December 14, 2005
Final Essay 4
identity is a matter of “becoming” as well as of “being.” It belongs to the
future as much as to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending
place, time, history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere, have
histories. But, like everything which is historical, they undergo constant
transformation.” (Stuart Hall, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora”) Balancing
between two different cultures is very challenging and my interview focused on
this issue the most. My interviewee Analise Suguitan, a third generation Filipino,
grew up trying to balance two cultures her Filipino roots and her American
side. Her place in Filipino history would have to be with every second or third
generation Filipino that has migrated to
What I know
about this time in Filipino history in
cultures. Although I had my own personal experiences, I had no first hand prior
knowledge of the Filipino experience in
To educate myself so that I wouldn’t feel so unfamiliar with Filipino culture my research was all mainly done through people. My Kababayan class helped me a great deal with finding a basis for my questions. I made questions that seemed to be the most relevant to a third generation Filipino individual. The questions I asked in my interview were about the interviewees’ life as a Filipino and as a writer. I made my appointment for my interview through email making sure I read up on my interviewees’ life. I had my mother give me a lift to my interviewee, Analises house. Once there I quickly became immersed in Analises life, I found interaction with her to be easy, she was very accommodating and open with talking about herself. Analise gave thorough answers to each of my questions. I found our interview to be very informative about first hand experiences through the eyes of a Filipino American.
Most of the historical events that my interviewees’ answers revolved around were probably the outcome of many second and third immigrant children. She was a part of a generation that was described in detail in chapter eight of Home Bound. Analise, represents many second and third generation Filipinos that discovered their roots and began to realize whom they really are. This is an important part of Filipino history for it is the defining moment for all mostly culturally confused children to find themselves. Many third generation Filipinos
have probably felt this awkwardness. This monumental time is perhaps where all Filipinos begin to come into their own.
Dream” is perhaps a very common reason for all immigrants to migrate to the
Dream”, was a theme in my interview. I asked my interviewee what she thought
about the American Dream and she replied that she believed it didn’t exist. The
“American Dream” could be applied to her, because her grand parents must have
arrived here in
The melting pot
was also discussed alongside with the American Dream. The melting pot is a
theory that all cultures that come to
brought up the topic of the melting pot. She felt that her parents were trying
to meld into that pot of uniformity. Her parents try to raise her “white”,
slowly but subtly mixing her into the melting pot. The melting pot is very
prevalent in Filipino history. It is a common thing to want to fit in, so it is
only natural that some people conform and become apart of white
The “American Dream” and the melting pot are both connected to each other as they are in every immigrant’s fate. They are the incentive for Filipinos and many others to travel the distance and leave behind their homes. However the opposite of these would be the “salad theory”, which my interviewee also discussed. The salad theory is a theory that instead of melting all cultures together creates balance for them to coexist. In the salad theory all cultures are given space yet are close in a way that isn’t threatening similar to a salad, where all the vegetables lye together without being crushed by one another.
This theory is very much connected to my interviewee for her life is about coexisting with different cultures peacefully. At a young age she lost her mother, her father soon remarried to a white woman, it never really bothered her. Her current family is mixed with different
cultures and they coexist together without problems. The salad theory was always there in her life sometimes it didn’t always happen that way however she has always maintained the theory.
After the interview and reading through all my books about Filipino culture. I have come to the conclusion that I can very much relate to the Filipino experience. The Filipino experience is all about finding your true identity in life. Finding a balance between who you are and where you came from. Being yourself and Filipino at the same time coexisting like a salad. Through the many book I have read I found that Home Bound by Yen Le Espiritu is a very connected to my interview. My research has only gotten me so far in this project, it is the first had experience I attained from people around that really helped. I believe just sitting in my 165 class and listening to everyone’s varying opinions on what the Filipino experience is helped me come to my conclusions more than the books did. I have learned a lot about distinguishing between loving your culture and just tolerating it. I believe that my research has helped me view my own culture differently. I can see a bridge between Filipino culture and my culture, I feel more connected with everyone else. The Filipino experience to me is a long winding road that leads to one thing balance.
Works Cited List
Suguitan, Analise. Personal Interview. 27 Oct. 2005.
Espiritu, Yen Le. Home Bound
In Identity, Community, Culture
Difference, edited by Jonathon Rutherford,