Thursday, May 26, 2005

To Be Or Not To Be: Filipino or American?

One wonders what drove you to commit to verse the characteristic qualities the two countries (the USA and the Philippines) exhibit that make them in one vein, similar and in another vein, poles apart.

For those of us who have adopted the US as our home, we constantly grapple with similar issues as we try to assimilate in our new environs. For those of us who came here as adults, laden with all the home-grown baggage of preconceived notions and ideas, the process of assimilation has been quite a formidable undertaking.

We are confused and caught in the horns of an unavoidable dilemma. To assimilate or not to assimilate. To assimilate but maybe not completely, all the while maintaining umbilical ties with the old country. Or to proceed being the way we were, unmindful of the crying needs of the present situation. Never mind if the people around us find us quite straying from expected norms of conduct.

Which shall it be? What should we become, being residents and citizens of this new place? Does not being a citizen require a modicum of behavior aligned with the rest of the citizenry? Or do we still maintain our old identities, again unmindful of the rest of the population?

And personally, if there is any singular and sterling quality that separates this new home of ours from the rest of the world, it is the convergence of all the races/ethnicity one can possibly find in this pale blue dot we call, Earth, in one glorious place - coexisting harmoniously under one law and government. No other country duplicates this remarkable phenomenon.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:24 PM

    One thing I do regret is that my Mother refused to teach me Tagalog and educate me on anything Filipino. She also never educated me on the family tree unless I were to inquire. I went to Mindanao for my 21st birthday and had to pick up on things here and there. I felt a little intimidated. It wasn't until she told me about Jamie Neri, the WWII hero priest 4 years ago and heard my eagerness to know more did she seem to finally acknowledge my need to know. My cousin was raised the same way. Also her parents never taught her about being Filipino, the language or the ancestors. Somehow it seems certain generations of immigrants don't want to enlighten their children about family history and or native language after being making roots in USA.


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