Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

The Diversity of Filipinos in the United States

Daisy C. S. Catalan

Contents of Curriculum Unit 96.04.05:

To Guide Entry

I. Introduction:
Why should my students study about the Filipinos? The answer is simple. I teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at Wilbur Cross High School which is a component of the Bilingual Program. This is a transitional program that provides services to students who have recently arrived from different countries and who need more English language instruction before they can be moved to grade level classrooms. As an ESOL teacher my ethnic background is Filipino and just like them I have immigrated to the United States. Equally important to mention I was once a newcomer like them and that I share the same trials, uncertainties and difficulties that they may have experienced in the new country. Adding to this, since I teach them the dominant language here in the United States I would be a role model to them. I exemplify their ability to learn the language of the host country in addition to their own native language.

Furthermore, I have also observed that although most of my students (and also the majority of U.S. citizens) are aware of the diversity of Asian Americans in the United States, they are still unable to distinguish Filipinos from other Asians.

The underlying theme of this unit is contemporary immigration which will focus on the Filipino experiences. Since this topic is a content subject usually taught in Social Studies or History classes, this unit may also be used by the content History or Social Studies teachers in the Bilingual program classes or in grade level Social Studies or History classes where most of the students are non-native English speakers.

The current approach in teaching a second language is incorporating subject matter or content in the ESOL classroom. There are several reasons why this is highly recommended. First, the content (subject matter) provides the ESOL students important knowledge that provides foundation of grade level subject areas like Social Studies, Science and Math. Second, non-native English speakers are able to practice the language functions and skills needed to understand, discuss, read about and write about the concepts developed. Third, studies have found that students show more interest when they are learning content rather than learning the language only. Finally, the use of content provides the context for teaching learning strategies that can be applied in grade level classrooms. In the language classroom, the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are developed for content area activities as they are needed rather than being taught sequentially.

