The Filipino-American Press
ENYA P. FLORES-MEISER
As noted by Lubomyr and Anna Wynar, the nature and role of the ethnic press in American society are as diverse as the ethnic group it serves. Of relevance to this assertion, however, is the order of reciprocal causality which attends them, perhaps most demonstrably so in a diachronic framework. 1 Both ethnic press and ethnic group reflect one other, providing as they do patterns of continuities and discontinuities of experience within and without the ethnic community. Both periodically gauge, as they are able, the tensions between ethnicity and assimilation. 2 No less integral to this dynamics is the degree of accommodation extended by the host society, yet tempered by the unique experience of the ethnic group itself.
With the above as general premise, the case of the Filipino-American press is herein assessed as its development is juxtaposed to the history of the Filipinos in the United States. Not only a forum for ideas and opinions, the Filipino- American press has been a reservoir of symbols against which the multiple levels of Filipino identities in this country have been articulated. More significantly, the press on the whole has provided the moral force critical to the sense of community in terms of which the intraethnic diversity which has characterized Filipino-Americans is adequately served. As defined here, the ethnic press is restricted to newspapers and periodicals. Publications from Canada, although quite recent, are considered and likewise examined. 3 For clarity, I shall use the terms Filipino-Americans or Filipinos in America to refer to this ethnic group. 4
Technically, the history of Filipinos in the United States can be dated back to the voyages of the Spanish galleons; 5 it was not until the twentieth century that Filipinos began to immigrate. They arrived in two distinct waves: from the 1920s to the beginning of World War II; and from the period after World War II to the present. Called by Philip B. Whitney a "forgotten minority," the Filipinos in the United States have a history of confusing national identity which was not formally resolved until the 1980 U. S. Population Census. 6 Provided