Living in America, I tend to notice each Filipino or who I think may be Filipino. Some are harder to spot than others, as our facial features often resemble other groups such Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian… You name the person, we likely have a Filipino who looks just like them! My father reminds me of Charles Barkley, the retired basketball player. A few other people have remarked on the resemblance, as well.
There is one thing I notice that reminds me 100% of the time of Filipinos. If I’m driving by a house and they have certain vegetables growing in their front yard, my brain quickly screams “Filipino!” You know which vegetables I’m talking about! Simple things like vegetables in a front yard make me proud of my heritage.
Although I left the Philippines when I was only 5 years old, I am grateful to be who I am, blessed to have been born there and to be part of a group of people rich in culture and history. I, myself, have been told I look like a woman they met in Japan, a Korean acquaintance, and an “Asian” friend in Germany. I laughed at the latter, as they obviously didn’t know what part of Asia their friend came from. All in all, every type is a wonder to me and I’m glad my features seem familiar to them.
Aside from the Asian grocery stores, here are just a few places where I’ve seen and met Filipinos in America.
The Catholic Church is full of faithful devotees and our local parish is blessed to have 2 choirs with at least 90% Filipino members. A third choir has about 50% Filipinos. Filipinos are also involved in several other ministries in our church.
Hospitals and Medical Clinics
Many of our fellow Filipinos work in the healthcare industry and there is not one hospital or medical clinic that I’ve been a patient to in Northern California that has not had a Filipino. Many Filipinos I know are nurses, pharmacists, pharm technicians, dentists and medical assistants to name a few.
This is not an advertisement. It’s just true! Each time I’ve walked into a Costco Wholesale, I can hear a person speaking a Filipino dialect, like Kapangpangan or Ilocano. Or I’ve bumped into one of my Filipino friends there! Either way, we all love a good deal!
Daly City, California
Filipinos are the majority, not the minority in Daly City! I should know since I lived there for about 3 years in the early 2000’s. Wikipedia even notes that 33.2% of the population are Filipinos.
Do you know where I didn’t see another Filipino, aside from the Filipina I was visiting in the 90s? Omaha, Nebraska! There must’ve been more Filipinos there, but unfortunately, I didn’t see any during my visit. My friend was only in Omaha for school. Upon graduation, she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Omaha had one less Filipina.
I am sure you are more aware than ever of the Filipinos around us. I know I’ll notice the next time I see one of you.