II. Objectives and Strategies

1. To acquire a brief overview of the Philippines; its colonial history, people, geography, climate and economy.
________For an introductory lesson to this unit, the students will read an encyclopedic article about the Philippines. The students will use VISUAL AIDS such as maps, charts, and tables which are part of the encyclopedic article. To emphasize listening , this article will be recorded for students to listen to as they read. The students will preview the visual aids with the teacher and discuss each one. Geographical locations will be circled as well as information on history, population, climate and economy. As the tape is played the teacher points out the visual aids and suggests at appropriate places that they take time to stop the tape and study each. The students will identify the circled geographic location on a map. Another strategy that could be used is for students to MAKE JUDGMENTS based on the information given in the encyclopedic article. Working in pairs or groups the students will note similarities and differences in colonial history, geography, language, demography, and economy of the Philippines and their countries of origin.
2. To identify different immigration phases of Filipinos to the United States.
________A TIME LINE about the different stages of Filipino immigration will be presented to the students. This will be discussed in class. The students will read this time line and write sentences about different stages and important events that happened during these phases. A time line of Puerto Rican migration to the United States will also be presented to the students. The students will compare similar events in two places at approximately the same time. The students will have follow-up activities by writing their own time lines. They will interview family members and get as much information as possible about the lives of their parents and grandparents particularly the important events in their own family’s stories (e.g. Iiving in refugee camps; journey to the United States). The students will be shown how to count backwards with dates; how to find the persons’ birthdates by subtracting their ages from the current date; and how to estimate the dates in their story where the exact dates are not available. The students will discuss their family time lines and find similarities in their family stories.
3. To know the experiences of various Filipino immigrants.
________The students will read some selective studies of the Filipino immigrant experiences. As a member of the community and at the same time a participant observer for twelve years, I will write accounts of Filipino immigrants with variables such as age, time of arrival, marital status, class background, household composition, and work history. My respondents are relatives, friends and social acquaintances mostly residing in the East Coast. The earliest arrival I am acquainted with came in 1970 with the latest in 1993. The names in the case studies were changed to maintain confidentiality. The students will work in groups. If the population of the class permits, it would be a mixed group based on their country of origin. The students will be encouraged to use IMAGERY to visualize events and places as they read the case histories of Filipino immigrants. The students will discuss the Filipino experience in the group, then using these cases as models they will write about their own similar personal experiences or those of the members of their families. They will interview immediate family members or other relatives to get the information needed in their case studies. The students will also get additional information about current immigration news on Filipinos, Mexicans, Dominicans, Bosnians, Chinese and other immigrants from the CD Newsbank in the school library. They will also try using the Internet in the school’s Career Center computer lab. Articles about Filipinos in the United States published in a Filipino magazine (written in English) will be available to the students. Some of the articles will be read and discussed in class.
4. To compare and contrast the Philippines experience (conquest; colonial experience) with Puerto Rico and Mexico; Filipino immigrant experiences with other immigrant population.
________The students will use their individual cases of immigrant experience then compare and contrast them. The students who will be working in groups will be responsible in presenting similarities and differences between experiences of immigrants; Puerto Rican and Filipinos; Dominican and Honduran; Peruvian and Mexican; Chinese and Laotian; Bosnian and Ukrainian and others. The students will use the VENN DIAGRAM to compare and contrast. The questions students will answer are: How are Puerto Rican experiences different from the Filipino experience? How are Filipino experiences different from the Puerto Rican experience? How are these two experiences similar? Compare Dominican and Honduran experiences asking the same questions and etc. The teacher will guide the students to discuss and write their experiences around the following themes such as: reasons for coming to the United States; relatives or family members that help them immigrate; hardships they experienced when they relocated; how they feel going to a new school not knowing the language well and etc. The students will also use the Venn diagram to compare and contrast the historical experiences of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Mexico. These historical information will be available to the students by reading the encyclopedic history (Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1992). A teacher made brief narratives of the immigration patterns of the three immigrant groups will also be available.( See Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996; Rodriguez,1989; Falcon,__1991). These will be read and discussed thoroughly in class. Brief examples of some similarities between these three countries:
____* Philippines, Puerto Rico and Mexico were all former colonies of Spain.
____* All three countries were acquired by the United States through conquest and annexation.
____* Philippines and Puerto Rico were ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American-Cuban War of 1898.
____* The United States acquired Mexican territories after the bloody wars between Mexico which to present day are now known as the states of Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Utah.
____* Filipinos and Puerto Rican contract labor migration began soon after 1898. Contract laborers were recruited to work in the sugar cane plantations in Hawaii. For both groups the farm labor system was the stepping stone to residence in the United States. Most Puerto Rican contract laborers however returned to Puerto Rico after their contracts were completed. They quickly moved out of the agricultural contract labor to live in more urban areas.
____* Mexicans were recruited as contract laborers to work in the mining and railroad construction in the late 1880’s when the Chinese immigrant labor was barred. European immigration was halted because of World War I. American growers and employers hired Mexicans because they found them less costly and because of their attachment to their native land they would return home after their contracts. The European immigrant workers on the other hand, were becoming troublesome, spearheading strikes, and forming unions. In time however, the Mexicans that stayed in labor camps or “colonias” founded some of the small towns of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.
____* During the Second World War, Filipinos, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans served in the United States armed forces.
5. To analyze and interpret tables and graphs.
________The students can work in pairs. They will read tables; interpret graphs and pie charts. The first graph deals about the number of Filipino immigrants that come to the United States under the occupation and family preference categories from 1960-1990. (See Pedraza-Rumbaut;1996:302). In addition, the students will answer the activities from the student workbook ( Skill Sharpeners 3, 2nd ed.; Addison-Wesley:64-65). These activities can be accomplished in two lessons. Activity 1 A Nation of Immigrants, shows two graphs with the number of people who immigrated to the United States in each ten-year period from 1821-1980. The graphs also show where these people come from. The students will use the graphs to complete sentences. A writing activity will follow-up this lesson. The students will write a paragraph : Why the United States has been called a Nation of Immigrants? Activity 2 A Nation of Immigrants deals with tables that show immigration for the seven year period 1981 to 1987. The students will answer questions based upon these tables. Subsequently they will make graphs of the information given on the tables.

to top

Lesson Plans 1 and 2

Grade level9-12 ESOL III class (Intermediate level in English Proficiency)

Teaching time 2 class periods

I. Objectives
After completing the lessons the students will be able to:

1. Describe different phases of Filipino immigration presented in a time line.
2. Compare time line of Filipino and Puerto Rican immigration phases for the years 1900-1990.
3. Appreciate events common between two countries.
4. Create an individual time line.

II Materials:
Teacher made time lines of Filipino and Puerto Rican Immigration Patterns written on butcher paper; butcher paper, colored markers

III Vocabulary:
Teacher identifies words that are unfamiliar with the students. Students will find the meanings of these words in their bilingual dictionaries then use these words in complete sentences.

Day 1

I Procedure:

