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Are We Empowered Yet?

A Community Report on the Needs Assessment Survey of the Chicago Filipino American Community

Report completed by Operation Mango March 2005


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We wish to thank the following individuals who provided vital support, input and assistance to this project. Their contributions are a testament to community spirit and have aided immeasurably in the completeness and accuracy of this report. Thank you to the following who participated in our July 2001 community meeting and/or helped distribute surveys: Elsie Sy-Niebar, Chicago Dept. of Human Services Joe Mauricio Edith Panopio, MD Aurora Abella Austriaco, Esq. Samahan – University of Chicago Filipino Student Organization Nadja Lalvani P. B. Molinar Jennifer Asidao, Committee on Pilipino Issues Edgar Laforteza Rene Abella Joey V. Juachon Susan and Ted Kirpach, Pintig Maria de Guzman Louie Pascasio, Pintig Patricia Spedale A. V. Calabas Maria Mendoza Adleman Thank you to Marissa Graciosa for facilitating the focus groups at our November 2005 community meeting. Thank you also to Kathy Azada for her design and presentation expertise and creativity. Many thanks to Ann Limijco for providing the Skokie Community Center facilities for our November 2004 community forum and to Audrey Bangi for providing DePaul University facilities for our January 2005 community forum. We greatly appreciate Joanne Garces for her diligence and time to complete the transcription work. We are grateful to Joanne Garces, Rhea Yap and Butch DeCastro for their editorial contributions. Thank you to the following who attended our November 2004 community meeting: Narciso Lobo, Pintig Andy Gaston, Pintig Levi S. Aliposa, Pintig Judah S. Aliposa, Voluntary Service Overseas-Bahayinam Lisa Yei, Filipino American Network, CCHR, and AABA Jennifer F. Jimenez, Committee on Pilipino Issues Sarahlynn Pablo, Committee on Pilipino Issues Rico Rosete, Committee on Pilipino Issues Tuyet Le, Asian American Institute Dan Vicencio, Filipino American Network Melchor Mangoba, RDL-CLEAR Ismael Fabicon, RDL-CLEAR Renee Faigao, RDL-CLEAR Jordannah Bangi, Federation of Filipino American Associations Scott Bae, Governor’s Office Sr. Myrna Tordillo, C.O.M.E. Joanna Su, Asian Health Coalition of Illinois Karl Kimpo, Asian Health Coalition of Illinois Christine Jacob, Asian American Institute and Filipino American Network 2

Czerena Salud, AAAC Louie Fabicon, Asian American Coalition Committee-UIC Heather Degui, Asian American Coalition Committee-UIC Naisy Dolar, Advisory Council on Asian Affairs Vicky Garchiterena, Ayala Foundation USA Ray Sagun, National Federation of Filipino American Associations Audrey Bangi, Depaul University Ted Regenga, Pinoy Monthly Thank you to the following who participated in our January 2005 community meeting: Audrey Bangi, DePaul University Michael Barin, Office of Minority Student Affairs at the University of Chicago Joanne Garces, Heartland Health Outreach Arnold De Villa, National Federation of Filipino American Associations Jennifer Asidao, Committee on Pilipino Issues Christopher Tan, Shore Bank Advisory Services Dan Vicencio, Filipino American Network Angela Ebreo, University of Illinois at Chicago Thelma T. Fuentes, National Federation of Filipino American Associations Lourdes M. Ceballos, Bayumbayan & FilAm Civic Community Nerissa Nabua, Fellowship of Pilipino Migrants Jennifer F. Jimenez, Fellowship of Pilipino Migrants Yvonne Lau, DePaul University Joseph G. Lariusa, NPE Philippines U.S.A. Louie Fabicon, Asian American Coalition Committee-UIC Nina Fabicon Eleanor Fabicon, RDL-CLEAR Narciso Lobo, Pintig

Operation Mango March 2005


TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................................. 5 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................ 6 About Operation Mango ............................................................................................................. 6 REPORT OVERVIEW ....................................................................................................................... 7 Conducting the Research: How did we formulate the questions, and what questions did we ask? ................................................................................................................ 7 Analysis Methods: How did we make sense of the answers?......................................... 9 Survey Responses: How did the community answer the questions? ........................... 9 KEY FINDINGS OF THIS REPORT.............................................................................................. 12 What are the needs of the Filipino American community? ........................................ 12 Would you seek these services yourself from a Filipino service agency? ............ 14 COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS ....................................................................................................... 16 How do these findings support your personal and professional experiences? .................. 16 The findings do support personal and professional experiences............................ 16 Immigration.............................................................................................................................. 16 Employment............................................................................................................................. 16 Social & Cultural Identity ..................................................................................................... 16 Discrimination ......................................................................................................................... 17 Gambling .................................................................................................................................. 17 How do these findings contradict your personal and professional experiences? .............. 17 Where do we go from here? ....................................................................................................... 17 Network ..................................................................................................................................... 18 Provide Services .................................................................................................................... 18 Encourage Effective Leadership........................................................................................ 18 APPENDIX – Comprehensive Open-ended Comments from Survey ..................................... 19 “What are the strengths of the Filipino American community?.................................... 19 “What are the weaknesses of the Filipino-American community?” ............................ 23 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................. 28


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Empowered by grassroots and collaborative efforts, Operation Mango completed a needs assessment survey project to identify the urgent needs, challenges, and strengths of the Chicago Filipino-American community. In 2001, we designed and piloted our survey, and in 2002, we distributed and collected 224 surveys from a diverse group of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans living in Chicago and Chicagoland suburbs. Findings from 224 anonymously completed surveys revealed the following top 10 urgent needs in the Chicagoland Filipino American community:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

TOP 10 NEEDS Lack of legal documents Lack of cultural/heritage awareness Social and cultural identity issues Filipino World War II Veterans Gambling Family problems/intergenerational conflict Overqualified/underemployment Discrimination of Filipinos Lack of immigration services Finding/Maintaining Employment

Survey respondents also reported on the challenges and strengths of the Filipino American community. Commonly reported challenges and strengths include:      

STRENGTHS Family-oriented Education-oriented Religious Ties Cultural Pride Hospitable; Caring Industrious

   

CHALLENGES Disunity Competitiveness Political Apathy Lack of Cultural Awareness

As the final step in our project, findings were presented and discussed with community leaders (e.g. medical professionals, social service agency providers, Filipino American student group leaders, government officials, cultural organization directors, business professionals) in November 2004 and February 2005. Focus groups were conducted to obtain their reactions and feedback to the findings. The group discussions led to more conversations about possible next steps for community action based on the findings. Common themes on community action include:    

Increase awareness of survey findings of community needs and strengths. Network among organizations and services. Provide services to meet cultural, medical, psychological and legal needs. Encourage effective leadership that is accountable, structured and sustainable.


