First blog... here, my random rants begin and I shall begin it with...
I am a Filipina- American (and truly proud of it)! But what does that mean to me or anyone that is of first generation in America? I was in a chat discussion with a friend from overseas, more specific a friend that is in the military (why is mentioning ‘in the military’ relevant to this? Well you’ll see…). He has had a great deal of traveling, takes almost any opportunity to be overseas and has met all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds. However, in his current deployment he has met a Filipina of almost the same background as me (well not really, but kind of…). This ‘gal’ (as I reference her as) is Filipina, a nurse (typical freakin’ Filipina! LOL), and 24 years old- WELL… I am Filipina, 24 years old, and well not a nurse but I have begun my career (to say the least, in a ‘positive’ manner).
As we continue our ‘chat’ my friend makes remarks such as, ‘you wouldn’t be able to do anything close to what she does’ (of course no pun intended LOL jk). Then, I shoot a low blow of well, ‘of course she’d do such things because she wants a CITIZENSHIP and you’re the LUCKY SAILOR (my arse!) to have gotten sucked into such domestic comfort that most Filipina’s can provide quite well (Miss Saigon-esque, or shall I say, Miss Manila- esque?!). Low blow yes, but in truth it is most of these ‘Filipina’s’ dream and ‘if’ they fall in love ‘WHILE’ searching for the man to provide a citizenship, well A++ for them My case in point in all of this is, well mainly, domestic labor is embedded in (what I believe) the woman’s gene/ personality/ character/ etc. So although it may not be of MY choice to be doing that at my age right now doesn’t mean that I am incapable of doing so. I was raised in a family where women provide for their families- financially, domestically, emotionally, and all of the above- so it is VERY much embedded in my gene- and in truth I enjoy providing domestically, but I am not ready to share it quite yet- call me selfish if you want
Then the conversation heightens onto how I am not ‘even near as Filipina’ as this gal …ha ha ha freakin’ hah! Now he’s pushing my buttons. Who is HE to say that I am nowhere near Filipina as this lady? Well of course I do not quite have the F.O.B. accent as she does, because, well, I was born and raised on American soil and well she was born in the freakin’ Philippines! But I am here to say that I am a proud Filipina- American and what does that mean? Well here it is…
I embrace my culture and am very proud of my Filipina heritage but I stand with my country as an American. Some may disagree with me on this one, but that’s how I feel. There are things in both heritages that I agree and disagree and the way I see it, well I have the best of both worlds and in FORTUNATE circumstances I was born into it, better yet the first generation in my family!
So why is it that I love being a Filipina American? Well there are plenty of reasons but I’ll mention this… the melting pot dream (=American Dream + Melting pot American).
Derrick Ashong, an advocate of ‘using media as a tool for human development,’ couldn’t have said it better when he said (Oprah.com);
We live in a time when our nation is at war overseas against the forces of extremism and
at home against the forces of fear that would erode our collective conscience. Though it may be a politically unpopular position to take at such a time, I believe that ultimately the struggle for the American ideal cannot be won with arms. In the 21st century, the fruits of hatred and oppression have been globalized along with those of business and culture. If Dr. King were alive today, I believe he would argue that the fruits of peace must be sown and cultivated just as vigorously.
In the end, no violence, no artifice, no ideology can undermine our humanity unless we allow it to do so. This "war" will be won by bringing diverse people closer to an understanding of that shared humanity. And by striving together toward our greater humanity, we, like our forebears, shall overcome every challenge to it.
Ashong is of Ghanian descent speaking for all humanity, just as Dr. King did, but I must add that it was here in our nation, the United States of America that set the standard for diversity, we are the nation that was the first to embrace a melting pot nation (unlike countries that are/ were in conflict with themselves, Hutus and Tutsi’s in Central Africa, Catholics and Muslims in the Philippines, etc.). Although our nation is not perfect (cliché, yet true) we are still a nation that many wish to become a part (like ‘gal’ as mentioned earlier in the article) because of our ideals in freedom for humanity, so….
I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
~ Lee Greenwood, Proud to be an American