Migrations of filipinos to the united states
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Migrations of Filipinos to the United States. By: Lucia Zhang and Jane Recker. Types of Filipinos. Pensionados —comprised of the educated and initially middle class Filipinos and government scholars who came to the US to study.

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Migrations of Filipinos to the United States

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Migrations of Filipinos to the United States

By: Lucia Zhang and Jane Recker

Types of Filipinos

  • Pensionados—comprised of the educated and initially middle class Filipinos and government scholars who came to the US to study.

  • Poor Filipinos who came as a cheap labor supply. Usually made US their new home.


  • U.S. goal—political tutelage.

  • Trained Filipinos in lessons of self-rule to create a pool of qualified, highly educated civil servants with American ideals  Pensionado Act.

  • Chosen from Filipino elite, some women.

  • As American democratic ideals took root in Filipino colonies, education spread to young, intelligent individuals, not necessarily rich.

  • Final goal: to become apensionado. Promised a bright future.

Labor Migration in Hawaii

  • Most Filipino migrants came as cheap labor.

  • Hawaii’s economy—sugar production supported by plantation labor.

  • Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association (HSPA)—managed recruitment centers.

  • Estimated 3,000 workers arrived yearly.

  • Tydings-McDuffie Law was passed. Aside from creating the Philippine Commonwealth, a ten year transition government prior to Philippine independence, the law also restricted immigration to the U.S. to only fifty Filipinos each year

Reasons of Filipino Migration

  • Glory, happiness, prosperity.

  • Earning and saving money to return home and life comfortably.

Preference for Filipino Workers

  • First—Cheapest to pay. Lowest wages.

  • Second—Philippines U.S. colony, Filipinos technically U.S. nationals.

  • Third—alternative for Japanese laborers who started many strikes.

  • Fourth—Filipinos know how to grow sugar.

  • Fifth—most Filipinos uneducated, unlikely to cause problems.

Plantation Life

  • Sakads—workers.

  • Luna—supervisor.

  • Work extremely difficult and demanding.

  • Living arrangements, job assignments, wages based on ethnicity.

Filipino Migrant Workers in California

  • Agricultural economy—workers moved from farm to farm.

  • Steady need of labor.

  • Filipinos, good and fast workers, quicker learners, will to work for low wages.

Racial Discrimination and Revolts

  • Often viewed as “half-civilized”, uneducated and worthless.

  • Racism especially strong towards Filipinos—thought that they were taking the jobs of white workers.

  • Relations with white women.

  • Strong dislike led to revolts by the white workers.

Filipino Migrations to Other Parts of the U.S.

  • Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, New York, Chicago.

Impact of World War II

  • Transformed American attitudes toward Filipinos.

  • Allowed to be drafted into army.

  • Led to Nationality Act—allowed noncitizens who joined the military to have citizenship.

Sakada 1946

  • Labor shortages after war.

  • To keep plantations optional, U.S. granted exemption of the immigration law for Filipinos.

  • This group of immigrants known as Sakada—more educated, came with families.


  • http://opmanong.ssc.hawaii.edu/filipino/filmig.html

  • http://www.migrationinformation.org/usfocus/display.cfm?ID=694

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