Filipino Americans: Transformation and Identity

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Edited by: Maria P. P. Root

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  • Dedication

    To the ordinary, heroic, and tragic of all our relations. All lived a life from which we can learn. May that which we know now and to which we aspire promote the emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of future generations of Filipino Americans.

    Copyright

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    Foreword

    It is time that a book like this gathers authoritative Filipino Americans to discuss, in scholarly fashion, their issues of the day.

    It is a propitious time when throughout the United States many Filipino Americans, and particularly Filipino American students, are beginning to want to know more about themselves, their past, and their future. All this is happening despite the minimal transmission of knowledge, ideas, and values about Filipino Americans in American schools.

    Most academics have believed that Filipino Americans and/or Filipinos have made no substantial contribution to the history and development of the United States and, therefore, perceive that Filipino American and/or Philippine ethnic studies are inferior, valueless, not essential to education, and not marketable to the general public. In this era, most academics continue to believe that if something is Filipino American and/or Philippine, it is inferior. Everything Filipino American has been denied its intrinsic value. Such an omission has led much to the ignorance of all.

    Beginning with the Black Power movement, minority and ethnic studies—notably African American, Chicano, Native American, and Asian American studies—were introduced into some higher education curricula. Yet in the first two decades, there was hardly a page of history of which Filipino Americans might be proud. In academe, Filipino Americans among American minorities were entirely miscast in everyone's minds, including their own.

    Among the authoritative contributors to this vital publication are a dozen from the “family” of the Filipino American National Historical Society, which has been responsible, I believe, for helping to share and to provide some pages of history of which Filipino Americans and all others seeking the full story of U.S. history might be proud.

    However, there is still much to research and publish in the process of discovering Filipino American history, legacy, and pride. In this process, scholarly discussion is essential for understanding contemporary issues facing Filipino Americans and erasing the “inferiorizing” of Filipino Americans as well as Filipinos.

    This is not a matter of being politically correct. It is a matter of educational, sociological, cultural, and spiritual urgency for the good of the country—our country, the United States.

    Through these ensuing pages of contemporary issues, I see the fruition of scholarly work that has extended the frontiers of knowledge, ideas, and values through critical and exhaustive investigation of America's forgotten Filipino Americans.

    It is time—our Pinoy Time!

    FredCordova Founding President Emeritus, Filipino American National Historical Society and Affiliate Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington

    Introduction

    Maria P. P.Root

    Spanning five centuries, colonization ravaged the souls and psyche of the indigenous people of the archipelago dubbed Las Islas Filipinas by Spain in 1565. The traumas associated with colonization that lasted almost 400 years scarred us all, regardless of our nativity, language, class, or gender. Trauma fragments and fractures the essence of our being and self-knowledge; it disconnects us from each other. And whether consciously or unconsciously, we mark elapsed emotional time since a trauma with anniversary responses. Thus, millions of Filipino Americans and Filipinos anticipate the numerous centennial anniversaries that are upon us beginning in 1996 and continuing through the end of this millenium. Anniversary memories and responses typically allow us to rework and transcend the events of the past.

    It is my hope that these pages will offer challenging questions, some refreshing analysis, and new paradigms for interpreting the Filipino American experience. Thus, we may continue gradually healing ourselves, mitigating and eventually terminating the fractionalization and fragmentation that result from the divisive meanings applied to the economic, social, phenotypic, language, and nativity differences among us. Although this book offers discussion on contemporary issues, it more specifically transforms Filipino American history and experience, and therefore identity.

    This volume is a constructive anniversary response by 30 contributors. Compiled during 1996, it marks the centennial anniversary of the beginning of the decline of Spanish rule of Las Islas Filipinas from Spain in 1896. This revolution is marked with other centennial anniversaries. The national figures Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio were killed—one executed and the other assassinated. On June 12, 1898, the Philippines declared a short-lived independence from Spain. The contest for imperial expansion by two significant colonial powers led to the beginning of the Spanish-American War later that year on Philippine soil. Despite bitter resistance by Filipinos, William Howard Taft, the subsequent 27th president of the United States, became the first governor general of the Philippines on July 4, 1901. In claiming wardship of the archipelago of over 7,000 islands, the United States would anglicize the name to The Philippines (Pido, 1986). The Philippines' and the United States' histories and fates fused.

