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I Am A Filipino Through The Eyes Of An American Citizen

1522 words - 6 pages

I am a Filipino Through the Eyes of an American Citizen

In Webster’s New Dictionary, history is defined as a study of past events; course of life or existence. Without history, we wouldn’t know our cultures, where we came from, and the major events that changed the world. This is true for many people, because some of them don’t know their culture or their families’ history. People of color, especially many minorities who are born in America (second generation) tend to not learn their histories, for they have to adapt to the American lifestyle which make them lose a part of their identity. Another reason why many second generations don’t know their history is that many are learning the American history or many of them are not asking or willing to question the teacher about their history. As for myself, I fit in to that category, because I am one of the many people who don’t know their ethnicity’s history, which is Filipino. Now in the year 2001, I’m in college and wanting to learn and question my people’s history. “College is one of the best sources to learn your history” (DeGuia). In learning my history, I questioned my friend Rex DeGuia (who is also Filipino) about his life experience and compared his life with my life experience, in which we both have some similarities and differences.

Rex DeGuia, a man who identifies himself as a “Filipino” man, was born in December 4, 1971. He has four family members, whom he loves dearly, and was born in the United States of America, which makes him a second-generation citizen. He lives in a predominately white city of San Fernando Valley. This is one of the reasons why he is Americanized. Growing up was hard for him, for he felt like an outcast. As for me, I too was born in America, and raised in the city of San Francisco in the South of Market Area. Growing up in the city was nice, because in the area I live were predominately Americanized Filipinos.

Even though we lived in different counties, our home styles are the same. We both live under the rules of a Filipino home. For example, “we would always respect our parents or elders by sickoleding them, obeying their wishes, and always cooking rice” (DeGuia). For the both of us, our homes are source to our history. This is where we have sculptures or paintings of the Philippines, such as “The Many Knifes of the Island, wood sculptures of a bull, and the Philippines’ Flag” (DeGuia). Although DeGuia feels like an outcast, I was ashamed of being Filipino, because being white was the thing to do. To me my definition of white is being rich and on television. My family wasn’t rich because they had jobs that were typical Filipino immigrant jobs. My father is a waiter and my mother is a housekeeper at a hotel. But for DeGuia his parents had jobs that paid a lot. His mother is a teacher and his father an engineer.

The reason why his parents have different jobs is that they immigrated in different years. DeGuia’s parents came in 1969, a time when...

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