Filipinos And Their Adaptations Essay, Research Paper
Dear Coche,I forgot my membership password (I’m not even sure if you guys sent me one) so I’m sending another paper to become a member.Thank you,Vicky *********************************************In the present work, many essential facts were brought together in the history of the Filipino-Americans from their early contact with California to the present. There was, and still is, a discernible connection between the Filipinos and their involvement in California. So much of the Philippine history has evolved in the nation that it helped California define the study of Filipinos. It is necessary to shed light on the aspects of their contributions to the development and economic growth of this country. The effects of acculturation on Filipinos, first in the Philippines and then in the United States, has been so marked that today, they are as truly American as members of any other of the ethnic groups who make up the American population. (2:6) Many of the Filipino survivals has depended on their ability to adjust, to accommodate themselves, to the dominant culture; yet, the obstacles have not been too great to prevent them from making significant achievements. In the following passages, the story will be told from past to present of the process by which Filipinos contributed to the development and economic growth of America. Filipinos, sometimes referred to as Philippinos, make up the second largest Asian American ethnic group. About 740,000 Filipinos reside in California. (4: 686) The Philippines is a nation composed of more than seven thousand islands across the China Sea from mainland Southeast Asia. The islands hold much mineral production, rich soil, and fertile vegetation. (2: 3) The people of the Philippines speak many languages, but the Tagalog Language is the most spoken and understood by the majority of Filipinos. Scholars generally divide migration of the Filipinos into three periods. (2: 46) The first period, which lasted from 1906 to the beginning of World War II, resulted from the U.S. demand for cheap agricultural labor. Sugar plantations dominated the economy of Hawaii early in the century, and plantation owners were interested in finding hardworking field hands who would work for low wages. (5: 31) The second migration period lasted from 1946, when the Philippines became politically independent, through 1964. It was predominantly due to the establishment of large military bases, and the fact that Filipinos could become naturalized American citizens. (5: 36)) Also, most immigrants in this period came as a result of marriage or family connections. The third migration period began in 1965, when Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that ended discrimination against Asians. (5: 75) The latter grew by roughly 100 percent in each ten-year period from 1960 to 1990: from 176,000 in the Census of 1960 to 343,000 in 1970, 775,000 in 1980 and 1,407,000 in 1990. (4: 688) The third wave of Filipino-Americans differ greatly from the earlier waves. The earlier immigrants were mostly laborers from rural parts of the Philippines. The immigrants after 1965 were highly educated, urban professionals, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, and engineers. (4: 689) Although this created a loss to the Philippines, it gave benefits to the American economy. As a result of the generally high level of education of Filipino-Americans, they have very high rates of employment. After 1965, Filipinos in the United States tend not to be owners of small businesses. They are more likely than the rest of the American population to work at white-collar jobs. (4: 689) In 1977, the wretched picture of Filipino life in California had moved a group of Filipinos to demand aggressive action in order to aid Filipino professions. (2; 76) Among one of the supporters was Cesar Chavez. He was the leader of a new independent union called National Farm Workers Association. (2: 83) He had hopes of gaining increased wages, and improving working conditions for farm workers. At the end, this union was able to achieve their goal, with the backing of the AFL-CIO. (2: 84) In the present day, more than 60 percent of Filipino immigrants who have completed the necessary five years of residence in the United States have become naturalized citizens. (2: 65) The attempt to maintain both Filipino and American identities may be seen in the use of language. While most Filipinos in the United States speak English very well, and in places of employment, the majority still speak the Filipino language at home, according to the U.S. Census. (4: 688) In large urban areas of California and Hawaii, Filipino-Americans have retained much of their distinctive culture. Tagalog and Cebuano (another principal Filipino language) may often be heard in the ethnic neighborhoods of Los Angeles and San Francisco. In these ethnically concentrated districts with intimate ties to the Philippines, residents maintain close-knit, extended families. (4: 687) The many Filipino-Americans who do not live in ethnic neighborhoods are usually very similar to other Americans. They maintain lifestyles that are very resembling to those of non-Filipino neighbors. They live in families composed of father, mother, and children, without grandparents or other relatives in the house. Nevertheless, even those who have apparently been melted in the melting pot seem to hold to some of their distinctive cultural values. (4: 689) For example, Filipino-Americans often report that utang na loob, a phrase that might be translated as the heartfelt debt, remains an important value for them. This means that they feel a special sense of obligation to anyone who has helped them. (4: 689) The customs of many Filipino households are still with them till this day. When guests arrive at a Filipino-American homes, the host will usually offer them food and insist that the guests take food home with them.