    The pages of this book, filled with pride, sorrow, anger, and courage, analyze and interpret the far-reaching impact of the insidious traumas euphemistically called “history” on contemporary Filipino Americans, although they are generations removed from the original traumas (Root, 1992). The resilience and perseverance characteristic of Filipinos across nations emerge from these pages despite the scars of dislocation, relocation, and exclusion that have left many Filipino Americans perpetually in search of symbols, locations, and definitions of the ancestral home.

    By the simple revolutionary acts of telling our story and reinterpreting them within cultural and trauma survivor frameworks, these contributors continue to propel us forward in our healing and empowerment. Healing is a process composed of the acts of many people across time as well as across space. Necessarily, the contributors represent diversity among Filipino Americans. Some of the authors were born in the United States, some have immigrated from the Philippines, and still others have come to the United States by circuitous routes. Most are citizens, some are not. Some are multilingual, others are not. Some prefer the use of Pilipino, others prefer the use of Filipino (see Chapter 2, p. 37, Note 1, and Chapter 7, p. 106, this volume). Although the geographic location of home for most Filipino Americans may be in the United States or the Philippines (or both), the ancestral home for those in the second, third, fourth, and later generations may reside in the psyche and soul. This symbolic home is nurtured by family stories and historical accounts that document the tragic, heroic, and ordinary ancestors who make our lives possible now. These pages could not have been produced without gratitude to and appreciation of those Filipinos who have come before us. Related by blood or not, we are connected to the trials and successes of those who have been here before us. This connection may be the balik-bayan (homecoming) vehicle or ticket for those who still search for home.

    People of Filipino heritage have experiences very different from those of other Asian American groups who are part of the fabric of this country. Not dominated by Confucian philosophy, oral in tradition, coming from societies that have matriarchal structures and bilateral kinship systems, intersected and invaded by seafarers, traders, military, missionaries, and colonizers, Filipinos of America are seldom accurately situated in history or culture and are therefore often misinterpreted. We share cultural affinities with people from Mexico, Central and South America, Cuba, and Puerto Rico because of Spain. We share shamanic and animistic traditions with indigenous peoples throughout the world. We share cultural patterns of communication with Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Koreans. An archipelago of Malayan people, our braiding of cultures and phenotypes creates affinities with Pacific Island people, who clearly are recipients of the African diaspora. A century of American contact provides Filipinos with a familiarity, if only in distorted images, of America and European American values.

    Through all of this, our response to the question, “What does it mean to be Filipino American?” continues to evolve. We are likely both to agree and to disagree on the answer to this question because we are a dynamic people with diverse origins whose experiences change with time. This perspective suggests that the paradigm in which a single response is expected will only pathologize our continually changing and diverse meanings of Filipino American. Thus, this volume, instead of attempting to offer a single resolution, affirms that there are many. We suggest that for Filipinos, as for Native American (Indian and Hawaiian) people and people of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America, U.S. paradigms of race are useless.

    The resilience of Filipinos defies the images in which colonists cast Filipinos to justify domination: stereotypically “feminine” images of the country and its conquered people, stereotypically “masculine” images of potential or actual threats to colonial and imperial control. The female needs protection, the male needs watching. Thus we see, through history and up to the present, that those in a position of domination describe Filipinos and Filipino Americans as gentle and passive but capable of aggressiveness, childlike but threatening, and compliant but stubborn.

    None of these stereotypes are evoked when we define our own image. Rather, there is an insider expectation of strength and resilience. The reader may glimpse this through the challenges we offer to each other. Thus, at times, contributors are brutally frank in naming the ways in which Filipinos usurp the methods of the colonizer, such as racism and patriarchy, in their behavior toward other people, including other Filipinos.

    As editor, I have taken the liberty of defining Filipino American in the most inclusive sense. We are immigrants-now-citizens, American born, immigrant spouses awaiting eligibility for green cards, mixed-heritage Filipinos, students or workers on visa, tago ng tago (undocumented), and transnationals moving between the Philippines and the United States. Thus, Filipino American is a state of mind rather than of legality or geography. Under the same roof, family members hold different meanings for and attachments to being Filipino American.

    Throughout this book, there will not be a uniform use of Filipino or Filipino American. This ambiguity is in itself a challenge to those who assume dichotomous paradigms; many Filipinos have overlapping and simultaneous identities that necessitate different paradigms for identity, nationalism, and authenticity. The contributor's context determines the meaning of the term. Furthermore, the text makes the assumption, unless otherwise denoted by context, that the use of Filipino in an American text assumes American.

