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Exploring Your Family's or a Friend's History of Immigration and how it connects to some of the stories in The life stories - Essay Example

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Course Date A Filipino in America The family roots of my neighbor Samantha Wayne came from a small island in Southeast Asia called the Philippines. His grandfather Protacio arrived in the United States in 1946 in what was called the post war immigration decade…
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Exploring Your Familys or a Friends History of Immigration and how it connects to some of the stories in The life stories
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Download file to see previous pages When the opportunity came for Filipinos to be in America as Navy recruit or contracted worker, grandfather Protacio’s parents seized the opportunity and enlisted him to join the latter. As the oldest child in the family, grandfather Protacio was forced to accept the opportunity to help his family and build a better future for himself in the United States. Grandfather Protacio left the Philippines to be one of the “1946 boys” who arrived in U.S. territory as a contracted worker in farmlands. Much like the Syrian immigrants who were awed with the grandeur of New York (Holt 249), grandfather Protacio was equally awed by the richness of American farms compared to the ailing farms in his province and spent so much time at the farm during the day and exploring the city at night that he forgot his responsibilities in the Philippines for a while. Grandfather Protacio has heard a lot of America and its greatness as “the land of freedom and civilization” (Holt 257) thus, he was caught off guard to the racial discrimination when he arrived the same with the Japanese who felt humiliated because of discrimination and abused in his domestic job (Holt 260). At the time grandfather Protacio arrived in the U.S., the Congress has passed a law that permits Filipinos to qualify as American citizens. Despite of this, racial discrimination to Filipinos was very high. According to Melendy in his article “Filipino Americans”, Filipinos were discriminated due to their skin color and inability to speak English like the white Americans. Like the story of the Chitkara family and the Indian Ab-nen-la-de-ni who experienced the language barrier, grandfather Protacio had difficulty expressing his thoughts and feelings at work due to his limited English. He must “speak English or remain silent” (Holt 210) not only as a requirement but because the other employees were also immigrants of different nationalities and the only language they can communicate to each other is in English. Although farm works were not new to grandfather Protacio since he came from a family of farmers, the intense labor requiring more hours in the field, irregular meal provision, and unfit clothing for different seasons has taken its toll on his health. Striving to get off in his current situation, grandfather Protacio bargained with his employer to allow him to be a working student. Like Ab-nen-la-de-ni, grandfather Protacio “went to school in the morning and work in the afternoon” (Holt 211) and did his home works at night in a dimly lit room shared with the other farm workers. The bargain though has been difficult because the wife of his employer did not agree to allow non-American workers to attend school. If the Indian suffered from the attack and mismanagement of the Head Directress in the Institute (Holt 216), grandfather Protacio suffered from mistreatment of his employer’s wife by working unpaid overtime and was accused of stealing and selling boxes of fruits in the city. Worst of all, his employment visa was not renewed forcing him to resign and looked for another job that could ensure his stay in the country since he cannot afford to go back empty handed in the Philippines. Grandfather Protacio was desperate but his desire to succeed and help his family fueled him to continue despite the meager amount of money left in his wallet. Fortunately, he found a job in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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