[Blueboard] English Department Forum

mvilches at ateneo.edu mvilches at ateneo.edu
Wed Nov 22 16:03:12 PHT 2006

Dear Friends,

Please come to our first English Department Forum this second semester. 
Details as follows:

DATE:         Monday, 27 November
TIME:         4:30 - 6:00
PRESENTER:    Ms. Cori Perez
              Instructor, Department of English
VENUE:        English Department meeting room

Ilocano Immigrant-Settler Colonialism in the U.S. Colony of Hawaii
Ma. Socorro Q. Perez

In 1906, 15 Filipino plantation laborers sailed off to Hawaii to work in 
pineapple  and sugar plantation fields, unleashing an exodus of Filipino
migrant workers to Hawaii. They were the first Overseas Contract Workers.
The Ilocanos comprised the majority of plantation laborers. Perceived as
unskilled, uneducated, untrustworthy workers, the Ilocanos were often
relegated to the lowest positions. They worked hard and struggled long
under exploitative plantation conditions. Such prejudicial images have
not deterred them from attaining their goals. It is this resilience,
their drive, striving and industry that have brought them to a relatively
comfortable  life in Hawaii. Today, we can see the product of their hard
labor. From  lowly plantation laborers, many of them have attained a
modicum of success, vastly improving their socio-economic status in
Hawaii. Moreover, they have greatly contributed to the building of Hawaii
into what it is now- a strong, capitalist modern state.

Valorising this master narrative of hardwork and success, what is often
overlooked are two facts: that Hawaii  is a U.S.colonial state  inhabited
by Native Hawaiians- the original inhabitants of the island; second, that
Filipinos, in this case, the Ilocanos,  and the rest of the Asians in
Hawaii  are settlers. Given this formulation, the paper posits that in
the project of self-representation, the Ilocano immigrant-settlers 
inevitably  collude with US colonial processes and structures,  and in
turn, unintentionally collide with the Native Hawaiians' pursuit of
self-determination and sovereignty. In bringing to bear such
problematique, the paper analyzes Dagiti Pagwadan a Filipino iti Hawaii
(1973),  an anthology of biographical sketches of successful Ilocano
immigrants in Hawaii. It will analyze the community's notion of success,
and link it with the paper's problematique.

See you at Cori's talk on Monday.


Associate Professor
Chair, Department of English, School of Humanities
Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights 1108, Quezon City, Philippines
Tele-fax (632)426-6120

"Blossoms are scattered by
the wind and the wind cares
nothing, but the blossoms
of the heart no wind can touch."
	-Yoshida Kenko


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