1. Introduce the idea of a time line as a tool for studying a certain period of time or comparing events in two places at the same time. Elicit discussion from the students about events they are aware of during these years using such questions as:
Do you think there are immigrants right now going to other parts of the world aside from the United States? Why? Why not?
Do you think some areas of the world are also using computers? cellular phones? Why? Why not?
2. Show Filipino immigration phases time line to the students and allow them time to look over the events listed. This should be hung on the chalkboard. Have students read orally and discuss time line items .
3. Show Puerto Rican migration phases time line and hang it next to the Filipino time line. Again allow students to look over the events listed. Have students read orally and discuss time line items.
4. Teacher leads the class in discussion of the similarities and differences in events and figures in the focus regions. Compare timing, trends and so on. Some sample questions for a discussion of time lines:
What phases of history are similar for the Philippines and Puerto Rico ?
Where did Puerto Ricans and Filipinos first meet or interact?
How do you compare the immigrants for both countries that came in the First phase? Second phase? Third Phase?
5. Students will use markers to write similarities (blue marker) and differences (red marker ) on a separate butcher paper. They will take turns writing on the butcher paper. Other option would be writing the similarities and differences between the two countries in separate columns on the chalkboard.
6. Each student will be assigned to gather information through interviews of family members about important events in their own families’ stories. Sample guide questions are provided later in the unit. They may choose to convey the information they may have obtained through pictures, drawings or written paragraphs. They may also choose to think about writing their own time lines.

Day 2

I Materials:
Student Workbook (Skill Sharpeners 2-Addison -Wesley pg67); time line chart; colored markers

II Procedure:

1. Teacher checks assignment. This is the information the students collected in the family interviews. Explain to students that before they will write their families’ stories in time line or their own, they will first answer an activity that they will use as a guide or model.
2. Distribute reproduced page in Student workbook ( Skill Sharpener 2-Addison Wesley pg.67). This is a time line page with two activities. Activity A shows some things that happened to one man from 1981 through 1990. The students will answer each question with answer: Yes, he did; or No, he didn’t; based upon the information given in the time line. Activity B directs the students to write their own time lines. A separate time line chart will be distributed to every student. Each student will fill in his / her time line. Examine time line page with the students. Read the dates and events aloud together. Any unfamiliar words will be explained or students will find the meanings in their bilingual dictionaries.
3. Answer the first few questions in Activity A with the students as a group activity. Students will write their answers on the paper. The teacher explains to the students how to use the chart to locate information.
4. Students answer all the questions in Activity A in pairs or some may choose individually. Students exchange papers and correct them.
5. Teacher distributes time line chart for each student. Students create their own time line.( This will take another class period for students to write or the teacher will assign this as homework).
6. Extension ActivityHave students form pairs and ask their partners questions about his/her time line.
Example: Did you ________(move to Connecticut) in 1994?

to top

Lesson Plan 3

Teaching time 1 class period

I. Objective
At the conclusion of this activity the students will be able to:

Write case histories of migrant or immigrant experience.

II. Materials:
Reproduced copies of Filipino case histories

Lined paper or composition notebook; pen

III. Procedure

1. Teacher distributes copies of Filipino immigrants’ case histories. Allow students to skim the stories. Students will find meanings of unfamiliar words in their bilingual dictionaries.
2. Teacher reads aloud one case history. Students follow the reading silently. Teacher encourages students to visualize events and places as they read together.
3. Teacher starts the discussion and allow students to relate some of his / her personal experience orally.
4. Have students write their experience or any member of their family. The teacher will remind the students to refer some of their family’s stories to their previous assignment when they were doing their time lines. Some guide questions the students could use when writing their case studies are:
What are the reasons why the immigrant choose to come to America?
How did he/she come here? Does he / she have relatives in the United States ?
What hardships did he/she experience when he/she relocated to the new country
Where did he/she reside before coming to New Haven?
How does it feel to go to school in a foreign country not knowing the language well?
What was his/her occupation before coming to the United States?
What are some of the skills he/she brought with him/her?
What kind of work is the immigrant currently doing?
How is the immigrant received as a newcomer here?
Is he/she planning to go back home?
If he/she returns home , how is he/she received by his/her compatriots?