    We offer the reader Filipino Americans: Transformation and Identity as a balikbayan ticket that may transcend citizenship, generation, nativity, and diversity of social locations one might occupy. In the Philippines, many of the indigenous healers were priestesses who possessed sacred knowledge for transformation: the babaylan of the Visayas, catalonan of Central Luzon, and baglan of the northern Philippines (Enriquez, 1992). Throughout these pages, the strength of the original feminine voice of the healers is abundantly available to the women and men who make this volume possible. We seek to establish connection and respect amidst and despite our differences. Through inclusion, we can find our home with each other. With our diversity, we can achieve a formidable voice. Because of our resourcefulness, we can transform our past. We hope that in traveling these pages, the reader finds heart, hope, and home in Filipino American experiences.

    References
    Enriquez, V. G. (1992). From colonial to liberation psychology: The Philippine experience. Manila: De La Salle University Press.
    Pido, A. J. A. (1986). The Pilipinos in America. New York: Center for Migration Studies.
    Root, M. P. P. (1992). The impact of trauma on personality: The second reconstruction. In L.Brown & M.Ballou (Eds.), Complexity and diversity in feminist theory and therapy (pp. 191–211). New York: Haworth.
  • About the Authors

    Amefil R. Agbayani, PhD, is Director of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She was born in the Philippines and went to Hawai'i as an East-West Center grantee in the 1960s. She has a PhD degree in political science from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and conducts research on Filipino and minority higher education. She serves as Chair of the Hawai'i State Commission on Civil Rights, is a board member of the Hawai'i Community Foundation, and is a Hawai'i representative on the Democratic Party National Committee.

    Peter Bacho is a teacher and writer. From 1984 to 1989, he was an editorial contributor to the Christian Science Monitor; his other essays on politics also appeared in leading foreign policy journals. His novel Cebu won the 1992 American Book Award. His collection Dark Blue Suit and Other Stories is forthcoming. He was born and raised in Seattle and previously worked as an attorney.

    Jacqueline T. Jamero Berganio, BA, is Prevention Coordinator for the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health's Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. She manages a county-wide program that provides a range of services to help prevent and delay alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among children and youth. She is a 1996 recipient of an award for leadership in prevention given by the State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services' Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. She has been a board member and leader of numerous community organizations: Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership, Washington Asian Pacific Islander Families Against Substance Abuse, Association of County Human Services Prevention Committee, and Filipino Youth Activities. Currently she is President of the Seattle Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society. A third-generation Pinay born in Sacramento, California, to Peter Madelo Jamero and Teresa Elizabeth Romero, she counts her blessings for being raised in a tight-knit family with her parents, four sisters, and one brother. The majority of her life has been spent in Seattle, where she resides with her husband, Richard.

    Allan L. Bergano, DDS, is the proud son of Fabian Cariaso and Aurora Lagasca Bergano. He has two sisters, Barbara and Cheryl, and is happily married to Edwina Lapa-Bergano. A second-generation Pinoy, born and raised in Seattle, he is a product of Filipino Youth Activities, Inc., of Seattle, Washington and the Educational Opportunity Program of the University of Washington. He is the founder of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS). A grassroots advocate for the inclusion of Filipino American history in the American history curriculum since 1971, he has passionately lectured to students in Washington, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, and Virginia. Currently he is the Chairperson for Pinoys in Motion, a fund-raising venue of FANHS. He resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he has been a dentist in private practice since 1983.

    Barbara L. Bergano-Kinney is the daughter of Fabian Cariaso and Aurora Lagasca Bergano. She has one brother, Allan, and one sister, Cheryl, and is married to William W. Kinney of Honolulu, Hawaii. Born and raised in Seattle, she is a second-generation Filipina who was actively involved with the Filipino American Baranggay Folk Arts, Inc., as their Vice President and choreographer for 11 years. A University of Washington graduate, she currently works for the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, as the Regional Training Manager for the Northwest Mountain Region. Her 13 years of experience in career, management, and executive development include policy direction and guidance of senior management officials on corporate and emerging business requirements in the area of employment development. A member of the International Personnel Management Association, she is a registered career counselor with the state of Washington. She resides in Tukwila, Washington, with her husband and daughter, Briana Lehualani.

