(June 9, 2006) IT WAS almost certainly during my late elementary days when I heard the phrase “American Dream.” During these days, Amerika was a lot more described since the land of milk and honey, not significantly of an chance, as the Philippines was still enjoying a P7-$1 exchange.
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Where I grew up, in the small Novaliches barrio, I was one with the more “privileged” ones as I liked playing with “Made in USA” toys, courtesy of my mom, who left us (virtually for good) for your United States in search, I guess, on the so-called greener pastures. My t-shirts had been “stateside,” so were some of the canned products that were proudly shown in our China cabinet, which was tailor-made by carpenters to match the aesthetics of our two-storey home, along with “imported” chocolate powdered drink, juice, Child Ruths, etc.
A set of Scorching Wheels vehicles and a total three-yard lengthy and two-feet wide race track created me the most preferred kid inside the subdivision where I employed lived, if not inside the whole barrio whose mother and father grew old seeing only rice paddies, cows, carabaos and horses then.
That was in the 70s, when the country was within a “New Society,” back when, in my haste to showcase what we’ve received, I had to put on my Hush Puppies even if they were two sizes bigger than the actual size of my feet. We had pens that had water and things that went up and down, a modest gold statue of Liberty, state banners on our walls and, how could I neglect, tons of Avon products - from Topaze, Charisma to Jasmine - we had it all. I was only in second grade when with out permission, I brought our English Leather perfume, using the wood best cover. I was a display off in class.
With all these stateside goods, you wouldn’t miss your very personal mother. American-made toys, chocolates and things to wear from Uncle Sam had been sufficient to bribe our emotions. As extra and far more Filipinos left for the U.S., I discovered out later that extra and much more kids had things in the exact same, if not far better goods.
The far more imported items I get to view and know, the extra I craved for such things, as well as requested, if not outright demanded, that I’d get the exact same things. Colonial mentality had set in, triggering a deep gorge into my really youthful brain, and that all things American tasted far better, looked better, made better and envied by everybody. And we proudly claim to any of our buddies that my mom, dad, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, or any relative, was inside the U.S. Not just do we get U.S products, we saw the opportunity of becoming in fact shifting to the U.S., courtesy of immigration petitions filed by our family members on our behalf.
Youthful as I was, we had been suggested not to obtain married early, lest we reduce our petition, our incredibly hope of immigrating to the location where Disneyland was not only a fantasy. Or, ought to I say, our parent’s wishes. Transferring thirty years later, right here I'm, reunited with my family members, except one sister whose petition is tied up within a really lengthy backlog due to the fact she married early (how dare you, sister!). Now all of us are “living” the American Dream. Or, are we, definitely?
If we gauge things materially, majority, if not all, would say indeed, can not argue with that. Since we like things American, it goes with out stating, that hey, what much more are you able to ask for? We are dwelling it. This Saturday, on June ten, local community leaders will collect to celebrate our 108th Philippine Independence Day at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles, donning Barong Filipino wardrobe and feasting on beef or chicken a la carte and will probably be hearing the speech of Senate Bulk Floor Leader Juan Flavier. I expect that he could be reporting on what the country has accomplished or trying to obtain, exactly where the nation is heading and what we can do to assist.
Assist, probably the most abused word each time a Filipino congressman, senator, or federal government official arrives for any go to and dialogues using the Filipino-American group. Properly, some of us do, even though we're generally acknowledged for that dollars we remit to our property region, simply because if we do not, the guests may not have something to speak about except beg.
We give simply because we toil. We support because we are able to. It is all mainly because of the American Dream. If only I could be the guest speaker, then I'd inform the Filipino-American local community that, these days, we will no longer desire of leaving for your United States, we'll start our quest and reside the Philippine Dream.
Luchie Mendoza Allen is the CEO of the Filipino American newspaper Balita Media, Inc founded in 1992.