Different Phases of Filipino Immigration in the United States

1898 Commodore Dewey sailed to Manila as war broke out between United States and Spain. Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States at the Treaty of Paris on December 10th.
1900-1945 First Phase of Filipino Immigration to the United States
1900 First Filipino immigrants came to the mainland United States. They were made up of students called “pensionados”. They were sons and daughters of rich influential Filipinos often friends of United States officials. They were sent to study at the expense of the United States government. They were often “mestizos” a mixture of Spanish and Filipino blood. There were also volunteers for services in the U.S. army, navy, and merchant marines during World War I. Most of these Filipinos stayed in the United States after the war.
1906 First group of 15 Filipino men arrived in Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations. They were recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association from rural areas in Northern and Central Philippines. They were called “sacadas” . Several years earlier the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Portuguese and others had already started working in the plantations.
1922 Filipino laborers in Hawaii were recruited to work for higher wages in the United States mainland as canners in Alaska, fruit and vegetable farmers in the state of Washington and California. Some laborers whose contracts had expired in Hawaii opted to go to the mainland rather than returning home. Likewise, Filipino students rich or poor came to the mainland United States with plans to complete their education. Most of these students were on their teens or early twenties. Many had only a few dollars in their pockets having used most of the money from the mortgage of their parents’ lands or sale of their animals to pay their fares. Although they were eager to continue their education they discovered that they could not earn enough money to support themselves and go to school at the same time. Many of these Filipinos limited their job opportunities to the lowest paying menial occupations.
1930 Approximately at this time 150 thousand (PedrazaRumbaut,1996:296) had been contract workers in the sugar and pineapple plantations in Hawaii. After their contracts expired more than 50 thousand (Teodoro, 1981:4)either returned to the Philippines or went on to the mainland. At this time being the aftermath of the great depression 7,300 Filipinos (Teodoro,1981:4) were repatriated to the Philippines because of lack of work.
1934 U.S. Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Independence Act which established the Commonwealth of the Philippines. It set a ten-year transition period for which the United States would withdraw all rights of possession over the Philippines.
1934-1945 Aftermath of depression and World War II years. A quota of 50 Filipinos a year could emigrate to the United States as permanent residents.
1946 Philippine Independence from the United States
1946-1965 Second Phase of Filipino Immigration
The majority of immigrants at this time were war brides or wives of Filipino service men. Immigration quota was raised to 100 Filipinos per year immediately after independence. President Truman signed the Immigration and Nationality Act which enabled many Asian residents in the United States to apply for citizenship. Filipinos who had served honorably for three years in the United States Armed Forces were eligible for naturalization as U.S. citizens. The law likewise gave the Filipinos the opportunity to request or petition members of their family who were entitled to non-quota or high preference status to join them. The recruitment of plantation workers to Hawaii continued . Some established workers requested recruitment of younger male relatives. During the two decades from 1946 to 1965 over 34,000 Filipinos (Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996:295) came to the United States.
1965 Present Third Phase of Filipino Immigration
1965 Liberalization of immigration laws. This increased the Filipino immigration to the United States. The guiding philosophy behind the new policy was the admission of relatives, the reunification of families and the recruitment of needed skilled professional workers. The number of immigrants allowed to enter by quota in each country from the eastern hemisphere was 20,000. Those allowed to enter fell under preference categories. Exempted from the quota were minor children, spouses and parents of adult U.S. citizens. Also exempted from the quota were admissions of refugees. The influx of Filipino immigrant professionals such as doctors, nurses, medical technologist, teachers etc. began.
1980’s More than half of the Filipino American population in the United States were foreign born.
1990’s The Immigration and Naturalization Service(INS) reported 1 million (Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996:295) Filipino admissions to the United States.

Different Phases of Puerto Rican Migration to the United States

1898 Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States as a result of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Spanish-Cuban-American War.
19001945 First Phase of Puerto Rican Migration
Most of these immigrants came from the rural areas. They were displaced farmers who were victims of the colonial transition (from Spanish to American regime) and the devastation of the 1899 San Ciriaco hurricane. Some immigrants were contracted industrial and agricultural labor who traveled as far as Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations. Those who came to the mainland were called “pioneros” or pioneers. They came and settled in New York in Brooklyn, East Harlem and in some sections of Manhattan.
1903 539 Puerto Rican children (Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996:100) were already enrolled in Hawaiian schools.
1922 There were 1,715 Puerto Ricans (Teodoro,1981:4) sugar plantation workers in Hawaii.
1930Puerto Ricans came to reside in the United States practically in every state of the nation
1940 70 thousand (Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996:102) lived in New York metropolitan area. Studies have found that those living in the United States at this time had twice the average years of schooling of those in Puerto Rico (Rodriguez,1989:5). The migrants at this time were predominantly skilled and semiskilled and they were mostly born and raised in the big cities in the island. Also, most of them were employed in the island before migration. There was a predominance of women who came during this time.
1942 Puerto Rican plantation workers in Hawaii were 648 (Teodoro,1981:24)
19461964 The Second Phase of Puerto Rican migration also known as “the Great Migration”. This is the period of the largest numbers of Puerto Ricans that arrived in the United States. The immigrants at this time were mostly male, unskilled and came from rural areas. These men came hoping to get jobs, but since World War II just ended they became jobless because there was no work available.
1960 Peak of Puerto Rican immigration
1965 Present Third Phase of Puerto Rican Migration
This period is called the “revolving door migration”. It is the fluctuating pattern of migration as well as the moving out of Puerto Ricans from New York state to other parts of the nation.
1970’s Puerto Rican household mostly headed by women who
worked in low paying jobs. 1.5 million Puerto Ricans (Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996:102) are in the United States mainland.
1990 2.7 million Puerto Ricans (Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996:102) reside in the United States today.

