS ALLOWED!"
This eventually lead to the passing of the Tydings-Mcduffie Act of 1934, which limited Filipino immigration to the U.S. to 50 per year. Its main purpose was to exclude Filipinos because they were perceived as a social problem, disease carriers, and an economical threat. American attitude toward Filipinos changed with the onset of World War II. This began the 3rd wave of Filipino immigration (1945-1965). Filipinos from the Philippines joined the U.S. Navy to fight against the Japanese. Filipinos were allowed to join the navy because they were so-called "Nationals". They were not U.S. citizens, nor were they illegal aliens. In the navy, many Filipinos were given the label of "Designated TN", which many of you know stood for "Stewardsman".
As stewards, Filipinos in the U.S. Navy cooked, cleaned, shined, washed, and swabbed the decks of naval ships and naval bases across America and the entire world. Despite their status, Filipinos fought side-by-side with American soldiers for freedom against the Japanese.
The 4th wave of Filipino Immigration began after the passing of the Immigration Act of 1965 and continues to the present day. This allowed the entry of as many as 20,000 immigrants annually.
This wave of Filipinos was also called the "brain drain". It consisted mainly of professionals: doctors, lawyers, nurses, engineers, as well as the military, Filipinos who continued to join the navy off Sangeley Point in Cavite City, Philippines. From the first to the fourth wave of Filipino Immigration, evidently Filipinos have been in America for quite some time, yet one must persistently ask who are the Filipino Americans? Who are they and what they have done? Perhaps it would be better to ask: What is it about Filipino-Americans that make them appear different, yet one and the same? The answer may lie with the younger generation, our youth, young 2nd or 3rd-generation Filipino Americans, for some of you, your sons and daughters. Many of them do not see themselves in the American mainstream or in the community, and because of this "invisibility" they lack a certain voice that would remind them that they too are Filipino. Perhaps, this might be one of the reasons why they act more American than Filipino. What many of them do not know is that there are people like the following to look up to.
AGAPITO FLORES, who in the early 1940's invented the FLOURESCENT LIGHT, thus the name FLUOR-RES-CENT;
EDWARDO SAN JUAN, a Filipino, who in 1969 worked for Lockheed Corporation and was the conceptional designer of the Lunar Rover or the Moon Buggy;
In 1948, Olympic gold medalist, VICKY MANALO DRAVES, was the first woman to win high and low diving events;
BOBBY BALCENA, in 1957, was the outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds;
ROMAN GABRIEL, quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams (1962-1973). He was the 1969 NFL MVP and Player of the Year;
LIZ MASAKAYAN, pro beach Volleyball champion player who lives in San Diego;
ERNIE REYES JR., martial arts expert, movie actor and director;
BEN CAYETANO, governor of Hawaii since 1994, the highest ranking Filipino American in U.S. government;
TESS SANTIAGO, Mayor of the city of Delano, California's first Filipina Mayor since November 1994;
ANDY BUMATAI, standup comedian from Hawaii;
AOIDA NICOLAS LEWIS, CEO of the largest African-American owned corporation, TLC Beatrice;
The late, LARRY DULAY ITLIONG, labor organizer (1965 grapes strike leader), 1st vice-president of the United Farm Workers union;
The late, PHILIP VERACRUZ, cofounder of the United Farm Workers union;
DANNY MODELO, the first Filipino American animal trainer at Sea World in the United States, a Filipino who grew up in South San Diego;
Judge LILIAN LIM, 1st Filipina judge in the U.S., appointed in 1988 and also from San Diego;
VELMA VELORIA, 1st Filipina American and Asian American woman elected to the Washington state legislature;
ROBIN TULAO MANGARIN, the 1st Filipina American television news anchorperson in San Diego history;
JOEL DELA FUENTE, TV actor who plays the character of Paul Wang on "Space Above and Beyond";
NIA PEEPLES, from the "North Shore", & star of the former TV show, "Party Machine"; also in the TC series "Fame";
TAMILYN TOMITA, from the "Karate Kid II" and the "Joy Luck Club";
TIA CARRERE, from "Wayne's World I & II", "Rising Sun", & "True Lies";
ROB SCHNEIDER, who you all know from Saturday Night Live, the movie "Judge Dredd", "Demolition Man", and "Down Periscope";
EMILIO ESTEVEZ, from the movie "Young Guns I & II", "Men at Work", & "The Mighty Ducks I & II";
CHARLIE SHEEN, from "Major League I & II", "Hot Shots", and "Navy Seals";
LOU DIAMOND PHIILLIPS, from "La Bamba", "Courage Under Fire", "Young Guns";
DEE DEE MAGNO, performed in "Miss Saigon" and "The Mickey Mouse Club" and "Sister Act 2". In the group, The Party;
JENNIFER KWAN, performed in "Miss Saigon" and the TV Show, "California Dreams";
JOCELYN ENRIQUEZ, pop artist. Albums: "Jocelyn" and "Jocelyn Enriquez" Songs: "Do You Miss Me?" and "A Little Bit of Ecstasy";
BUFFY, pop artist. Song: "Give Me a Reason" and "First Love";
JOSIE NATORI, Founder and president of Natori Inc., the label in known for its classy lingerie;
PIA MANALO, appears in "Barney and Friends";
JESSICA HAGEDORN, author of "Dogeaters" and Editor of the anthology, "Charlie Chan Is Dead";
Then you got that one guy formerly known as PRINCE. Where do you think he gets his rhythm?
You may say that some of the people that I have mentioned are part Black, White, or Asian, but deep down they are also part Pinoy, therefore, Filipino American. Each and every one of them reflects a certain Asianness, but more so a Filipinoness. They, like any other Filipino American, will continue to live their lives in these United States of America, proud of their heritage and proud to tell their own story.

