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Jun 30th
Hi Joseph, I read your article in Phili PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 02 July 2009 16:59
Hi Joseph, I read your article in Philippines Today with interest. I am a 69-years old Filipina American born and raised in San Francisco (California). My parents immigrated in the 1920's and 30's, met here and got married, raised 3 children. My siblings and I did not learn a dialect even though our parents spoke Tagalog (and our father also spoke Ilocano) because of rampant discrimination. My father was called "monkey". We frequented more often the Uptown theater where African Americans went and less often went to the New American theater because that is where the Caucasians went. (Excuse my bad grammar!). Sometimes at the New American theater, white people would move to different seats if we happened to sit near them. My brother and I attended public school and were placed in a speech class to take the Filipino accent out of our English. Since we grew up in integrated areas (south of Market St., the Fillmore district), we were not aware of so much discrimination. It wasn't until our family moved to the Haight-Ashbury district, an almost all-white area in the mid-50's, that I became more aware of it. While growing up, my family attended the Filipino Community Center in S.F. which is today an old dilapidated Victorian house on Sacramento St. Parties of every description were held there. We even learned a few Filipino dances and were in the Filipino Youth Dance Group. We performed at big hotels such as the St. Francis or Sheraton Palace where Filipino dances, queen contests, etc., were held. Although I'm now retired, I am still active in the Pilipino American Social Work Association, a council of the National Association of Social Workers. I think all the members except me were born and raised in the Philippines. I've been taking Tagalog classes through the Filipino-American Association of Foster City, of which I am a member, and know a lot more now than words of endearment or scolding words heard from our parents. And I've been getting books written by Filipino authors from the Filipino room in the San Francisco Public Library to learn about my roots and the Philippines in general. At the hospital in South San Francisco where I was employed as a supervising social worker, I was active in the KPFA, Kaiser Permanente Filipino Assn., the only one throughout the Kaisers as far as I know, which was formed to promote the culture and help and encourage Filipino youth to attend college after high school. My sister is active in NAAFTA, and I will be helping her to promote a San Mateo chapter. My children are mixed--Filipino/Mexican/Turkish, and one of my granddaughters is Filipino/Chinese/Mexican/Turkish--so they have more than one culture to embrace. I do see a greater interest in learning about the Filipino culture among some young people than you allude to in your article but at the same time also see an indifference and lack of interest in others. I would appreciate your forwarding my comments to Mr. De Quiros. Salamat, Vivian Poblete

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