INTRODUCTION About Operation Mango A Chicago-based taskforce named Operation Mango was established in January 2001 by a diverse group of Filipino American individuals who, from both personal and professional experiences, witnessed the need to address and document the most urgent, social and psychological needs of this rapidly growing community. It is estimated that approximately 250 organizations exists within the Filipino American community in the Chicagoland area. Although many of these may be regionally, professionally, or faith-based, it is debatable whether any of these organizations have addressed the social and psychological needs of the Filipino American community in a comprehensive way. The initial mission of Operation Mango has been to become more informed of the community’s needs, with the hope of developing a strategic plan that would address these needs within the Chicagoland area. Through this data gathering process, we have witnessed many individuals who have displayed a deep and strong commitment to empowering the Filipino American community. We continue to be humbled and inspired by their work, as we dedicate our efforts to our most vulnerable members.

Maria Ferrera, LCSW University of Chicago Juanita Burris, Ph.D. Sulong Tulong Pinoy Rhoda Gutierrez GABRIELA Network Chicago

Jocelyn Azada, MA United Methodist Church Pension Fund Clarita Santos, MA United Way Metro Chicago Ressie Framil Krabacher Pintig

Lawrence Benito, MSW Illinois Coalition for Immigrants and Refugees Rights

Ben Lumicao, Esq. Allstate Insurance

Joanne Garces, MA Heartland Health Outreach

Marie Ramos, MA Filipino Civil Rights Advocates

Jolynne Andal, Ph.D. NORC at the Univ. of Chicago Dale Asis Coalition of African, Asian, European & Latin Immigrants of Illinois Jerry & Flor Clarito Illinois Veterans Equity Center Eric Salcedo Asian American Affairs Office of the Attorney General



According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Filipinos are the 2 largest Asian group in the country. It is estimated that approximately 1.9 million Filipinos reside in the United States (US Census Bureau, 2002). Although Filipino Americans are one of the largest and oldest Asian Pacific ethnic groups in the United States, little is known about their social and psychological well being (Aaraneta, 1993; Edman et. al., 1999; Enriquez, 1993; Ying, 2005). Information about Filipino Americans has been predominantly confined to those residing on the West Coast (Bergano & Bergano Kinney, 1997). In Illinois, the Filipino population is estimated to be 86,298 –positioning Filipinos nd as the 2 largest Asian group after Asian Indians and before the Chinese. Approximately 28,423 reside in the city of Chicago (DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau 2000). Filipino Americans and immigrants are typically grouped under the category of Asian Americans. This generalized category of Asians ignores the cultural differences among these Asian groups. There is diversity and variation between groups and within each ethnic group. For example, there are cultural differences between south Asians (e.g. Asian Indian) and Southeast Asians (e.g. Filipinos). There are also unique cultural identities among Filipino groups (e.g. Visayans and Ilocanos) This report documents the findings of a survey developed and distributed to begin to address the following questions for research and practice: 

What is the nature of the needs that are not being met in the community?

If they are not being met, why are they not being met?

Are the needs significant enough to establish a social service organization/agency?

Would members of the community come or seek out these services if they were provided?

Given the overall spectrum of needs within the Filipino American community in the Chicagoland area, which needs are the most predominant or require the most urgent attention?

Conducting the Research: How did we formulate the questions, and what questions did we ask? A community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was used, as the research conducted within the Filipino American community intimately involved various members of the community in the research process. The CBPR approach relies on trust, cooperation, dialogue, human agency and collaborative inquiry toward the goal of improving well being within the community at hand (Minkler and Wallerstein, 2003). Using this approach, Filipino American community members participated in all phases of this project. This approach was critical to ensuring that the survey was understandable and was sensitive to the culture of the Filipino American community. Survey Development Operation Mango first met in January 2001 to begin survey development. The goal of the survey was to identify the strengths and the needs in our community as the community defines and articulates them. Social service providers and researchers collaborated to develop survey questions. Interviews were conducted with community advocates to identify social and psychological issues that should be included in the survey. One year was spent on the pilot phase, at which time the survey was developed and distributed to 64 participants. The objective of this phase was to ensure that the survey was easy to complete and the questions were clear and understandable. Based on the feedback from 64 participants, the survey was revised and prepared for administration and data collection.

Survey Distribution During the data collection process, collaborative efforts were made to ensure that a representative sample of participants from the Chicagoland Filipino-American community was collected. At the beginning of the yearlong period of distribution, Operation Mango invited leaders of the community to a meeting in July 2002 to learn about the survey project. At this meeting, leaders were invited to help distribute the survey, to which several leaders volunteered to take surveys to their respective groups. All surveys were collected from the leaders, hand delivered and/or mailed to members of Operation Mango. Members of Operation Mango also attended various cultural events, such as Pintig’s theatrical performance of “Alien Citizen,” the University of Chicago Filipino student group, Samahan’s annual cultural event, and a community-based cultural event, Kultural Night of Resistance, to distribute surveys. Each survey collected was completed anonymously by each respondent.

Survey Content The survey is composed of three sections. The first section asked how serious various needs in the community are. Directions for this section were: The following are typical social issues that may need attention within the Filipino American Community. In your opinion, how would you describe the seriousness of the following issues within the Filipino – American community in Chicago? Please circle your answer using the following scale: 1 = not sure; 2 = does not exist; 3 =exists; 4 = serious; 5 = very serious. The issues and corresponding survey items for this section were:  Case Management: Healthcare Insurance, Child Care Needs, Developmental Disabilities Services, Hunger Services, Gambling, Prostitution, Mail Order Bride  Immigration: Immigration Services  Employment: Finding Work, Exploitation Of Workers, Etc  Housing: Affordable Housing, Homelessness  Mental Health: Substance Use, Family Problems, Domestic Violence, Suicide  Senior Citizens: Caretaking Responsibilities, Social Isolation  Youth: High School Dropouts, Gangs, Teen Pregnancies  Social & Cultural Awareness: Lack Of Cultural/Heritage Awareness, Social And Cultural Identity issues, Gender Identity Issues, Language Barrier, Filipino World War II Veterans Benefits The second section asked about the likelihood of seeking services from a Filipino-American organization to meet these needs. Directions for the second section were: Which of the following services is needed in the Filipino-American community? Please circle your answer using the following scale: 1 =Uncertain; 2 = Not needed at all; 3 = barely needed; 4 = Somewhat needed; 5 = Highly needed. Would you seek these services yourself from a Filipino service agency? In the last column, please indicate [by circling yes or no] whether or not you would use these services if they were provided by a Filipino –American service agency. The first and second sections used Likert scales to collect responses. The survey was answered anonymously, but also contained several demographic questions, such as gender, citizenship status, and age, to help determine the nature of the sample of participants. This paper-pencil survey was designed to be completed in approximately 15 minutes. The third section had open-ended questions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the community. Comments from this section are included in Appendix A and Appendix B.