In addition to bringing Filipino traditions to the United States, Filipinos have enriched American culture through their contributions to literature. Perhaps the greatest Filipino-American writer was Carlos Bulosan. (3: 11) He was largely self-educated, and he had initially worked as a fruit-picker on California farms. In 1946, ten years before his death, he published his autobiography America Is in the Heart. (3: 11) Other important Filipino-American writers include Juan Cabreros Laya, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Oscar Penaranda, Jessica Hagedorn, Virginia Ceremio, and Alfredo Encarnacion. (3: 11) More and more Filipinos become interested in the political system, and they used their votes to protest discrimination. They studied the voting records of their representatives in the Congress of the United States and in the Assembly of California, and observed the social policies of presidential administrations. (2: 107) Filipino interest in the political process was evidenced in the increasing numbers at polling places and in articles in their newspapers. They entered into the political process in the state, and supported candidates they believed in; they even ran for public office and campaigned as candidates in state elections. (2: 108) Looking at a different aspect of Filipino-Americans, in a recently published magazine, The Nation, Ninotchka Rosca talks about the Philippines shameful export of women. Last year, more than 300,000 Filipina workers emigrated to America and other countries, continuing a trend that began in the 1980s. The Philippines exports more female laborers than any country in the world, perpetuating a shameful cycle that can lead to abuse, forced prostitution, and sometimes death (1: 522). The Philippine society seems to accept the exploitation of exported Filipina women as part of the natural order of things. There is no indication that the Philippine government will turn away from this practice, and no powerful institution not the church, business, media, or the military of U.S. — has taken a strong stand against the country s dependence on the sale of live bodies. (1: 523) One of the most important influences in improving the social and political position of Filipinos in California was the role of fraternal and social organizations. Groups such as the Caballeros de Dimas-Alang, Legionarios del Trabajo, the Filipino Federation of America, and the Philippine Commonwealth Club gave specific attention to the problems of racial tension in communities. (2: 64) Today, without a doubt, Filipinos are participating more fully in American life. They are engaged in nearly all occupations the building trades, tailoring, photography, restaurants, machine shops, and shipping. (2: 106) Also, Filipino doctors and nurses are on the staffs of many American hospitals nowadays, and teachers from the Philippines are employed in many American schools. (5: 89) Filipinos in California have also accumulated property at a relatively rapid rate. In 1980, they paid taxes on more than $400 million in real property. Many owned property valued at $60,000 or more. (2: 107) Looking back to 1587 when Filipinos first made contact in California, they are definitely an integral part of settling and building of the state. Beyond this, they had played an important role in the struggle of Far Eastern politics for Asian prestige, and they continue to play a vital role in protecting that progress. (2: 109) The process of adapting to the American culture has been a rich experience for Filipinos. Many assimilation into the Western culture gave them new perceptions of America, plus an understanding its many imperfections. The path of the Filipinos to America has been a tortuous path; yet, with their arrival, they enriched and strengthened the fabric of the American society. (2:108) Filipinos have long provided a rich reservoir of unskilled, skilled, and scientific talent, and they have definitely contributed significantly to California s economic growth. In a broader context, the Filipino population will continue to expand, and their significant function in this country will continue to develop. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1) California Department of Industrial Relations. Facts about Filipino Immigration into California. No. 3 Repr. San Francisco: R and E Research Associates 1977 2) Crouchett, Lorraine J. Filipinos In California. El Cerrito, California: Downey Place Publishing House Inc. 1989 3) Filipino-Americans Encyclopedia of Multiculturalism Vol. III (New York, 1994) pgs. 686-690 4) Rosca, Ninotchka The Philippines Shameful Export The Nation, pg. 522+ (April 17, 1995) 5) Warmongers Special Edition Press pg.10 (Winter 1995/1996)