Background Information

The Philippines is an independent nation located in the western Pacific 500 miles off the coast of Southeast Asia with Taiwan on the north and Borneo on the south. It has a land area of 115,600 square miles divided among its 7,100 islands. Although only 2,000 more or less islands are named some smaller islets appear and disappear with the tide. The first inhabitants of the islands were the “aetas” a small negroid race, then later peopled chiefly by waves of Indonesian and Malay migrants. Traders from various parts of Asia had visited the islands long before the Europeans came. Islam was introduced to the southern part of the islands during the 15th century. Ferdinand Magellan, a Spanish explorer claimed the islands for Spain in 1521. Then began a 300-year colonial history which ended in a revolution and a declaration of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898. However, the United States occupied the country and claimed it as a territory after the Treaty of Paris was signed to end the Spanish-Cuban-American War in 1898. An American military, then civilian government ruled until the creation of the ten-year Philippine Commonwealth in 1935. The Philippines was granted independence on July 4, 1946 after the devastating Second World War. Many historians have mentioned that one important peculiarity of Philippine history is the emergence of a nation whose cultural source is a fusion of Asian, Spanish and American. The colonial experience of the Philippines with Spain was the predominance of Catholicism in the islands. Likewise Carino mentioned that Spain’s other legacy was “ the Filipinos’ subordination to the dominant economic and political interests of the colonizers which will help explain Filipino-American’s acceptance of similarly dominant interests in the United States.”(Carino,1996:294).

The colonial experience of the Philippines with the United States has a tremendous impact on Philippine immigration. The linkage between these two countries was established economically (even after decolonization ) politically and socially so that within a span of four decades the Filipinos became highly Americanized. This was enhanced when the Philippine educational system was patterned after the United States and English was used as the medium of instruction in the school system. English became very useful because of the linguistic diversity of the islands. There are more of less 80 languages and dialects throughout the country although linguists have grouped them into eight major languages. The similarity of the Philippine and American educational system enabled Filipino professionals to be easily absorbed in the United States workforce.

Meanwhile, during the colonial and post colonial period the United States maintained the two largest military naval and air bases in the country (considered the largest in the Asian Pacific region) which facilitated marriages between American military personnel and Filipino women and eventually the migration of their families to the United States. In addition, there was also a vast recruitment of Filipinos to the United States navy that at one point “there were more Filipinos serving in the U.S. navy than in the entire Philippine navy”(Carino,1996:294).

The Current Situation

The Filipinos are the second largest Asian immigrant group in the United States today behind the Chinese. They have settled in all the fifty states with the largest concentration in California, Hawaii, Illinois and the New York/New Jersey areas. There are other large communities in the state of Washington, the Midwest and the eastern states in Pennsylvania and New England states. Since the 1960’s the Philippines has sent the largest number of immigrant professionals to the United States particularly nurses, doctors, and medical technologists. Similarly, there was also a high proportion of international students (Pedraza-Rumbaut,1996:30) enrolled in American universities. The majority of these students chose not to return home.

During the 70’s the Philippine government under the Marcos administration formed the Overseas Employment Development Board (OEDB) an agency that supported overseas employment of Filipinos. The government’s objectives were to address domestic unemployment pressure and to stimulate economic growth. The program was widely accepted with the assumption that individual families would benefit from higher incomes and that the workers would stimulate savings; invest their money in productive enterprise and that these investments would in turn bring new employment opportunities and higher wages to the sending communities. The program was also thought to be temporary and tightly monitored. Indeed, since the inception of this policy the Philippines became one of the leading source of international labor migration first in construction jobs in Africa, the Middle East and Europe then later to service oriented jobs in Europe, United States and the developed countries in Asia. In fact Philippine officials reported U.S.$800 million (Lindquist, Asian Pacific Migration Journal,Vol2,1993:78) overseas earnings remitted back into the Philippine economy during the peak years.

Recent studies have shown however, that although some migrant workers returned home and started recruiting kin to follow them, most of these workers stayed after their contracts expired and worked illegally or moved on to another developed country and entered as tourists. The most preferred country of destination for these workers was the United States. Other interesting findings show little of the earnings of migrant workers were directed toward productive enterprise. Instead, the earnings were used as “debt repayments, subsistence living, land purchase, house construction, and consumption of imported items.” (Lindquist,1993:78). Many observers speculate that remittances fueled inflation and emphasized the disparities between the wealthy and the poor. During the 80’s when the Philippines was in deep economic and political crises due to the turbulent waning years of the Marcos regime, then followed by the unstable Aquino administration, there was a massive exodus of Filipinos abroad. Although the initial destination may not have been the United States (pre-departure immigrants to the U.S. will usually take a “lifetime” to wait for a visa without an immediate family member who is a citizen or a resident; non-immigrant visa is very tedious and costly See Pessar,1995:6-10) joining the migrant workers was a stepping stone to ones final destination -the United States. Most workers however depart without legal work contracts and the quickest way to leave the country would be under the tourist visa. Since there was no scarcity of workers willing to go abroad, recruiters began to extract fees from aspiring contract workers. The gatekeepers took advantage of those willing to pay large sums of money for the chance to go abroad. A lot of new graduate nurses and other health service professionals who are now residing in the United States were victimized under these conditions. There was also numerous Filipino professionals with stable jobs in the country mostly in the middle class sector such as teachers, bank employees, government employees who left as tourists. Most ended up as domestic helpers or in other menial jobs in their host countries.