Analysis Methods: How did we make sense of the answers? We conducted preliminary analyses using descriptive statistics for the entire sample of respondents. We tallied how many people responded for each type of response. Then the actual numbers of responses were calculated into percentages, based on the total sample. Our next phase of analysis for future reports will involve inferential statistics. This analysis will focus on group comparisons, where we will look at responses between groups based on demographic factors. This includes comparing responses between gender groups, age groups, residential groups (city vs. suburb), citizenship groups (U.S.-born vs. Naturalized) Survey Responses: How did the community answer the questions? Survey collection began in July 2002 and was completed in December 2003. Demographic characteristics of the sample were:  Gender: 44% male, 56% female  Age: 16 to 80 years old  Citizenship: 27.1% are U.S.- born, and 72.9% are immigrants  Residence: Close to half (48%) of those sampled are Chicago residents, while the other half (52%) reside in the suburbs  Other demographic information included: education level, income level, citizenship status, and time lived in the U.S. Although the total number of respondents was 224, our sample of respondents is representative of the Filipino American population in Illinois as tallied in the 2000 Illinois Census:

% of Gender and Citizenship (percentages listed in bar graph) 100 80 60


40 20

45 44



survey sample (N=224) 2000 IL Census (N=86,298)

55 28 27

0 males


US born



Overall, the results from this survey show that the top 10 highest rated issues perceived in the community are:  Lack of legal documents  Lack of cultural/heritage awareness  Social and cultural identity issues  Filipino World War II Veterans  Gambling  Family problems/intergenerational conflict  Overqualified/underemployment  Discrimination of Filipinos  Lack of immigration services  Finding/Maintaining Employment Finally, the results of the survey indicated that Filipino American services from Filipino Americans would be highly sought-after. Percentages of responses are listed in the section “Key Findings” of this report.

Sharing Information We presented these preliminary findings at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations program, “New Faces of Chicago: The Filipino American Experience”, Dr. Yvonne Lau’s, from DePaul University, community television show in 2004, the Filipino-American National Historical Society th 10 National Conference in August 2004, and the National Federation of Filipino-American th Associations 6 National Empowerment Conference in September 2004 and at a community meeting November 20, 2004. We are now collaborating with Chicago Filipino-American community leaders to distribute our findings through various publications to make these findings accessible as valuable resources for research and practice. Two community discussions were held by Operation Mango to share the findings with community leaders and to complement the survey data by asking whether the findings were consistent or inconsistent with their personal and professional experiences. At these discussions, Operation Mango presented the survey development, distribution process, survey response analyses and findings. Feedback on and discussion about the meaning, relevance, and impact of the findings in the community was the basis of the dialogue at these two forums. The first community discussion was held at the Skokie community center on November, 20, 2004. There were 27 individuals who attended the November 2004 forum. The second community discussion was held at DePaul University and attended by 18 community leaders. The transcriptions of these community discussions are included in this report (see “Community Discussions” section).

Conclusions: What are the preliminary findings and next steps? Based on the open ended comments, we found common themes strengths and weaknesses in the community. Most respondents described the Filipino American community as very family oriented, hard working, educated, and supportive of each other. Some respondents also acknowledged the community as having an easy time acculturating and assimilating to western society. One respondent describes the community as possessing a “strong support network of relatives and friends…if they are new immigrants, Filipinos come to U.S. with a basic and actually strong knowledge of English. They are skilled workers who find jobs relatively fast and contribute to the American taxpaying community.” Another respondent states,” they have the ability to integrate themselves with their environment.” One respondent suggests that the quality of having close family ties and social networks is a strength to build on: “The interconnectedness of the people: everyone always knows someone else, who knows someone else and on down the line…we just need to use this to our advantage better!”


Common themes arise in identifying weaknesses of the community as well. The words “crab mentality,” “competitiveness,” “lack of unity,” “clannish” and “envy” often are used by respondents in describing the community. One respondent acknowledges the immensity of the Filipino American community as well as its lack of cohesiveness: “Our numbers – Chicago has a HUGE (but disjointed) population of Filipinos.” Another respondent is more explicit about the lack of unity, stressing that there exists “petty rivalries among the various organizations. [there exists] Petty jealousies among the overly-ambitious, so-called leaders of the Filipino community. Absence of a true and respected umbrella organization for the Filipino community. Poor leadership in the Philippine Consulate in Chicago.” Others acknowledge the lack of political power and engagement within the community. One respondent identifies that there is a “lack of awareness and participation in government and political issues affecting Filipino community. Very fragmentalized. Too many organizations without one strong voice (lack of unity).” Some respondents also identify concerns related to the lack of cultural awareness and sense of heritage among Filipino American youth, as one respondent articulated a concern of the second generation “not having enough understanding of any culture and language.” These survey findings provide information for recommending effective community action. This evidence may suggest that clinical and community-level intervention for Filipino Americans must build on the strengths of family ties and established networks in addressing psycho-social issues. With specific regard to the problems of youth, for example, members of the family system may be better educated or informed of the nature of the profound challenges second generation youth may face. Practitioners that are sensitive to cultural factors can utilize more psycho-educational approaches that de-stigmatize mental health and social problems (e.g. depression, family conflict, or identity crisis) and actively engage family members in better understanding developmental norms and common challenges of immigrant youth. Practitioners and community activists can further encourage first generation parents to retain culture and heritage and help them to find ways to instill ethnic pride in their children, particularly as links begin to be made between having a weak ethnic identity and having depressive symptoms (Mossakowski, 2003). Community activists can further appeal to family (both immediate and extended) clans or groups in establishing cohesiveness that extends beyond its traditional boundaries. These “clannish” groups –- blood –tied, regionally -formed or otherwise –- can be challenged to extend their outreach to other groups within the community, with a more conscious focus on commonalities instead of differences between groups. These examples of interventions are strengths-based and arguably, are necessary to address the unmet needs of the Filipino American community. Clearly, empowering the community, de-stigmatizing problems within the individual and family, and utilizing its inherent resources may help Filipino American individuals and groups in receiving help. Due to the paucity of research about Filipino and Filipino-Americans in the Chicagoland area, this survey project was an opportunity to begin examining the strengths and needs of this community. The survey findings revealed general areas for social and community research, as well as evidence-based information for policy and program decision-making. One of the dominant themes of the findings is that there is a “unity,” “interconnectedness,” and supportive network of friends and family in the community. On the other hand, “lack of unity,” “clannishness,” and “competitiveness” are words frequently used to describe the community’s weaknesses. This contradiction is one example of where more investigation is needed. More analyses also need to be conducted to look at how various groups of respondents (e.g., males and females, naturalized citizens and U.S. born citizens, city and suburb, etc) responded to the survey. From the results of this survey, it is clear that the most vulnerable groups within the Filipino American community are the elderly, youth and new immigrants. More in-depth research is needed to unpack the complexity of issues that these groups face. This report and the responses received capture only a snapshot of the thoughts and opinions of the Filipino American community. This needs assessment survey begins to “crack open” the complex stories and issues of Filipino Americans in the Chicagoland area.


