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Filipino American Lives

Yen Espiritu

Publication Year: 1995

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xi

As an ethnic studies professor at the University of California, San Diego, I meet and befriend many Filipino American students. Either in my Asian American Studies courses or in our informal conversations, the students' questions and interests largely concern issues of identity. Frustrated by the lack of materials on Filipinos in the United States---'-particularly readings that...

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pp. xiii

I thank the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Calif ornia, San Diego, for an Affirmative Action Faculty Career Development Grant that provided me release time to collect many of the life stories, and...

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Introduction: Filipino Settlements in the United States

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pp. 1-36

Although a majority of Filipinos have come to the United States only since the liberalization of immigration laws in 1965, the history of Filipinos in this country dates back to the middle of the 1700s. As early as 1765, Filipinos lived along the southeastern coast of Louisiana. Congregated in the marshlands of Louisiana's Barataria Bay (about thirty miles south of New Orleans),...

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Chapter 1: "We Have to Show the Americans that We Can Be as Good as Anybody"

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pp. 37-51

I hate to tell you how old I am because I am a very old man. I was born December 26, 1907, in Saint Nicholas in the province of Ilocos Norte. My mother was a housekeeper. My father was a traveling merchant. He was killed during World War II by the Japanese. My grandfather was a really devoted Catholic. To show you how really...

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Chapter 2: "I Was Used to the American Way of Life"

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pp. 53-63

I was born in Piat, Cagayan, on September 23, 1911 . My father was an American born in Lexington, Kentucky. He was a captain in the Cavalry during the Spanish American War. This was in the 1900s [sic] when the Americans sent the Spaniards away and occupied the Philippines. When we were born, my father registered all of his children as American citizens.

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Chapter 3: "Sometimes, I Am Not Sure What It Means to Be an American"

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pp. 65-79

My parents were recruited to Hawaii as laborers sometime between 1920 and 1926. My father was from Aldan province in western Visayas. He stopped attending school after the seventh grade. I remember him telling me that he had to give up his education because he had to work to send his brothers and sisters through school. He joined the Philippine Scouts. For...

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Chapter 4: "My Dream Is to Be Able to Give Something Back to My Country and My People"

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pp. 81-91

I was born in 1934 in Manila. I know a lot of people who would not admit to their ages but I do. I will be sixty this year [1994], and I am proud of it. I am a city girl, and I am a Tagalog by birth. My ancestors are all Tagalog. They are all from Manila and the surrounding areas. My mother was a housewife and an embroidery designer. In our town, Santa Ana, the only industry that was there was an embroidery industry. It...

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Chapter 5: "My Experience Is Atypical"

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pp. 93-103

I was born in Manila in 1940, but I grew up and I had my elementary school and high school days in Davao, Mindanao. We went to Mindanao right after the war, because my mother felt that it was a good place to open up a private school. We had a private school and a bookstore. There were some stockholders, but it was mainly family owned. It was our money that was...

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Chapter 6: "I Sacrificed My Five-Year College Education to Become aSteward"

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pp. 105-115

I was born in the Philippines in 1942 in the town of Santa Rita in the province of Pampanga. My mother and father were farmers. I remember once, when I was about five or six years old, my dad took me with him to harvest watermelons to be sold the next day at the market. I had so much fun going with him; the sky was bright blue and the moon was full. I remember my dad as a six-footer gentleman. He was quite good look...

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Chapter 7: "I Only Finished First Grade"

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pp. 117-126

I was born in 1943 in Bulag Bantay, Ilocos Sur. My whole family, my father's side and my mother's side, came from there. My parents were farmers. I only fmished first grade, and then I worked on the farms. In the old days, whatever your parents wanted to do with you, like if they wanted you to marry somebody, whether you liked it or not, you got...

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Chapter 8: "International Medical Graduates Are Tested Every Stepof the Way"

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pp. 127-142

I was born in Cebu City, Central Visayas, in 1948, the second of nine children. Cebu was where the Spanish conquistadors, led by Ferdinand Magellan, first landed in 1521. It was also the island where Magellan was killed by the natives led by the first Filipino hero, Lapu-lapu. So the Spanish influence in Cebu is strong. My father's father was a Spanish haciendero [landowner] from northern...

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Chapter 9: "PASACAT Became My Whole Life"

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pp. 143-155

I am Anamaria Labao Cabato. People call me Ana. I was born in San Diego in 1955. My parents are both immigrants from the Philippines. My dad is from Baliuag, Bulacan, and my mom is from Santa Ana, Manila. My dad joined the U.S. Navy in 1930, when he was nineteen years old, and that's how he came to the United States. I think he faced a lot of discrimination...

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Chapter 10: "I Knew that I Wanted to Be a Naval Officer"

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pp. 157-168

I was born on April 5, 1962, in Manila. My parents' families were not from Manila. My maternal grandfather was from Guiguinto, Bulacan, and my grandmother was from Naic, Cavite. Both of my father's parents were from Cavite province. My father, Eduardo Gruta, joined the US. Navy in 1957 from Sangley Point Naval Station in Cavite City. Cavite City is across the bay from Manila...

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Chapter 11: "I Offended Many Filipinos Because I Was an FOB"

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pp. 169-180

I was born in Manila in 1958. My father, Dante, is an Ilocano from Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. His father was a well-known teacher, and his mother was a homemaker. My mother, Estelita, is a Tagalog from Putlod, Jaen Nueva Ecija. Her parents were members of the small middle class in the Philippines. Her father was a school superintendent, and her mother was a farmer.

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Chapter 12: " I Could Not Cope with Life"

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pp. 181-191

I was born in Chicago, Illinois, in June of 1969. Both of my parents were from the Visayas, Philippines. My mother had immigrated to Chicago in 1965 to complete her studies to be a laboratory technologist. She was here on an exchange-visitor's program, and sponsored my father and two older brothers as her dependents. They came to the U.S. a few years later than she...

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Chapter 13: "Everybody Seemed to Be Either White or Black, a Full Race"

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pp. 193-203

I was born in San Clemente, California, in 1976. My dad is in the Marine Corps. He is a master sergeant. I think he went straight into the military at the age of seventeen. He was in Vietnam when he was eighteen years old. My mom is Filipino, and my dad is American. My dad met my mom in a restaurant in Manila when he was stationed in the Philippines. She was a...


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pp. 205-216

E-ISBN-13: 9781439905579

Publication Year: 1995