    Rick Bonus completed his PhD dissertation, Locating Filipino Americans: Ethnicity and the Cultural Politics of Space in Southern California, in the graduate program in communication at the University of California, San Diego. He holds an MA in mass communication from California State University at Fresno. He has written and presented essays on the political, social, and cultural dynamics of Filipino American identities. He also teaches in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California at San Diego.

    Thelma B. Burgonio-Watson, MDiv was the first Filipina to be ordained as a Minister of the Word in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1984. She finished her degree at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. She currently works as a Program Specialist at the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence in Seattle. She grew up in Santa, Ilocos Sur, and finished her undergraduate degree in public health at the University of the Philippines.

    Emilie Gaborne Dearing, MS, is a Certified Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health, with a multiethnic private practice in Fairfax, Virginia. She specializes in family research, cross-racial and cross-religious marriages, and biracial and multiracial individuals and families, with an emphasis on mental health and multicultural training and education. She is a consultant to the Indochinese Community Center in Washington, D.C. She is Vice-Chair of the National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse and is on the Board of Directors of the Asian and Pacific Islander Partnership for Health. She was a member of the National Steering Committee for the 1992 Secretary of Health to link primary care, HIV, alcohol, and drug abuse treatment. She was born in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, Philippines, and spent her college years in Manila. She is fluent in Ilongo and Tagalog.

    M. Evelina Galang, MFA, is the author of Her Wild American Self, a collection of short fiction (1996). Her stories and essays have appeared in many publications. In 1993, she won the Associated Writers Program Intro Award in nonfiction, and in 1994, she was the John Gardner Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She received her MFA from Colorado State University, where she was a Graduate Student Diversity Fellow, and her BA in radio, television, and film from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She has been Assistant Professor and Literary Festival Director at Old Dominion University. She is currently teaching in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Chicago's School of Art Institute. She is at work on both a novel and a screenplay. Born in Pennsylvania, she grew up in Chicago and Milwaukee.

    Theodore S. Gonzalves, PhD, received his graduate training at the University of California at Irvine in comparative culture. His research focuses on cross-cultural expressive forms, politics, and history. He has taught courses in American ethnic studies, political and social science, and literature.

    Peter M. Jamero, MSW, a “bridge generation” (second-generation) Filipino American, was born in Oakdale, California. He retired in 1995 after 30 years of top-level executive experience in local, state, and federal government and in the private nonprofit sector as Director of the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; Director of the King County (Seattle) Department of Human Resources; Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission; Executive Director of Asian American Recovery Services (San Francisco); Branch Chief of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (Washington, D.C.); and Vice President of United Way of King County (Seattle). He also served as Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington. He earned an MSW from the University of California at Los Angeles and a certificate in public affairs from Stanford University. The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) gave him the VIP Gold Award for Lifetime Achievement in Government in 1994. Following his retirement, he and his wife, Terri, moved near the farm and Filipino labor camp in Livingston, California, where he was raised during the 1930s and 1940s. They have six children and 12 grandchildren. He is a founding member and former Vice President of FANHS.

    Christine T. Lipat, the daughter of two Filipino medical professionals, was born and raised in New Jersey. Currently, she is Acting Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Alliance, a board member of the Astraea National Lesbian Action Foundation, and a founding member of Kilawin Kolektibo, a Pinay lesbian-identified collective of women based in New York City. A graduate of Oberlin College, she is currently completing her MS in nonprofit management from the New School of Social Research.

    Juanita Tamayo Lott, MA, is President of Tamayo Lott Associates, a public policy consulting firm in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her lectures and publications cover Asian American issues, racial classification, and the implications of demographic shifts. She advises the U.S. Bureau of the Census and other federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and public school systems. She is also a contributing editor for the first Asian American Almanac, a 900-page reference work (1995). As an undergraduate, she was co-chair of the first Pilipino Studies Program in the nation at San Francisco State University in 1969. Born in Ilocos Norte, she grew up in San Francisco.

    Martin F. Manalansan IV, PhD, was born and raised in the Philippines. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in philosophy magna cum laude. He received his MA in anthropology from Syracuse University and his PhD in social anthropology from the University of Rochester. He has worked for more than 6 years in AIDS education, program evaluation, and social research. At present, he is Director of Education of the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA) in New York City. His research interests include critical theory, sexuality and gender, immigration and diaspora, cultural studies, public health, and nationalism. He is currently editing an anthology of ethnographic essays on Asian American communities.