Article source:

This media object is an article which describes the history of Filipino Americans within the United States, and how we seem to be invisible to the mainstream of society. Filipino American’s wanted their history to be known; want to be proud of their heritage, and to be able to tell amazing stories of their history. This article gives very well written summary about how the Filipinos came to exist on the American continent. Apparently Filipino’s have been on this soil since 1587, which the article says nearly fifty years before the settlement of Jamestown came to be. The article continues to list various important American events in which Filipinos actually partake in, though are clearly not glorified or have a popular representation in common grade school history books. In 1898 the Philippines’ strong Spanish control was handed over to the United States for $20 million. Shortly after the Filipino-American war took place, because the Philippines were tricked into believing that they were independent, when in reality the United States bought control from Spain to control the Philippines. The article continues about the war, and eventually the slight Americanization of the Philippines. Slowly they were able to come over to the mainland and attend universities such as the one in San Diego. After that it mentions the sugar cane plantations in 1903, and that’s how Filipinos moved to America with the dream to start a new life. Soon after, during the great depression, social tensions between the Filipinos and Americans began to arise. They were being blamed for stealing their women and money. The immigration of Filipinos were also limited to fifty per year, and signs were put up in public places that restricted Filipino access, and some calling them dogs. After a final summary of events that lead to more Filipinos becoming accepted, about the fourth wave of Filipinos to enter the United States, and how many of them came here with very impressive professions, the author lists various names of people in the popular mainstream who have at least some percent of a Filipino background.

This article closely relates to the course material because it gives a detailed summary of how the Filipinos came to exist within the United States, in which they did from before Jamestown was completely settled. The article even mentions the sugar cane plantation, which we read another article about in class. The article read in class included not only the Filipinos, but the Japanese and Chinese as well. Therefore, the history of the Filipinos in relation to the sugar cane plantations in America is quite apparent. Also, throughout the article one could see the racism the Americans had against the Filipinos as well, and as discussed with many of the articles we had to read for class, racism against other people who are not Caucasian is a very constant variable in history. Because the Filipinos did not fit the preferred stereotype within America’s society, they were treated differently. Even when the United States gained control of the Philippines, they tried to force onto the Filipino’s the American way of life, including education and religion. This article could have very well be one of our assigned readings.

I found this article to be very interesting. I also learned a few more things about the history of Filipino Americans that I did not know before. The way that the Americans treated the Filipinos were no different than how they treated the other Asians, African Americans, and even other various minorities. The bottom line is, in America’s past, their goal was to spread their societal ways to anyone they came in contact with, and if they were different than the Americans, they were automatically to be assumed wrong, and needed to be “fixed” to learn the American way. One part I did enjoy about the reading was how it mentioned Filipino Americans were invisible to mainstream society. I would have to agree, because it is rare to hear in the mainstream something pertaining to a Filipino. Even though Filipino’s are supposedly rare and quite unheard of in the American society, they do exist, though most likely clumped up with the other Asian ethnicities. Filipino Americans have a fair share in American history as well. Statistics show that Filipinos have the second highest representation of Asian Americans within the United States, only below the Chinese. I found this to be very interesting. Overall, I enjoyed reading this article and believe that it definitely represents some of the topics that relate directly to class discussions.