KEY FINDINGS OF THIS REPORT What are the needs of the Filipino American community? According to our survey, the percentage of people reporting that the following issues “exist” and are “serious” or “very serious” are as follows: % of Combined “exists”/ ”serious” / “very serious Issue responses” Social and Cultural Identity Issues 93.0 Lack of Cultural/Heritage Awareness 89.8 Family Problems/Intergenerational Conflict 88.8 Family Break-ups/Marital Difficulties, Divorce 88.8 Overqualified/Underemployment 88.0 Alcoholism 87.0 Finding/Maintaining Employment 86.0 Discrimination of Filipinos 85.1 Teen Pregnancies 83.7 Gender Identity Issues 83.3 Youth Delinquency/Gangs 82.3 Lack of Legal Documents/TNT* 82.2 Language Barrier 82.0 Individual Mental Health 80.7 Gambling 80.3 Substance Abuse 80.3 Entrepreneurship 78.0 Domestic Violence 78.0 Affordable Housing 77.3 Exploitation of Workers 77.1 Lack of Immigration Services 76.9 Caretaking for Elderly 76.3 Filipino WWII Veterans Benefits 75.8 Elderly Isolation 72.1 Unmet Child Care 71.9 HS dropouts/Underachievement 71.6 Lack for hungry families 69.2 Lack of DD services 68.5 Suicidal Attempts/Thoughts 68.5 Inadequate Healthcare 68.1 Mail Order Bride 61.8 Homelessness 54.6 Prostitution 44.4 *TNT is a Filipino term , Tago Ng Tago, which translates to illegal citizen


Our findings also indicate which issues are serious. The table below shows the percentage of people who rated each issue as “serious” or “very serious”.

Issue Lack of Legal Documents/TNT Lack of Cultural/Heritage Awareness Social and Cultural Identity Issues Filipino WWII Veterans Benefits Gambling Family Problems/Intergenerational Conflict Overqualified/Underemployment Discrimination of Filipinos Lack of Immigration Services Finding/Maintaining Employment Family Break-ups/Marital Difficulties, Divorce Youth Gangs/Gangs Exploitation of Workers Teen Pregnancies Caretaking for Elderly Domestic Violence Alcoholism Language Barrier Entrepreneurship Elderly Isolation Individual Mental Health Gender Identity Issues Substance Abuse Lack of DD services Lack for hungry families Unmet Child Care Inadequate Healthcare Affordable Housing HS dropouts/Underachievement Mail Order Bride Suicidal Attempts/Thoughts Homelessness Prostitution

% of Combined “serious” / “very serious responses” 54.5 54.4 53.7 46.7 46.0 45.8 44.4 44.2 44.0 41.9 41.6 40.9 40.7 40.0 38.6 38.3 37.7 37.4 36.0 35.3 34.3 33.5 32.9 31.9 31.3 30.5 30.1 30.1 28.4 25.5 23.0 19.0 17.8


Would you seek these services yourself from a Filipino service agency? Survey participants also responded by category on whether or not they would seek services from a Filipino social service agency: Service Category % of “Yes” Responses 1. Employment Assistance (legal advocacy, issues of licensure) 86.0 2. Educational Forums / Classes (re: immigration law, benefits, public health, 85.7 etc.) 3. Language / ESL / Cultural Awareness courses (Filipino/Tagalog, cultural 85.2 heritage events) 4. Legal assistance and advocacy (with issues of discrimination in the 84.9 workplace, etc.) 5. Information, Referral, and Case Management Services (e.g. linkage to other 83.5 specific community services, orientation /assistance to new immigrants) 6. Immigration Services 82.2 7. Youth programs (mentoring, tutoring) 81.8 8. Business Development 81.7 9. Fellowship groups for elderly (social activities, community building) 79.7 10. Services to elderly (transportation, meals on wheels, etc.) 79.5 11. Immigration – Legal Assistance 78.7 12. Mental Health Services (individual/family therapy services, and/or support 77.5 groups) 13. Food Distribution 71.8 14. Transitional Housing (shelters, low-income housing) 70.7

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Filipino American community? The final section of the survey allowed for open-ended responses to two questions: 1) What are the strengths of the Filipino American community? 2) What are the weaknesses of the Filipino American community? Major themes in response to this question were: STRENGTHS 

Family-oriented: “I believe strengths in the Filipino-American community stands mainly in supporting each other, specifically family. Filipinos in general have a great family support system.”

Education-oriented: “Filipinos in general…want to educate their children the most [that] they can afford. There’s still this responsibility of the parents to send their children to school even though [it goes deep into] their pockets.” “The emphasis of pursuing a high level of education.”

Religious ties: “The Catholic religion is very strong in the community and many churches bring Filipino-American families together.”

Cultural Pride: “Strong pride in culture, heritage and traditions.”

Hospitable and Caring: “Hospitable and helpful to those in need.” 

Industrious: “Resiliency and hardworking.”


WEAKNESSES Disunity: “There appears to be less unity within the Filipino-American community. Filipinos seem to strive for recognition in the community as an individual versus a team or ethnic group.” Quite fragmented, not cohesive. “Groups exist here and there, but it does not possess a unified voice to speak for it. (Like the Japanese-American Citizens’ League and Organization of Chinese-Americans).” Competitiveness: “They tend to compete and compare their livelihood with each other.” Political Apathy: “Lack of awareness and participation in government and political issues affecting Filipino community.” Lack of Cultural Awareness: “As a second generation, not having enough understanding of any culture or language.”


COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS On November 20, 2004 and January 29, 2005, community discussions were held to present the findings to interested community leaders and to engage in dialogue about how the findings were meaningful to them. The following comments are reactions to the findings expressed during these meetings

