The early inhabitants of the “Philippine Islands”
were Aetas, Malays and Indonesians. The Aetas were the
natives, the Malays and Indonesias immigrated though
land bridges and by wooden boats (Barangay). They had
faith in Bathala (Supreme Deity); lived according to
Sumakwel Code; had tribal “blood compacts”;
and were working on a Federation of Madyaas. They traded
with Chinese, had contact with India and saw the Mohammedans
arrived in Mindanao.
On March 16, 1521 Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese captain
employed by rival King of Spain, landed in Limasawa,
Leyte and named the country “Las Islas Filipinas”
in honor of King Felipe. Spanish colonization lasted
for over three centuries inculcating the values of Catholic
Christianity and Spanish hacienda. Spanish colonial
abuses (forced labor, excessive taxes, land aggrandizement,
etc.) led to intermittent revolts. Spanish reactions
led to the martyrdom of priests Gomez, Burgoz and Zamora
and of national heroes, Dr. Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.
On June 12, 1898 a national Revolution led to the expulsion
of the Spanish colonial government. General Emilio Aguinaldo
proclaimed the first Philippine Republic which turned
out to be short-lived. The Americans, claiming Spain
ceded the Philippines under the Treaty of Paris, arrived
in Philippines and occupied the country for the next
50 years. In 1941-1945, the Japanese invaded and occupied
the Philippines and in July 4, 1946 the Americans “liberated”
the country and granted the American style democratic
Culturally, the Filipinos are a mixture of East and
West; a blend of native traditions and colonial accretions.
Spaniards bequeathed the Christian church; Americans
the public education and democracy. Among the unique
cultural traits are: the compadre system (extended family
relations), Bayanihan (community unity), and the Bahala
Na attitude (leave life to God or to fate).
Filipino-American immigrants and naturalized U.S. citizens
came in three waves: the farmers in early 1900’s;
the U.S. Navy and War Brides in WW II; and the Professionals
and Families in Post 1965 open immigration. Today, there
are over three millions Filipinos in America, most of
them living in California, Hawaii, New York, Illinois,
Florida, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, etc.
7 CRITICAL ASIAN-AMERICAN
Asia is characterized by plurality and diversity of
faiths, cultures and ideologies.
Asia is the cradle of faiths and civilizations and
home of renascent and living religions. Buddhism,
Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.
Most of the countries in Asia have Western colonial
experience, struggled to achieve self-identity and
cultural integrity and are succeeding in nation-building
come to this country in common patterns of immigration,
naturalization and family reunifications.
Asian-Americans are proud of their cultural heritage
even as they interact with other cultures in the context
of modern America.
Asian-Americans are struggling to find their place
in the socio-political and economic spectrum of multicultural
Asian-American Christians are expressing optimism
that they will no longer be marginalized in the American