Filipino community in the United States

Interviewing Mark Gómez.

by Alejandro González

Mark Gomez

Mark Gomez

Background: Mark is a friend of mine who I met when I moved to my actual neighbourhood in the outskirts of Madrid, aproximately at the age of fourteen. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, however, his parents and relatives are from Philippines.

When he was about twelve years old he moved to Spain, living there for six years, then he went back to the US after finishing high school.

Right now he is attending his college lessons in Florida.

My region is North America and I thought it could be interesting to ask him about the filipino community established in the US especially in the state of California.

Filipinos represent 1.1% of the country´s population and it is also one of the major sources of inmigration into the United States.

Mark you said that your parents are from Philippines, how and why did they come to the EEUU?

They came to the united states because the job that they were being offered was located in the united states and that is one of the main reasons why they moved there. Secondly was because there is a better environment for living compared to the philippines.

What your parents did was not an ocasional situation given, a big amount of people coming from Philippines followed the same path right?

Yes, there are many other filipinos who took this path due to that they will be in a better environment and most likely get a job that will pay more than if they stayed in the Philippines.

Why do think this happened?

One of the main reasons why I believe that this happened is because Philippines has never been in a good position economically and does not help being a third world country either. Not only but since there is a high population in the country there is a lot of competition always.

What does the term Filipino American say to you?

The term filipino american means that I am both filipino and american in citizenship and culture. I do not think that there is more to the term as it is only used as an identification rather than anything else.

There is a huge community of filipinos living in the US, how deeply do you think they are integrated into the US society?

A lot of the filipinos who move here or are born here are very integrated into the society as through out time they blend into the culture and environment. Although in my opinion I do not agree with this sort of integration due to that they tend to forget where they came from and their culture. I believe that it is important that we always remember where we came from.

With the pass of the years have they returned back to Philippines or they have just continued their lifes in the United States?

I think through out the years depending on how comfortable they have integrated themselves into the society they tend to stay in the united states and once in a while go back to the Philippines to just visit relatives. I do not see a lot of filipinos who return and do not come back to the united states.

As a second filippino generation, are you planning to return at some point of your life or you´d rather stay in the United States?

I think for me it would be very hard to go back due to the fact that since I was small we have already moved out of the philippines and have lived in different countries over the years. I can only see myself returning if I am visiting any relatives but if not I do not see myself returning to live there.

Do you think there is racism in the United States or at least, have you ever experienced it somehow?

There is definitely racism in the united states and it usually is targeted to the minorities which usually are black, asian and hispanics. Since the Philippines falls underneath the asian category we as a minority are targeted as well. Racism is something that is very hard to avoid especially in a country where the “White man” believes that he has the right to do what ever he wants. Even though Dr. Martin Luther King jr died to push the civil rights movement to prevent racism and to end it, we can factually say that this is not true. Personally I have not been target with any sort of racial comments but I do have friends who have experienced it. Racism happens daily in the United States and even you will be able to see it on a daily basis.


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