Needless to say the diversity of Filipinos in the United States today cannot be overemphasized. They may be grouped as the “old timers” or plantationbased Filipinos and their second or third generation descendants; the pre-World War II Filipino immigrants mostly single men; the war brides who came immediately after the war and those that came after independence; the professional Filipinos and their families in the post 1965 period; the Filipino-American military personnel and their families; the spouses of the American military personnel and their families; and the current flow of pre-departure immigrants with different category visas. They include the immediate families of U.S. citizens and residents; and occupational based immigrants. There are also non-immigrant category admissions that include students, tourists, delegates to conventions, Filipino war veterans, household members of the diplomatic corps, businessmen, contract workers, fiancees of U.S. citizens and others. The latter category who chose to stay in the United States will find a way to adjust their status, hence they are called status adjusters.

In view of the fact that the Filipino immigration population contains a higher proportion of professionals (Carino;1996;297) “they tend to be less clustered and “visible”. Their integration is not problematic due to the fact that they have the English proficiency to interact with the host society. Carino adds that Filipino Americans have high levels of educational attainment relative both to the U.S. and Philippine population. The socio-economic position of American Filipinos is varied. Those who were born here and raised in the United States and have attained higher education receive higher incomes compared to foreign-born Filipinos. This may be attributed to the fact that being reared in the American culture they are more familiar with the intricacies of American economy. A number of Filipino Americans have excelled in their own respective fields. They have made strides in business, industry, in the military, in all trades and professions. But it is in politics and government that they had their earliest and most significant gains. Take for example Benjamin Cayetano Jr., who is the present governor in the state of Hawaii. He is a second generation son of a Filipino plantation worker. Likewise , in the states of California and Hawaii, there are numerous state judges and elected officials of Filipino ancestry in both of these states’ congress. Another very successful Filipino-American is Loida Nicolas Smith, a foreign born Filipino and lawyer by profession who is now the Chairman and CEO of TLC Beatrice the largest African-American owned company in the United States. She assumed the position when her husband died .

There are also socio-economic disparities between the recent Filipino immigrants. Those who come on the basis of occupational skills are women in their prime working age, more professional with higher educational attainment. The family based immigrant group on the other hand, are much older, less professional in occupational background and less likely to be absorbed in the American labor market. If ever they get jobs, they end up in sweat shops, jobs without benefits, domestic services, or any odd jobs with internal arrangements of wages that don’t require deductions for income taxes. Also, this is the group that most often would claim government assistance. Social interaction between Filipinos usually takes place in Filipino American ethnic associations. These associations will usually celebrate independence day and other Philippine holidays including religious holidays. Social interaction also takes place frequently among those who share hometown origins. Hometown ties become important because one’s townmate is a peer whom one can trust and depend on. It is not surprising to see two newly acquainted Filipinos who inevitably ask the question “Where do you come from in the Philippines?” This question will be followed by other questions seeking out acquaintances should it turn out that the other came from the same hometown. Families usually maintain clan networks on both maternal and paternal sides. These are kept separate from other social network such as friends, church associates and work associates. Families are involved in celebrations of family anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and weddings. Filipinos are not exempt from racism in the United States. Just like other minorities forms of racial discrimination directly or indirectly have affected the economic success of Filipinos as a whole in this country. It is for this reason that Filipino ethnic communities strongly persist because it is among compatriots that Filipinos fall back when they are subjected to institutional discrimination and anti-immigrant prejudices in the host society .

Case Studies

Example 1.

Name: Agnes Age: 48 Marital Status: single

Year arrived: 1970 Current Job: Asst. Director of Nursing

Agnes was born in one of the islands in Central Philippines. She comes from an upper middle class family, both parents are professionals and own some properties. She is one of the three siblings in the family. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 1970. She chose nursing as a profession knowing that she could go to America. She always looked at America with wonder and awe. Before nursing school America rolled across movie screens. It was a fantasy place filled with white skinned people who were free of daily concerns. The streets had sidewalks and were well paved without blemish and spotlessly clean. In nursing school her professors had been sent earlier to the United States for post graduate studies and then returned back to the Philippines to teach. The most successful and admired doctor practitioners were those trained in the United States. A few months before graduation she had already applied to work in one of the university teaching hospitals on the East coast. These teaching hospitals were recruiting new graduates to work in the United States. Agnes was accepted in one of the hospitals a month after her graduation. She left immediately with three classmates. They joined other nurses who were graduates from their nursing school and who came earlier. In due time she found out that American nurses received higher pay than her. She immediately prepared for the state board exams to become certified. When her contract expired with the hospital , she decided to stay rather than return back home to the Philippines. She passed the state board exams then applied and was accepted in another hospital. She managed to have her working visa adjusted to reside permanently and eventually became a U.S. citizen. Ever since her arrival she has only gone home twice since her parents also came and visited her.