How do these findings support your personal and professional experiences? The findings do support personal and professional experiences • “We can answer yes that findings support personal and professional experiences.” • “The findings support my personal and professional experiences, especially immigration services.” • “For me, the top 10 are fairly accurate.” • “We can address that the topics [of immigration, unemployment, and social and cultural identity] are very much interrelated.” • “Survey supports a lot of my experiences, lack of legal documents and TNTs [Tago ng Tago, which means “hiding’; illegal citizen] and Filipino World War II Veterans.” Immigration • “Everybody seems to be aware of …that there are other undocumented Filipinos” • “Where can we go from here with immigration issues? There needs to be increased awareness of services that are already existing. For those who are unwilling to work in existing services, we need to promote services that are staffed by Filipinos and FilipinoAmericans.” Employment • “I know the condition of a country where millions of people want to leave the country. Maybe the tip of the problem is that there are a lot of undocumented immigrants, but the deeper problem is unemployment. What we do with this information of undocumented immigrants is employment assistance.” • “Number 7 [i.e., over-qualification in employment] is really interesting because my Father tried to find a job, couldn’t find a job and ended [up] being a bagger at Jewel-Osco…I know a lot of doctors in the Philippines end up becoming nurses just to come here.” Social & Cultural Identity • “How I experience this [Social and cultural identity] is that we perceive ourselves as weak because we are not united…I think all those manifestations grew out of a fundamental lack of definition of ourselves.” • “Certain generations who came here wanted their children to assimilate…want to maintain their culture, but they want to be American…want to be accepted.” • “Part of the reason people are not talking about it [e.g., issues like discrimination] is the cultural values…the older generation is more accommodating...and the younger generation is a bit more reactionary…” • “I’m wondering if [cultural awareness] is a problem endemic to Filipino or other Asian groups…any country that has been colonized…Well Mexico has been colonized, but yet I don’t see lack of cultural identity. They all speak Spanish. Every second generation Latino or Latina speaks the language. I think that’s an important thing to start to do with our young. “ • “The whole cultural pride is even more focused on the immigrant community. More on the question of identity, it’s really a challenge more to Filipino-Americans.” • “One concern that I have is, because I am a first generation Filipino it seems to me that there is a gap and…we seem to forget our roots.” • We talk about lack of cultural awareness in the US. But even in the Philippines the youth there already have problems with who they are… you want to be Filipino, but at the same 16

time, you want to integrate yourself in the mainstream…you don’t think it was a generational thing either, it’s a mentality thing across the board. Discrimination • “Filipinos are nonexistent in accessing any of these services that address discrimination issues. If it is a concern, it is not being talked about. Or the existing resources that are available, they are not accessing.” Gambling • “I always wonder what they mean by gambling as an issue. I mean how pervasive is it?” • “That’s big in the Vietnamese and Chinese community and nobody ever talks about it.” • Gambling for socializing/a social activity • “There’s always vice-type of endeavors that brought communities together. If you look historically like in the pool halls and the dance halls, and now in the casinos boats.” • “Filipinos love to gamble…Do you think there’s a serious issue? Some people facing financial problems? Yes. • “People who have gambling problems there are psychological and mental issues too…so you’re saying maybe if we take care of some of these deeper issues, gambling will take of itself.

How do these findings contradict your personal and professional experiences? •

Religion as Strength - “With this study about the religious ties being a strength…maybe that’s for another age group where that’s a strength. But I think for people who were born and raised in this culture, it may not be necessarily true. I’ve heard a lot of backlash; I used to be Catholic because I was raised that way. Okay, but now, I’m definitely not.” Perception of Immigration and Over-qualification Issues - “One of the things I thought would be much more high on the list would be overqualified, unemployment…you have a lot of people doing domestic work with degrees in the Philippines…Lack of immigration services, that I thought should be on top of the list…It is a different situation for different folks My parents came here in the 60s, they were naturalized in the 70s, and I was born here. So obviously, it’s more of an immediate issue for you [immigrants]...” Gambling as “Problem” - I think the problem is the casinos and people who spent all their money there. But for the elders and their mahjongg sessions, it’s more like passing time for the retired.”

Where do we go from here? Increase Awareness • “What do we do to make for a stronger identity?” Education and organization. “ • “What’s coming to me is that we have a once a month gathering. We invite 3 generations…we get speakers, one from an existing organization, one from a new and emerging organization. Spread around this new consciousness as Filipinos. Having people attend our workshops and taking it back to their family.” • “…We want to foster a dialogue between first generation and second generation…we can take the direction of where we came from. What were the issues? Where do we want our children to go? And our grandchildren to go? Highlight cultural centers, gathering every two months in different locations, and disseminate information – legal documents, medical issues…in a non-threatening way with existing organizations.” • “Need more communication and collaboration between generations” • “[On a website] …we can put a lot more about each organization and what your activities are…I’m proposing that we do this electronically.” • “Or a directory, publication.” • “We need awareness, support for existing organizations. We need something tangible. Resource directory. Networking like here [i.e., the meeting].” 17

Network • “An open house for organizations to advertise what they do and so the community can appreciate and support organizations.” • “I’m wondering if there can be a meeting of leadership of the other organizations says that these are the top 10 issues and have people lay out what they are doing about it. And if something is not being addressed, what can a couple of people or 5 or 10 come together to address. Like legal documentation stuff, if 10 organizations are addressing it, but it can only do 2 things. I wouldn’t want to start an organization not right away, but that might be our ultimate goal. • “We need to have an annual conference for organizing and state goals” • “Convening might be the best way to approach the 200 organizations” • “Need to have network for all these organizations.” Provide Services • [Increased cultural pride and identity] “Maybe we should start promoting teaching Tagalog. Once you get a certain pride in your language, other things come into play, the food, the family, and other things that come in with language. • “We should start thinking about Saturday classes…brings together different generations so that we are not lost…Sunday school type whether they address language issues or address any of the top 10 issues.” • “We need to have some kind of hotline, a Filipino hotline where everyone knows where there’s a rape case or violence going on in the community or housing problems with senior citizens or homeless.” • “We need a place for those workers who come from the Philippines to go to [a community center] to ask those questions [about employment rights]. Have a legal counselor, have something on paper saying these are your rights. • “We have Filipinos who have those skills to work in non-profit, service-providing groups. There’s no avenue to do that in the Filipino community…don’t you think that if some of those people were given the choice, they’d rather work in the Filipino American community? Yeah, I think they would. What’s the first step? o “I think part of it is about fundraising” o “I think a lot of people want to effect change in the community. They don’t just know how. They need pre-packaged of what to do.” [Specific information on how to help needs to be communicated to the community] • “I’m more interested in where do we go from here. There might be existing institutions that might help. I think we need to identify, manifested in concrete ways, of how we extend services that are relevant to the needs to community…” • “You have to do a lot of grass roots organizing. You have to go over there, talk to them. Instead of coming here, it’s better you go to their house. It makes them feel safe.” • “Need a center that is not just a cultural center” Encourage Effective Leadership • “Make leaders accountable. Having offices and organizations accountable and making them more structured.” • Type of clout and accountability are critical factors for access of money to get resources (Chinese American Service League – CASL is cited as an example) • “Filipino-American people who have demonstrated leadership in the first generation. They are strong models of leadership within the 200 organizations but not mainstream entities where they can carry out that leadership like in a local school council.”


