Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Apology and Stuff About Filipino Communities

I'm Back
It's been a week since my last update but I'm going to get out of the habit of apologizing for my procrastination. I have a life to live and one laptop to share with my blog-happy wife. The low traffic numbers on Google Analytics are a constant reminder that updates = page views. Now let's get back to the gist of the post.

Filipino Communities in the U.S.
I've noticed that, unlike many concentrated Chinese and Japanese enclaves found in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Filipinos tend to spread out and blend into surrounding communities. Los Angeles has Historic Filipinotown, but how "historic" is something created in 2002?

For whatever reason, Filipinos (generally speaking) seem to blend into their communities. Maybe this tendency to blend has something to do with the history of the Philippines itself. Unlike some other isolated Pacific Island/Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines were ruled by the Spanish for 100s of years, brutalized by the Japanese during WWII and more recently populated by Chinese immigrants. Maybe all of these foreign influences have resulted in a more adaptable population, or maybe I'm just making reckless assumptions based on limited information.

Unofficial U.S. Filipino Capital?
So what can be considered the capital of Pinoy culture in the States? A lot of people might point to Las Vegas where Filipinos are the largest Asian minority group and many are employed as casino dealers and other public-facing occupations in the hospitality trade. Well, based on five minutes of unsubstantiated Internet research, that theory gets blown out of the water. It turns out that Los Angeles has 400,000 Filipinos alone, which might be ten times the amount of Vegas kababayan.

As a percentage of population, Daly City, a suburb of San Francisco, has the highest percentage of Filipino Americans of any mid-sized city in the U.S. We drove through on our way back from the Bay Area last Thanksgiving but didn't stop to take in the sights.

Home is Where the Puso Is
You aren't going to find the center of Filipino culture in any one community... The Land of Lechon can be experienced in the homes of your Filipino neighbors and friends, in restaurants and grocery stores where you can buy fish balls, and on most cruise ships sailing the seven seas.

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