She discovered that while her white friends received ample information on colleges and scholarships, her Asian friends were advised against applying to prestigious universities. But, Ruby did not accept the counselor’s prognosis of her future, and she was overjoyed when she found out that she had been accepted to the University of California. The liberating experience of being Asian The ethnic consciousness of these Filipino-Americans crystallized when they started to become independent in college.
Ruby became involved with the Student Affirmative Action/Economic Opportunity Program (SAA/POP) and the Filipino American Club: “l was out there in the front line helping students of color pass classes and talk out their problems. ” She ‘hooked up’ with Filipino friends, learned about Filipino history and performed in the Filipino dance troupe. Alien’s ethnicity, on the other hand, became significant when she involved herself in student politics n college, fighting for the retention and recruitment of students and faculty of color.
She attributes this activism to her relationship with her two roommates, a Latin and an African American. Supportive institutions, such as ethnic clubs, ethnic studies programs and affirmative action services, play a critical role in the process of ethnic identification. Out of their shared history of discrimination, they become involved in a cohesive interpersonal network. It’s okay to stand up to Mom and Dad An outspoken young woman, Elaine deviates from her family’s notion of a traditional gather: “My grandfather tells me that I am too ‘Americanizes. I wonder what he means by that. I feel he equates being Americanizes with being independent. My sister and I do a lot of things on our own. We make decisions for ourselves. I think my reconcile family expectations with individual ambition: “In graduate school, I was getting a lot of pressure from my parents to get married and have children since I was their eldest daughter. ” It was through her involvement with Asian American Women’s Support Group that Ruby eventually learned “that it is okay to stand up to
Mom and Dad and that it does not mean that I love them any less or that I am any less Filipino. ” The Filipino-American hybrid To assert Filipino American identity is to insist that the process of incorporation is multidimensional. Thus, one need not choose between being ‘Filipino’ and being ‘American. ‘ Describing herself as a ‘hybrid’, Ruby related: “Up through high school, I was mostly all-American white. And then in college, I started to identify with the ethnic self. It was not until graduate school that I learned, yes, it’s okay to have a little bit of both.
It was then that I started resolving between my Filipino and my white selves. ” In the ongoing construction of their Filipino American identity, their ethnicity becomes ‘something that they have to study. As Random explained, “Not being readily connected to a Filipino community, learning through books, learning through discussions, that is probably the most structured way that I can educate myself about the Filipino culture and history. ” ‘l want my children to understand Philippine history As Random stated, “l want my children to know a hell of a lot more than I did.
I want them to know the language and the history – more than Just an experience that they have at dinner. I’d like them to feel more connected with their relatives back in the Philippines, which I never got the chance to do. ” Similarly, Elaine related, “When I get older and have children, I am not going to be able to cook the Filipino food or speak the language. But I hope my children can learn about Filipino culture through stories. I also hope that I will have enough money so that I can travel to the Philippines with my children. ”