Example 2.

Name: Jose Age: 50 Marital status: Married

Year arrived: 1983 Current Job: Project Engineer

Jose was born in one of the southwestern islands in the Philippines. He is the oldest of ten siblings born to parents who were government employees. The father was a World War II veteran , a member of the Philippine Scouts, who were part of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East(USAFFE). He went to Engineering school and graduated using his father’s Veteran’s Educational Benefits to pay for college. He graduated in 1966. Jose learned about America not only from Hollywood movies and History books in school but also from personal experiences of the members of his family. His father and uncles were all members of the Philippine Scouts during WWII. His oldest uncle died in the famous Bataan Death March together with other thousands of Americans and Filipinos when they surrendered to the Japanese. After the war his grandparents received his deceased uncle’s benefits that helped the family economically through tough times. Both his grandparents received lifetime pensions in U.S. dollars. Jose considered Americans his Big Brothers. General MacArthur was always an inspiration to his family, a man who represented America as a loyal and trusted friend. Jose applied to immigrate to the United States under the occupation preference category (P-3), in 1970. For the meantime he was working as an engineer in the Bureau of Public Highways, a stable job. He was helping out a younger sister and brothers going to college. In 1972, there was a recruitment of Filipino engineers, doctors and architects to work in West Africa. The offer was good and the benefits attractive for a young engineer like Jose who wanted some adventure. Jose applied as a contract engineer and was easily accepted. Before leaving for his new job he married his girlfriend. He left for Africa in the early part of 1973. Five months later his pregnant wife joined him. Soon after, Jose had a family. Jose requested the U.S. embassy in Africa to transfer his immigration papers from Manila. He was looking forward to its approval while he was working abroad. Eventually, in 1983 the U.S. embassy in Africa notified Jose that his third preference visa was approved. That was a span of thirteen (13) years since he applied in 1970. He left Africa and immigrated to the United States with his family. Jose was considered a pre-departure immigrant. (Pre-departure immigrant means that Jose had legal documents before he entered the United States). When he arrived in the United States, Jose and his family stayed with his wife’s sister while he was looking for jobs. He did not have a hard time getting a job as a Highway engineer because of his work experiences in the Philippines and in Africa. He prepared for the state board exams for engineers and after two years he got his professional engineers license.

to top

Student Bibliography

1. Roces, Alfredo. Filipino Heritage. The Making of A Nation. 10 Volumes. (Manila, Philippines: Lahing Pilipino Publishing Inc.),1977.
A ten-volume set presenting the making of the Filipino nation in the light of the findings by the most authoritative scholars on the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The first three volumes are devoted to prehistory (Vol.1 for the Stone Age; Vol.2 for the metal age; Vol.3 the age of trade and contacts). The subsequent four volumes (Volumes 4 to 7) cover the Spanish period from the colonization by Legazpi to the founding of Katipunan the rebel organization. The last three volumes(Volumes 8 to 10) narrate the various struggles to achieve nationhood , at first through armed struggle against Spain and against the United States, then through peaceful political struggle, followed by World War II and climaxed by the recognition of independence in 1946.
2. Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. Don Luis Munos Marin, Poet and Politician of Puerto Rico. (New York: Orchard Books) , 1995
A biography of the first governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It is not just his story but the story of Puerto Rico in the twentieth century as well.
3. DeFilippo Judy and Skidmore Charles. Skill Sharpeners 2 and 3 (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.),1991
A student workbook designed for students who need additional practice in Standard English grammar and vocabulary. The series is content based that helps prepare the students for success in the regular (mainstream) classroom.