APPENDIX – Comprehensive Open-ended Comments from Survey The following is a record of all the written responses to the two open-ended questions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the Filipino American community. Statements have been ordered alphabetically to display commonly expressed sentiments about the community. “What are the strengths of the Filipino American community? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

"Damayan" [the propensity to work together] (Somewhat weak caused by Filipino nature of envy, scorn, etc.) Strengths-friendly, hospitable Unity 2. Envy 3. Ningas-cogon 4. Pretense education 2. hospitable Hospitable, 2. Hardworker, 3. Patience, 4. Religious A willingness among many Fil-Ams [Filipino-Americans] to help their family, friends, and acquaintances. Adaptability to settle, without having any community services. As professionals with sufficient knowledge of the English language, they easily find employment and live above/middle class scales (except the elderly). Bayanihan [people come to work together]; faith-filled; hard-worker; persevering; funloving Big population migrating every year. More opportunities. Clannishness, most Filipinos are clannish and group together in gatherings. Most love music and dancing. Most love to eat when they see each other. Close knit families and strong family values Closely knit families Closeness Commitment and energy of the select organizations Commitment to friendships and societal functions. Communication Concerned for the well-being of elders, strong pride in culture, heritage, and traditions. Celebration and gathering in important or significant events is always high, spirited, and well attended. Connections - everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. Connections/pride for being Filipino. Creating an association to provide a good relationship and education Creative, dynamic, intelligent, hardworking Cultural Cultural values; religiosity Dedication to work. Diverse, talented Easy to find any job - only few people are unemployed. Education and nursing opportunities. Extended family ties; ability to adapt for our survival. Family Family bonds/ relationships help to provide a social safety net. Our resilience and flexibility to adjust and make due with our circumstances. Family closeness and support; [writing is illegible] persistence, patience and hard-working Family closeness; keeping ties with culture (tradition); being proud of being Filipino even if you don't know a whole lot about culture Family support; community support; cultural/traditional identification Family value Family values; education; hardworking


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Family; faith; willingness to volunteer, desire for success; passionate Family-like community Family-oriented, very close in family Filipino American community is very cohesive; i.e. everyone tries to know each other, help each other out. It's one of the more outgoing and social cultures in Asia. Filipino Associations come together to help raise funds for the poor in the Philippines. Filipinos in general are friendly and generous people, wants to educate their children the most they can afford. There's still this responsibility of the parents to send their children to school even though how it is for their pockets. Financial independence Flexibility in their attitude; English language and ability to adjust with people and local cultural environment. Friendly, religious, working hard for family in the Philippines. Good education for children and hard-working Good family ties. Good nursing opportunities. Good question… Hard worker; community and social services Hard working and socializing people. Hardworking, strong identity with other provinces or place of birth; assimilates easily; English speaking Hard-working; Proud of work quality; Consciousness of image Health services; community contribution; voters Hospitable Hospitable caring people. How united we are. I believe strengths in Filipino-American community stands mainly in supporting each other, specifically family. Filipinos in general have a great family support system. I think people in the community will unify and support causes when there is an immediate need. In times of crisis the way Filipinos get together is incredible. Increased number of Filipinos in the community; Increased number of organizations in the area representing various professional groups. Industrious and work hard for the benefit of their families. United especially when there are occasions like Christmas affairs and other religious activities and social activities. It’s a large population so there are many Filipinos with whom to make connections. It's discipline and education that all Filipinos inherit from their parents. It's not as strong as it should be. Kinship Knowledge of English language Lots of family ties (family being the basis of the community); keeping of tradition; lots of Filipino pride Love of family; self pride Majority are professionals and being hospitable. Many Fil-Ams in Chicago, but as a relatively new resident, I have yet to partake in the community. Most are professionals and can easily adapt to the environment. Most Filipino-Americans have some kind of degree when they left the Philippines and they are educated compared to other immigrants. They just need ways on how to use their education in this country. And also Filipinos, by tradition, are helpful with each other. They just need a leader to start everything out. Most Filipinos are family-oriented and deeply religious. Good education is important to Filipinos


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Most of them are professionals and well-learned, hard working. Religious support into the church Mostly educated compared to other groups; good knowledge of English language Mostly professional Mostly professionals and barely have trouble in getting jobs. No comment Numbers. The size of the community is substantial. Oneness and openness Organizations are strong but perhaps social services are lacking. Our being very diverse; our strong values; our being proud of our heritage Our numbers-Chicago has a HUGE (but disjointed) population of Filipinos. Pride Professional workers like a degree holder and high level of education. Religious group; lot of professionals Resiliency and hardworking Resilient; volunteerism, hard-workers; religious beliefs Resourcefulness; Patience; Persevere Respect for the elderly Rich heritage, values, family-hood. Smart, hardworking, can speak English Smart. Educated, capable, hard-working, resourceful Somewhat [illegible] (people know Filipinos who know other Filipinos). Social gathering; club organization Social, Education, Nursing employment Some are quick except other Filipinos in social experiences; hospitable when you enter their houses. Spirit, pride in heritage Ability to enjoy selves -find fun and talent in many things kindness hospitality Strong community with groups promoting culture; unique traditions Strong cultural bonds; goal-oriented; hard working; strong relationships w/ other Filipinos Strong family bonds; strong religious faith Strong family relationship. Strong family ties, cultural awareness. Strong family units and religious beliefs. Strong family values; close-knit relationship to relatives; fun loving; hospitable and helpful to those in need. Strong support network of relatives and friends if they are new immigrants, Filipinos come to U.S. with a basic and actually strong knowledge of English. They are skilled workers who find jobs relatively fast and contribute to the American taxpaying community. Supportive, philanthropic; adaptive The Catholic religion is very strong in the community and many churches bring FilipinoAmerican families together. The community's ability to be close as a family, yet still be able to interact with other ethnic communities. The emphasis on strong family relationships; the emphasis on pursuing a high level of education The interconnectedness of the people: everyone always knows someone else, who knows someone else and on down the line…we just need to use this to our advantage better! The strengths of the Filipino-American community are intelligence and hard work. Their profession There are so many diverse & talented members in the Fil-Am community which are a great resource


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

They are highly educated and very determined to reach their goals. They are in good progress in their organization They are professionals They are very family oriented: willing to help each other in any way the can. They have the ability to integrate themselves with their environment. They support each other in a time of need They tend to adhere to the culture of having close family ties. They're highly educated, compared with other nationalities. Most of the Filipinos here in Chicago are professionals. There are many doctors, nurses, engineers, accountants, etc. Togetherness Togetherness. Unaware Unity Unity Unity, caring, etc. Usually have strong family values. Value education. Hardworking people. Very adaptable. Strong family values. Not too many problems with homelessness. Very close tied. Very hardworking -- industrious and generous VERY LOW Warm relationships among family and fellow Filipinos. Warm welcoming community rich in culture and experience We are educated, law abiding god fearing, generous, and hard working responsible and close family ties and helpful and more…. We are hard working people, very religious, responsible, law-abiding, educated (most of us are professionals) has very close family ties generous and very helpful. We are hard-working. We are sociable, kind, friendly and hard-working people. We are social and offer good hospitality. We invite the whole Filipino-American community to eat! We are supportive of each other, whether it be family, friends. We are very social, fun-loving, caring group. We are well-educated and hard working. We can dance very well. We can talk, networking We have strong family ties. There are also established Filipino organizations. We seem to find each at the parties and end up hanging out all night. We work well together; Well-educated Well-educated; hard-working; humble; culture awareness Willing to extend their hands to others. Willingness to share culture, learn about basic culture of the Philippines You usually find them in big communities where they feel more comfortable and helpful. In this case, bonds and relationships are stronger which increase the Filipino-American environment.


