Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City

By Benito M. Vergara Jr. | Go to book overview

3
LOOKING FORWARD
Narratives of Obligation

When he was 11, Wally Curameng1 dreamed of coming to America. His cousins, who were his earliest childhood playmates, immigrated to the United States. “Even then,” he told me, “I was already excited to come here to the States because my cousins, they’d write, they’d send pictures—it’s like this in the United States, it’s great in the States, like that. But I said to myself, I decided to ignore it because I knew I had no chance to come here.” Curameng’s father had been a Boy Scout and one of the Philippines’ representatives to worldwide Scout gatherings, or Jamborees, in Washington and Canada. Wally felt “envious,” “because when [my father] was only a boy, he was already able to travel abroad.” He continually asked his father to sponsor him, but several Jamborees went on without his being able to go. By Curameng’s third year of high school, his brother had joined the U.S. Marines and, two years later, petitioned for their mother in 1977. Nine years later Wally left the Philippines, a day before the so-called People Power Revolution in 1986, which saw the relatively peaceful ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos and the end of his dictatorship.

For Curameng and other interviewees, immigration to the United States presented itself as a more than tangible possibility for a future life. Nurtured

1I interviewed Wally and his wife Debbie Patron in their in-law apartment in Daly City one afternoon in May 1996. The interview itself took much longer than I had expected; after the first hour they insisted that we continue—“since these were things we never get to talk about,” said Patron.

-46-

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Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • 1- A Repeated Turning 1
  • 2- Little Manila 23
  • 3- Looking Forward Narratives of Obligation 46
  • 4- Spreading the News Newspapers and Transnational Belonging 80
  • 5- Looking Back Indifference, Responsibility, and the Anti-Marcos Movement in the United States 109
  • 6- Betrayal and Belonging 134
  • 7- Citizenship and Nostalgia 161
  • 8- Pinoy Capital 192
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 215
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