to top

Teacher Bibliography

1. Anderson, Robert N. et. al. Filipinos in Rural Hawaii (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press),1984.
An ethnographic account of present Filipinos who lived in rural Hawaii in plantation day camps even though the plantation have long been closed. This is the story of families who are still emotionally and socially tied to the plantation community.
2. Asis, Maruja. “Overseas Employment and Social Transformation in Source Communities: Findings from the Philippines.” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal. Volume 4 Number 2-3(Manila: Scalabrini Migration Center),1995.
A study that discusses the social transformation in four communities which have experienced large scale and sustained international labor migration.
3. Benesch, Sarah. ed. ESL in America.(Portsmouth, New Hamphire: Boynton/Cook Publishers), 1991.
A collection of essays by regular contributors to ESL literature and other scholars from the fields of law, sociology and school administration. This book examines the social, economic and political contexts of second language and bilingual education.
4. Carino, Benjamin V. “Filipino Americans: Many and Varied”. In Silvia Pedraza and Ruben Rumbaut, eds., Origins and Destinies: Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in America, Belmont, CA,: Wadsworth Press
An article about the current flow of Filipino immigrants in the United States. It includes history and demographics.
5. Chamot, Anna and O’Malley, Michael. The Calla Handbook.(Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.), 1994.
A book that provides foundation for using the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) . It discusses practical guidelines for designing a CALLA program and suggestions for implementing CALLA in major subject areas of the curriculum.
6. Domingo, Benjamin. Hawaii’s Eminent Filipinos.(Manila: Foreign Service Institute ), 1983.
This book narrates the accomplishments of current prominent Filipinos in Hawaii.
7. Falcon, Luis M. “Migration and Development: The Case of Puerto Rico”. Pp. 146-181 in Determinants of Emigration from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, ed. Sergio Diaz-Briquets and Sidney Weintraub. (Boulder, Colo: Westview Press) 1991.
A report that reviews the Puerto Rican migratory experience in the context of Puerto Rico’s economic development
8. From Mabuhay to Aloha. The Filipinos in Hawaii. FAUW Publications.(Filipino Association of University Women) (Manila: Benipayo Press), 1991
A collection of articles about the urban Filipino born in Hawaii and foreign born Filipinos who came to Hawaii in 1965 and later.
9. In the Belly of the Beast.(Berkeley, CA: Philippine Resource Center), 1985.
A book that examines the different phases of Filipino immigration and the Filipino experiences in the United States from the turn of the century to the mid’80’s.
10. Lindquist, Bruce. “Migration Networks: A Case Study in the Philippines.”Asian and Pacific Migration Journal. Volume 2, No.1.(Manila: Scalabrini Migration Center),1993.
A case study that examines the international labor migration of the Filipinos for the past twenty years that still persisted in the face of declining wages and abusive recruitment practices. It focuses upon the experiences of a small community and suggests that contract labor is best understood within the migration process, linking global economic formation and domestic policy to the internal structures of the sending community.
11. Pedraza, Silvia and Rumbaut, Robert. Origins and Destinies: Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in American History.(Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.), 1996.
An excellent book. A collection of thirty-six essays by prominent scholars which explore immigration, race and ethnicity in America in historical and contemporary contexts.
12. Pessar, Patricia R. A Visa for A Dream: Dominicans in the United States.(Needham Heights, Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon),1995.
This book is an ethnographic case study of the Dominicans in New York City. It is one of the series of books on New Immigrants that will give the readers a sense of the experiences and problems of the newcomers in the United States as they tell their own stories. A good resource if one intends to write case histories.
13. Rodriguez, Clara E. Puerto Ricans, Born in the U.S.A.(Boston: Unwin, Hyman Inc.),1989.
An essential reading for students and teachers of Puerto Rican and Latin American studies. This book is a comprehensive overview of Puerto Rican life in the United States, describing the history and heritage. The author assesses their current socio-economic status using census data and qualitative research findings.
14. Silva, John L. “On Her Own”.Filipinas. Volume 5, Issue No.46.(San Francisco, CA: Filipinas Publishing Co.), 1996.
An article about Loida Nicolas Lewis, a Filipino American who took over as head of TLC Beatrice one of the biggest African-American owned company in the United States after her husband’s death. Wall Street insiders predicted doomsday but after another profitable year, she continues to prove them wrong.
15. San Juan, E. Jr. “Where Are You From? When Are You Going Back? Kultura A Quarterly Forum for Artist, Critic, and Audience. (Manila: P.T. Martin Publishing Services) Volume 5 No. 2. , 1992
A critical essay about the predicament of Filipinos in the United States.
16. Teodoro, Luis V. Jr. ed. Out Of This Struggle. The Filipinos in Hawaii.(Honolulu: The University of Hawaii Press), 1981.
A collection of essays that examines the 75 years of Filipino experience in Hawaii.
17. Veles, Wanda. “The American Experience” Immigrants and American Identity. Curriculum Units by Fellows of the Yale-New Haven
Teachers Institute, Volume II. (53 Wall Street, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale -New Haven Teachers Institute),1988.
A good background information on the immigrants who came to the United States particularly the Irish, the Germans, the Jews, the Italians, the African-Americans and the Puerto Ricans. This unit emphasizes that the cultural heritage of many countries have influenced the formation of American culture.
18. Villangca, Roberto V. ed. Pinoy. The First Wave(1898-1941).
(San Francisco, CA: Strawberry Hill Press), 1977.
This book is a very touching personal accounts of Filipino Americans who came in the first wave of immigration both in the United States mainland and Hawaii.

to top

Contents of 1996 Volume IV | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

© 2016 by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Terms of Use Contact YNHTI