Filipino Rules

Seeing the words "Filipino Rules" and the uniform of my alma mater immediately grabbed my attention. I would say this simple instance gave me more excitement than actually reading this article. I had the pleasure of knowing Maecel in a distant way. Though she was two years older than me, I went to the same elementary, middle school, and high school. My friends' older brothers and sisters were her circle of friends. While it disappoints me that her words cannot come out of the mouths of every other Fil-Am she is trying to represent and write to, I will contest that she is a beautiful woman and has contributed her knowledge in other ways in spite of this. I agree she made a huge error in trying to represent her culture. It surprises me as someone younger (20 y/o), I am able to embrace my heritage. However, I will admit that the process to digging back to my cultural roots took a great amount of examination, discussion, and of course, education. The problem that comes apparent to me is often a language barrier. Despite the fact that many Filipino immigrants were taught English and can 'get by' quite well, conversations between parents and children are quite minimal and basic. The influence of American culture absolves these new generations of Fil-Ams, and Mex-Ams, Chinese-Ams, Somalian-Ams, etc, to an ethnocentric level. Add the factor of current media consumption behaviors, where the youth are relentlessly connected online. Effects of constant online communication leave users unable to hold basic conversations in person and the necessity to feel 'updated'. Adding this to the natural generation gaps between parent-to-children, the youth have no interest in historical heritage. Filipino parents are often unaware their American born children are raised with multiple identities. American ideals of independence and privacy conflict with Filipino values of collectivity and openness so representing your culture or heritage in America in any way is subject to disputing your social standing. Children have no other outlet to discuss these cultural frustrations and may sometimes subject to mischievous behaviors, as Maecel described. I hope that readers look beyond this memoir-like article as it poorly represents the general experiences of Filipino-Americans. Such stereotypical views often mitigate the actual experiences of immigration and its related areas. It is up to educating ourselves in creating a more tolerable culture of diversity, otherwise ignorance will undermine the human experience.
— March 12, 2010 11:58 p.m.

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