“What are the weaknesses of the Filipino-American community?” • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• •

Language barriers (English and Tagalog); Class issues, in particular, some social groups are based on professional status, which exclude others; lack of cultural awareness. "hiya" [shame]; "yabangan" [arrogant]; "pataasan" [‘to toot your own horn”]; authorityoriented for elders "Jealousy" Lack of pride in our culture. Part of the reason is intergenerational gap and cultural identity; 2. We gossip too much; 3. Lack of cultural/social events especially geared towards the younger age groups; 4. "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" mentality No common goal 2. Too much ethnic diversity; 3. Too many organizational groups; 4. Gambling; 5. Not too many entrepreneurs; 6. Too much politics. Too conservative. Not open to political issues. 2. Some can be racist due to ignorance. Filipino-American community needs good political analysis and this can be done by giving the correct Filipino history. We have so many small organizations instead of one united organization. 2. We are regionalistic, 3. We should be nicer to each other rather than trying to outdo each other. Although we are helpful to each other, certain sensitive and personal issues are usually considered taboo (abuse, etc.) I personally am in a transitional stage in my marriage and could not find useful help until recently. Always partying. Always work and work and no time to participate in their community's activities which is necessary. As a second generation not having enough understanding of any culture and language. As a whole, most Filipinos do not get involved in politics and most organizations that are formed (there are many) are mostly for social affairs. As of yet, the Fil Am community is not centralized, and quite divided into different factions, such as provincial, income level, occupation. Assimilation. Some Fil-Ams all too readily drop their culture while Fil-Am parents, trying to integrate their children into American life, create a barrier because they forget to share with them their culture. Awareness of culture Become individualistic when problem arises and disorder clashes. Negative political attitude. Shun away to avoid public gossips. Being able to relate to other Filipinos. Clannish Cliquish; Jealousy Close-minded, tend to be materialistic and lose meaning of culture in pursuit of "American dream"; teenagers need discipline. Community very competitive with one another. Competition Competition; pride; separatism; lack of quality of quality program; not being educated of resources; more education Competitive Compliance Contacts. Crab mentality Crab mentality; when they don't agree on certain issues, they start another splinter group Crab mentality-jealousy among groups; lack of community support for each other; need to dig deeper into the real situation; create a deeper understanding of how Filipinos live in the Philippines (more into political-judicial issues, graft and corruption, human rights, poverty and agricultural concerns). Cultural awareness Cultural influence - individualists


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Different political affiliation. No political connection. I suggest to make contact w/ Filipino organizations esp. in DuPage, starting at Friendship society PNAWC-FAHSD etc. Differences between individuals Disjunctive, fractured, individualistic, self-oriented Dis-unity Disunity, lack of community center, community services, and programs. Disunity, lack of programs for the youth, no cultural center. Few avenues for promoting understanding Filipino cultures and issues. Poor representation in academia, politics, and other professions. No one to "look up to" for the youth. Divided not united Do not mix w/ people outside community; one track mind; difficulty adapting to U.S. culture; at times places work as first priority rather than families Doesn't care to anyone. Enviousness and getting better than the Jones. Too much groupings together. Envy, scorn, snobbish, show offs Envy; Gossiping; Pride Few bad seeds ruin the bunch; language barrier; ignorance. Fragmentation Gambling, smoking, under-represented. Greater community organization beyond the family. Lack of knowledge affecting different groups (generations/ immigrants/ socio-economic). Lack of knowledge of heritage/ history. Hard to get use to different transitions: food, clothes Helping each other when it comes to building a business like Chinese-style High pressure; people who really don't understand the culture pretend that they do. How much our children don't learn about our culture. I could think of none. I don't recognize Filipinos being structured as a community. We don't have festivals, fairs, parties (promotional), or any other main event to promote our cultural. Identity crises Idle talks lead to gossips. Immigration issue; needs legality Inability to come together as a cohesive, unified group in order to gain recognition as an important minority Indifference, regionalism; ego; personal profit; power-hungry Integration Intergenerational barriers. It lacks social activities that integrate one community to another, e.g. intercommunity cultural activities; Filipino American communities in various areas are not organized. It takes crisis to get people together. Too politically motivated, self-serving at times; divided Lack for One Lack of awareness among teenagers. Asian hip-hop identity. Lack of awareness and participation in government and political issues affecting Filipino community. Very fragmentalized. Too many organizations without strong one voice (lack of unity). Lack of cohesiveness and support of each other. Lack of community (Pilipino) involvement Lack of cooperation Lack of cultural awareness and unity. Lack of exposure. So many Filipinos in Chicago/metro areas, yet no one identifies them as a majority. Lack of indifference to participate in social issues and political empowerment among and for the Fil-Ams. 24

• • • • • •

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• •

Lack of knowledge about culture, pertaining to American-Filipinos Lack of knowledge re: immigrant issues and their issues; lack of deeper analysis on Fil Am community Lack of pride as a Filipino-American. Lack of entrepreneurship. Lack unity. Lack of unity Lack of unity and cooperation. Promises not accomplished. Lack of unity, hollow social awareness, very narrow or provincial thinking. Because of our strong relationship with the Catholic/Protestant religion, it hinders us to relate to other social issues that affects us, I.e. discrimination, exploitation at workplace. The church teaches us to be meek for we shall inherit heaven. In other words, don't "rock the boat" or "don't bite the hands that feeds you." Lack of unity, we cannot work together. Lack of unity; lack of respect for the community and their origin. Likes party Lot of jealousy; lot of competing against each other Minority representations; government involvement--local and statewide or national. More employment assistance and acknowledge Filipino-American leaders More members needed N/A Needs to be continually or consistently led; fragmented, splintered and personality-based. No clear identity as Filipinos; territorial No collective political economic vision/ mission. No solidarity, very economically diverse No unity -- Always wanting to outdo each other. Non-committal; lack of caring; lack of communication Not as "united" as other cultures Not as highly recognized or represented as other ethnic minorities, do not share common goals to improve everyone's lives, and not just a few individuals. Too much socializing and not enough substance. Only few groups speak out for the young Fil-am youth. Not getting along with one another; being prejudice with fellow Filipinos Not having a specific community populated by Filipinos specifically Not knowing about culture; not being able to speak the language Not much interaction w/ other cultures; involvement of many people within our community Not organized. Not really having a "Filipino Town" where we can all come together like Chinatown, Argyle, etc. Not supportive of large ventures. Not very organized and hard to find. (e.g. Where in Chicago is there the "Filipino section?"); Not as many cultural/ language programs available to interested parties; No "inside link" to employment opportunities. Not well organized; plagued by crab mentality. Needs a louder political voice. Organization/Leadership Participation Party Petty rivalries among the various organizations. Petty jealousies among the overly ambitious, so-called leaders of the Filipino community. Absence of a true and respected umbrella organization for the Filipino community. Poor leadership in the Philippine Consulate in Chicago. Pressure from family/community to meet their standards intergenerational and cultural differences Quite fragmented, not cohesive. Groups exist here and there, but it does not possess a unified voice to speak for it (like Japanese and Chinese Americans have the JACL and OCA, Japanese-American Citizens' League and Organization of Chinese-Americans). No


