Filipino Facts

Man, one of the things I’ve really enjoyed about this class is that I’m learning about cultures which I had no idea about. First it was the Chinese and now, with the new book, it’s the people of the Philipines.

First off, I knew that it had been a Spanish colony. However, it never occured to me that, like the people of Central and South America, the Spanish brought their language to the country. So, I was surprised when the characters in Dogeaters began using Spanish words (Spanglish, I guess). I guess it just never occured to me because Filipinos as a people group aren’t really thrown around too much in conversation. The Spanish connection then made me wonder how many Filipinos we have in the US. According to the 2005 Census, there were over 2.8 million Filipinos in our country. That makes them the second largest group of Asian Americans, behind the Chinese (not really a surprise). I was a bit surprised that, according to that Census, there are actually more than twice as many Filipinos here as Japanese, since the Japanese are mentioned far more.

Actually, it’s really surprising in general that the Philipines aren’t mentioned too much, since they were a US territory for awhile after the Spanish-American War. I wonder why that is.