    Cynthia C. Mejia-Giudici, MA, is the daughter of first-generation immigrants from Pangasinan Province: Her father came to the United States in 1929 to study, and her mother joined him in 1951 as a war bride. She received her BA in East Asian studies from Fairhaven College and her MA in education of the deaf from Gallaudet University. She is coeditor of Filipinos in America, 1898–1898 (1975). Born in Ohio and raised in Seattle, she has traveled extensively and speaks Japanese, Spanish, and Sign Language. She taught ESL in Japan, middle school in Virginia public school deaf programs, and community and adult basic education for the deaf programs in Virginia and Seattle. A Sign Language interpreter for deaf and hard-of-hearing programs at Seattle public schools, she has also been consultant to Prince George County's (Maryland) Asian American studies curriculum and Youth for Understanding. She is the immediate past-President of the Seattle chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society. She and her husband Carey have three daughters: Monica Teal, Catherine Ligaya, and India.

    Concepcion A. Montoya, MDiv, received her degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she concentrated on ethics and theology. She is also a graduate of New York University, where she majored in political science. A member of the “1.5” generation, she was born in the Philippines and arrived in the United States when she was 14 years old. She is fluent in Tagalog. Her work in immigration advocacy arises from her interest in religion and politics. She frequently writes and speaks about immigration issues.

    Jonathan Y. Okamura, PhD, is a researcher with the Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity Office at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and is a frequent lecturer in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Born and raised on the island of Maui in Hawai'i, he received his PhD degree in anthropology from the University of London and conducted his dissertation fieldwork with Filipino immigrants in the Kalihi area of Honolulu. He has researched and written on minority higher education, ethnic identity and relations in Hawai'i, and cultural minorities in the Philippines, where he taught in Manila at a Catholic university for 3 years in the mid-1980s. His current research interests include the global Filipino diaspora and racialization in Hawai'i.

    Trinity A. Ordona, born and raised in San Diego, is a Filipino American from a post-World War II immigrant family of 13 children. She has a 25-year history of civil rights activism in the Asian, women's, and gay communities. She was a founding member of the national Asian/Pacific Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Network and the Asian Lesbian Network- USA; part of an international network of Asian Lesbians in Asia and the Diaspora; and co-coordinator of the Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI) Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Family Project, a group that supports families of A/PI queers. A PhD graduate student in history of consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she is writing the first social history of the Asian Pacific lesbian, bisexual, and transgender movement in the United States.

    Raquel Z. Ordoñez, MPA, was born in Quezon City, Philippines, the older of two daughters of Generoso Zaraspe and Rosario Sims. She grew up in Lobo, Batangas, a small town in southern Luzon; her mother was the town's first nurse. After completing her BA in English, she taught in the English Department at the University of the Philippines for 8 years. She received several national awards for creative writing and published literary criticism. Her initial work toward an MA as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow was interrupted when the Marcos regime imposed military rule in the country. Subsequently, her husband, Roberto Ordoñez, a journalist, was imprisoned, and she was placed under house arrest for 2 years. During that time, their first child was born. After those years, she was selected by the United Nations Development Programme to organize the training section of the Bureau of Foreign Trade. She then moved to the National Economic and Development Authority as Assistant Chief of the Economic Information Staff. She migrated to the United States in the early 1980s. In 1993, she founded the Coalition for the Advancement of Filipino Women, a network of over 400 organizations and individuals dedicated to raising the status of women and their communities.

    Antonio J. A. Pido, PhD, is retired from the Michigan Jobs Commission Development as a Policy Analyst. He is also an occasional instructor in sociology at Lansing Community College. He was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois. Prior to his immigration to the United States, he was a Research Social Scientist at the National Science Development Board (now the Department of Science and Technology); Research Director and later Program Director at the Office of the Presidential Assistant on National Minorities, Office of the President, Philippines; and part-time Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of the East, Manila. He has various publications in the Philippines, the United States, and Japan and a book, Pilipinos in America (1986). He was born in Cebu City, Philippines, and immigrated with his wife and children to the United States in 1972.