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

• •

visible role models in the media or public eye. Unwilling to become pioneers, leaders, role models. Regionalism, no cooperation among ourselves, does not consider that we belong as one nation. Does not speak out about feelings. We basically look down at one another. There is no "oneness." Regionalism; non-aggressive Regionalistic -- they only care for their province-mates. Crab mentality. They try to outdo and down grade others. Regionalistic; apathetic Self-loathing Some are very cliquish Some Filipino-Americans cannot speak their own language. We are not taught and if we are, it's by our parents - cultural awareness. Sometimes Filipinos tend to be jealous with co-Filipinos when it comes to progress; like business, or any progress - even friendship with other nationalities. Sometimes they become too Filipino and do not adapt to the American culture. This is bad in that one must have some American cultural identity to live and get by in the USA. Sometimes we felt discriminated Tampuhin [moody], talangka [crab]! Inggit [jealousy]! Teenage Filipinos act very clingy to each other and some even exclude those not of the Filipino community. The "haves" thinking they are better and separating themselves from the "have-nots"; cliques; and gang-bangers The need for better communication; there seems to be a division on "class" The tendency to isolate those who don't participate in Filipino community events, i.e., YQM, which perpetuates the lack of culture in future generations and a general unawareness of identity and connection to other Filipinos, both contemporary and past generations. The weakness would be as I see it. Would be self-esteem issues especially those who have just entered the U.S.? many seem intimidated which is normal. These are areas where we need to help one another. The weaknesses of the Filipino-American community are trying to spread our culture. Their lack of awareness and preservation and awareness of their own culture that leads to an adaptation of other cultures and a lesser appreciation of their own. There appears to be less unity within the Filipino-American community. Filipinos seem to strive for recognition in the community as an individual versus a team or ethnic group. There is no Filipino neighborhood. There is none These organizations need to more than organize cotillions and dinner dances. They should be the first to organize community support groups. They do not try to explore and broaden their horizon. They are into other people's personal business. They do not try to learn about other people's culture and perspectives. Women are not encouraged to exercise some kind of independence in decision-making or choices in life. Most of the Filipinos are not open-minded people. Double standard of morality is very strong among Filipinos. They despise when other Filipinos go up the ladder of success, and for majority of them who made it in the success stories, they tend to get absorbed and drowned in it. Filipinos are very cash conscious about status and not about character. Filipinos are initially supportive of other people's advancements but once the people they assisted actually reap some success, they turn around and destroy them. (I.e. gossip about them, because of envy.) They need more involvement in politics and be more visible in public; more representation for our community. They tend to compete and compare their livelihood with each other and if they can't compete, they will find ways to bring other persons down.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • •

This separatist mentality with in fighting so that the different groups can't seem to communicate & work well together. Too much competition in progression group amongst themselves Too much competitiveness Too much politics Too much politics and ego. Too much socializing. Too much gossiping and no work. Unfortunately, it is not united. Further, cultural identity and awareness of tradition is dismal. Education of culture needs to be reinforced. Unity and cultural awareness Unity for one another! Unity. Praise their only talent. Very seldom that Filipino businesses get successful especially restaurants We buy stateside (made in USA things) than our own products, we have "manana habit" [to procrastinate] and "crab mentality." We love social functions, dancing in big hotels, dressing good and love to be officers of club organization. Love to gamble in casinos. We don't have any cooperation. Unlike with others, especially Korean, Indians and Chinese. They’ve a very strong cooperation in their neighborhood, especially like China Town and etc. we engage too much in social functions, we don't patronize our "own." we still have that "crab mentality" in us. the saying "walang pagkakaisa ang mga Pilipino" [There’s no unity among Filipinos] still holds true. Pilipinos are scattered all over Chicago and the suburbs. no one place we can call "Pilipino community" like Pilsen of the Latinos. We have a difficult time forming a cohesive group. There are too many factions and very little consensus, it seems. Also, we need to become more politically savvy; understand the political system and have it work for us. We should support each other. We tend to be shy to express what we feel. Work and work (workaholic), no time to enjoy.


REFERENCES Araneta Jr., E. G. (1993). Psychiatric Care of Pilipino Americans. In M. D. Albert C. Gaw (Ed.), Culture, Ethnicity, and Mental Illness (pp. 377-411). Washington D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc. Bergano, Allen L. & Bergano-Kinney, Barbara L. (1992). Images, roles, and expectations of Fiipino Americans by Filipino Americans. In M. Root (Ed.), Filipino Americans; Transformation and Identity, chapter 13. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Edman, J.L., Danko, G.P., Andrade, N., McArdle, J.J., Foster, J., Glipa, J. (1999). Factor structure of the CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) among FilipinoAmerican adolescents. Social Psychiatry Psychiatric Epidemiology, 34:211-215. Enriquez, V.G. (1993). Developing a Filipino psychology. In U. Kim & J.W. Berry (Eds.), Indigenous psychologies: research and experience in cultural context (pp. 152-192). London: Sage Publications. Espiritu, Y. L., & Wolf, D. L. (2001). The Paradox of Assimilation: Children of Filipino Immigrants in San Diego. In R. G. Rumbaut & A. Portes (Eds.), Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America (pp. 157-186). Berkeley: University of California Press. Minkler M. & Wallerstein, N. (2003). Introduction to community based participatory research. In Minkler, M & Wallerstein, N. (Eds.). Community Based Participatory Research for Health. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (pp. 3-26).

Mossakowski, Krysia N. (2003). Coping with perceived discrimination: does ethnic identity protect mental health? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 44: 318-331. US Census Bureau. (February 2002). The Asian Population: 2000 Census Brief. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. Ying, Y. (2005). The effect of intergenerational conflict and school-based racial discrimination on depression in Filipino American adolescents. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society of Social Work Research (SSWR), January 15.


Profile for Jocelyn Azada

Operation Mango: Are we empowered yet?  

Operation Mango is a grass-roots task force which conducted a survey of the strengths and challenges of the Filipino American Community in C...

Operation Mango: Are we empowered yet?  

Operation Mango is a grass-roots task force which conducted a survey of the strengths and challenges of the Filipino American Community in C...


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