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What And Who Are We As Filipinos on AAPI Month?


Some time ago the U.S. population was lumped together as either Black or White in terms of the Census race classification. Filipinos then fell under the WHITE classification.

Then, there came a time that we, as a member of the Asian group, are referred to as “Orientals.” This was followed by the classification of Asian Americans through a passage in the U.S. Congress, Afterwards, we got separated from the AA category, currently falling under the “Pacific Islanders.”

Pacific Islanders refer to those whose origins are the original peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Polynesia includes Hawaii (Native Hawaiian), Samoa (Samoan), American Samoa (Samoan), Tokelau (Tokelauan), Tahiti (Tahitian), and Tonga (Tongan). Definitely, the Philippines is not among these islands.

Despite the similarities that Pacific Islanders and Filipinos have in common, there is the counter to the claim that Filipinos are not considered to be Pacific Islanders. The Philippines are made of more than 7000 islands found in Southeast Asia, on the eastern rim of the Asiatic Mediterranean.

What race are the Filipinos? Filipinos are classified as Asian (East, South and Southeast Asian), 72.7%, according to the Research work published in the Journal of Forensic Anthropology, that is phenotypically classified as Asian.

Some Filipino Americans also describe themselves as Hispanic, placing themselves at the intersection of two dynamic categories of contemporary racial and ethnic identity. Many Filipinos have Spanish or Spanish-sounding surnames, but they aren’t considered Latinos because Filipinos don’t speak Spanish primarily.

Philippine history confirms that more Spaniards and Chinese arrived in the past centuries. Many of these migrants intermarried with local mestizos and assimilated with the indigenous population.

Genetically speaking, most Filipinos are most closely related to indigenous Taiwanese and most Indonesians, especially East Indonesians.

This may dawn some confusion for many of us who’s looking for some kind of racial identity in this diverse world we live in. But let us still live it up and celebrate our race and ethnicity this month of May, come what may.

“Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” is the theme for AAPI Heritage Month 2024. May is a special month for us as we honor and appreciate the contributions, vibrant culture, and inspiring history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Mabuhay tayong mga Pilipino on Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Month. -By Anonymous Editorialist


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