    Linda A. Revilla, PhD, is a 2.5-generation Filipina American, born in Springfield, Illinois, and raised in California, Florida, Maryland, and Japan. She received her BA in psychology from the University of California at San Diego and a PhD in developmental psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles. She was faculty of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington before moving to Honolulu. She is currently on staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Center for PTSD and a lecturer in ethnic studies at the University of Hawai'i. Her research interests include Asian American mental health and Filipino American identity, family, and veteran issues. She is married to Gregory Mark, and they have one child, Kellen Nainoa.

    Nilda Rimonte is the founder of the Los Angeles-based Center for the Pacific-Asian Family (CPAF), the first sexual assault and domestic violence program for Asian Pacific Islanders in the United States, and was its Executive Director for 13 years. She has written on the subjects of domestic violence and sexual assault. She also recently completed her own collection of short stories and has edited an anthology of woman-focused short fiction by Filipina writers, containing some of her own translations from Tagalog to English. She traces her interest in victimization issues to her work with battered women and rape victims at CPAF. She credits Memmi and Freire for lighting her way.

    Felix I. Rodriguez, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. He finished his BS in biology at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños in October 1977. After receiving his PhD in social ecology from the University of California at Irvine, he became an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine at the University of California at Irvine. His current research interests focus on issues related to ecology and development and environmental history and ethics. In 1996, he received a C.I.T.E. (Citizens Improving the Environment) Award from the Washington State Department of Ecology. He was born in 1957 in a small town called Las Piñas, Rizal, which is now part of metropolitan Manila.

    Maria P. P. Root, PhD, trained as a clinical psychologist, is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at the University of Washington and a clinical psychologist. Her interests focus on race relations, trauma, the mental health of minorities and women, and multiracial families and individuals. She has written and edited several books and authored numerous articles and book chapters. She has also been awarded the Washington State Psychological Association's Distinguished Psychologist Award, the Filipino American National Historical Society's VIP Award (Seattle Chapter), leadership awards from the American Psychological Association, and distinguished career awards from the American Psychological Association and the Asian American Psychological Association Born in Manila, Philippines, she and her mother joined her father in Los Angeles in the 1950s.

    Cianna Pamintuan Stewart lived in Davao City until she was six years old, when her family returned to the United States after the declaration of martial law. She graduated from Wesleyan University, where she studied theater. She divides her time between theater directing and organizing around Asian/Pacific Islander sexual and gender diversity through the Visibility Campaign, Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center: Community HIV/AIDS Services, in San Francisco.

    Leny Mendoza Strobel, EdD, received her graduate degree from the University of San Francisco. She teaches at the American Multicultural Studies Department at California State University at Sonoma. She has published several articles and is a contributing editor to a forthcoming anthology, Geography of Encounters. She is also editing a forthcoming anthology of essays on Filipino and Filipino American perspectives on decolonization. She is a lecturer and community adviser to Filipino American and Asian American college groups and Filipino American community groups in the Bay Area. She was born and raised in San Fernando, Pampanga.

    Leonardo A. Tacata Jr., MPH, is an epidemiologist and Project Director for the Filipino American Community Epidemiological Study (FACES), a research project of Asian American Recovery Services, Inc. in San Francisco. He earned his MPH degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health, where he specialized in epidemiology. He is a member of the Filipino American National Historical Society (Vallejo City and Los Angeles chapters), Filipinos for Affirmative Action, and the Pilipino Community Health Task Force in San Francisco. He traces his roots through his father Leonardo Amudo Tacata of Pasuquin, Ilocas Norte, and his mother Azucena Asprer Tacata of Kiamba, South Cotobato. Born in Manila, he immigrated to San Francisco in 1972; he currently resides in Daly City, California.

    Antonio T. Tiongson Jr.. is currently pursuing graduate studies in ethnic studies at the University of California at San Diego. His interests include community building in an age of multinational corporations and conservatism, hip-hop culture, social movements around the globe and their relevance to struggles in the United States, and reclaiming the narratives of resistance and struggle of Filipino Americans. Born in the Philippines, he immigrated to San Francisco in 1981.

    Mary Ann Vbaldo was born and raised in Manila and graduated from the University of the Philippines. She is cofounder of Kilawin Kolektibo, a Pinay lesbian-identified collective of women in New York City, and was also a member of Gabriela Network, a Philippines-U.S. women's solidarity organization. She runs a jewelry business named after the Filipina legendary tribal warrior Urduja, in which she creates unique pieces that incorporate Filipino motifs using the ancient Philippine script called alibata. She is also a musician and photographer.


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