The Philippine Jeepney
A Filipino Family
The Filipino American Family
Penélope V. Flores
Araceli N. Resus
Library of Congress Control Number: 2007941835
144 pages, Perfect Binding
Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc.
P.O. Box 31928
San Francisco, CA 94131-0928
Printed in the United States of America
Cover Art: Jeepney by Manuel Flores
Book and Cover Design: Edwin Lozada
Book Production: Carayan Press
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In order to understand the formation of Filipino history, culture and society in the Philippines, the United States, the Asia Pacific and globally, we need to go back and study the Filipino family. Developing the families sensitivities for the values, behaviors, ethics, and perspectives of Filipinos, this study identifies and discusses the psychological, sociological and environmental issues relevant to the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora.
Flores with Resus surveyed the family attitudes and constructs within a multicultural and ethnically diverse high school in Daly City, California. Their findings in general reveal that the current Filipino American students are more likely to be conflicted about their identity as they grapple between being Asian, Pacific Islander, American, and Filipino. They support their families sending dollars to family back to another home. They dont mind marrying outside the race. Their idea of a nuclear family includes grandparents, aunts and uncles. They agonize within the me first as against the my family first construct. The three-generational family household, almost always realized in its pure form, stifles their independence but are most resilient to the demands of straddling two worlds: first, the world of their parents and their families back home, and second, the contemporary world of the youths in transition to US societys demands for peer assimilation, acculturation and adherence to social norms.
These students, ages 16, 17 and 18, while adapting to US environmental pressures, weave a distinct brand of Filipino American family culture, history, local politics, economics, psychology, arts, music, food, spirituality and language into their social high school milieu.
Excerpt from Preface by Araceli N. Resus.
This book focuses on the Filipino family, its basic nature, and the historical development that brought about its uniqueness, its strengths, and weaknesses. The Filipino family is in the throes of a fast changing world, and the issues that it faces exert a heavy load on its basic structure. This book highlights these issues together with those of the Filipino American families as they struggle in their adoptive country. The book also provides possible answers to the questions frequently asked by confused young Filipino Americans: Who am I? Am I Filipino? What is a Filipino? Am I Filipino American? Am I not Asian? Why am I referred to as a Pacific Islander?
We found a fascinating metaphor to exemplify the nature of the Filipino family through the Philippine Jeepney, an icon on the streets of Manila and other major cities of the Philippines. It is a remnant of Philippine colonization, a symbol of Filipino colonial way of thinking, Filipino ingenuity, and a representation of indigenous Filipino characteristics. The jeepney is the most obvious form of folk art; a microcosm that displays the communal nature of Philippine society (Rodell, 2002, p.57, 58).
For most people, family is the most important unit in life. This attachment is expressed in various ways depending on ethnicity, gender, class, age, and individual temperament (Coles, 2006, p. x). As a basic social institution the family is involved in the multiple ways of shaping peoples lives, in building communities, in governance of nations, and in keeping up with this fast changing digital world. In many ways, it has been blamed for a lot of social problems. But with all the heavy pressures put on it, the family remains a strong pillar of society.
Part 1: Mangoes and Tamarinds
The Filipino Family: A Jeepney Metaphor
Philippine Concepts used in the Jeepney Metaphor
The Barangay (Pre-hispanic Filipino) Family as a Social Construct
Affinal, Fictive Family Relations and Kinship Terms
The Contemporary Filipino American Families
Part 2: Apples and Oranges
The Study: Conceptualization and Methodology
Family Compositions: Results
Helping the Family
Me First Before Family Needs
Filipino Identity Versus Asian Identity
Filipino-ness: An Exploratory Analysis
Tables and Figures