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Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Where the Filipinos Gather

Benito Vergara, an academic and web editor, gives an insider’s look at Daly City, California, the unofficial capitol of Filipino America, in today’s NYT. When I’m out on the West Coast, I try to always find time to visit Daly City with its amalgam of Filipino turo-turo restaurants, shopping malls crowded with Fil-Am teenagers, and its hybrid vibe of Philippine and American cultural values. It’s one of the few places in the U.S. where I don’t feel self-conscious or marginalized, where eating with a spoon and fork is the norm rather than the exception.

Among other concepts like “crab mentality” of Filipinos, Vergara discusses the beauty of the predominantly Filipino community:

There’s this joke that Filipinos like telling: “You know why it’s always foggy in Daly City? Because all the Filipinos turn on their rice cookers at the same time.”

It’s another indelible quality of being Filipino: the ability to laugh at oneself and her circumstances. In a more religious sense, it’s also the concept of “bahala na,” or, roughly translated, “come what may.”

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Filed under: asian america, culture, filipino, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. I grew up in and around Daly City. I agree with all your observations. I also want to point out how successful and integral fil-ams have become over the generations here in the U.S.A.

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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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