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THE STORY OF FILIPINOS JOINING THE

 

US COAST GUARD

 

On the contrary it will be quite colorful and exciting and can even be in the magnitude of Alex Haley's Roots.

 

Many are unaware that the second biggest migration of Filipinos in the US were those of the Filipinos, who enlisted in the US Armed Forces (namely US Navy and US Coast Guard). These enlistees came from various walks of life in the Philippines. Some are well educated, well off monetarily and came only for the adventure, though most came from poor families. Some are ignorant and plain stupid, some street smart from the cities, and most are from the provinces.

 

They brought with them various baggages of principles and ways of life. Next to the farm hands of the 1920s', the military Filipinos suffered the the most from institutionalized discrimination. They were prohibited from acquiring other forms of specialties within the

military except to replace the blacks as cooks and stewards aboard ships and naval bases. Eventually, they were freed (emancipated just like the blacks) and were allowed to progress according to their skills, education and self-taught know how. Little by little you hear a Filipino make it through the ranks, first as Chief Petty Officers, then Commissioned Chief Warrant Officers, years later as Junior |Commissioned Officers, and eventually as Senior and

Flag Officers (in the 90s)

 

But that's only a portion of the total story. From these enlistees came the next wave of immigrants. Because of discrimination on inter-mariage, many Filipinos did not inter-marry. Instead they went back to the Philippines and married their childhood sweetheart or found a nurse, doctor, or plain Filipina exchange student here in the US. Since immigration laws allowed them to petition for their first degree relatives, the number of Filipinos multiplied like rabbits, especially here in California. And then came the professionals, some on their own but mostly from these forgotten sailors.

 

I can go on and on but it will take several books because every Manong, Kabalen, Kapatid, Kabagang, etc. has his own story to tell... So I'll live it at that... BORING.. Heck no!!!!

 

Romy M. Abacan, CWO4, USCG

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