Despite efforts to create Filipino ethnic enclaves – Historic Filipinotown in LA, SoMa Pilipinas in San Francisco, Filipino Village in National City, Little Manila in Toronto, etc. – a common narrative out there is that Filipinos do not have a discernible ethnic enclave. Even heavy Filipino-populated suburban cities such as Daly City, Carson, Vallejo, Jersey City, etc. are not majority Filipino and arguably do not have a markedly Filipino character, economic activity, or cultural identity like say a Chinatown, Japantown, Little India, or Koreatown. Are they considered Filipino ethnic enclaves?
In this TFAL episode, the crew discuss Filipino ethnic enclaves in the United States. Do enclaves – in the common American immigration context – exist? Are they necessary? What would Filipino Americans gain or lose if a Filipino ethnic enclave existed? Are current geographies – where Filipinos are largely scattered in a metropolitan area with some concentrations in certain urban neighborhoods and suburban cities – adequate for the Filipino American community? We also talk about Joe’s early – and quite embarrassing – obsession on Filipinotowns.
Here is the picture of the Joe’s drawing referenced in the episode. Please remember that Joe was 15 when he drew this. =)
We only scratch the surface on this subject and admittedly neglect certain topics. For a more in-depth analysis on Filipino ethnic enclaves, feel free to download Joe’s dissertation about Filipino American racial space in Los Angeles.