Goodbye to color-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
WHITE foreign guests in the country still make people look and stare, or look, then look away quickly in order not to be caught looking. And one or two bystanders in high spirits would even call out, “Hey, Joe!” which is a special name Filipinos used for Americans during and immediately after World War II when these soldiers (mostly white) came to town.
An uncle who worked in Smith Bell and Company once explained to me the meaning of “GI Joe,” which is a name for American soldiers. “GI” means General Infantry or Government Issue—as the fighting white men on the job were called jokingly or seriously.
“Joe” referred to a male American.
The white skin color made a difference (although there were the black soldiers or fair Hispanics), the naughty boys would call them Joe from the roadside when a troop in the 40s would march out to the streets as part of its daily exercise.
Today to Filipinos, “Hey, Joe” is still a friendly show of recognition for white
Americans. To Filipino kids in the towns, any white visitor is an American.
An item in a cyber site says that white babies are decreasing in the United States itself even as migration trends grow, especially in Southeast Asia with the Philippines as the largest “sending country.” Imagine if this statistics included “undocumented migration” data!
Trends touch on the fact of the world connecting and inter-connecting in migrations, world media, business interactions, job opportunities. This leads to population increase in half-bloods, so to say, and inter-bloods, like half-American and half-Filipino.
And which people of a certain color of skin are decreasing!
The way it looks, minorities in America are now more than half of the number there of Filipinos, what with the race migrating, so to say, outside its color in Fil-Am marriages. From 1990 to 2000 an increase showed in the number of Filipino immigrants in the US.
The biggest number of immigrant groups are the Hispanics from Mexico, says a research report. And look, who’s next? The Philippines, of course—increasing by 50 percent. These Pinoys are mostly in California and Hawaii.
The countries next in the number of immigrant groupings in the US are India, China and Vietnam, in that order. A recent 2012 research reveals as an update that Asians already out-number the Hispanics as immigrants in the US. Although it’s a slight change, like 36 percent of immigrants Asian while 31 percent Hispanics, it’s still a change.
On the other hand, are there more Americans as immigrants in the Philippines, adding to the fact of less white babies born? It’s said that there were many Americans who decided to stay in the Philippines after World War II ended in 1946, and they produced half-bloods. Even earlier than the war, there were Americans who lived here during the Spanish era, usually through American business trades set up here in Cebu and Manila in that early period.
Besides the number of military men who decided to stay, there were US missionaries, too, who came to do their mission and stayed to call the country home. American tourists and Fil-Ams mix even as the Filipinos look and call out to “Joe” in a friendly way to welcome the Americans with a stare or two.
While Americans and other whites feel insecure in the stares from local strangers, some stay long enough to know it’s a people’s shy way of welcoming new friends. Then there will be more Americans coming producing Amerasians, or babies not quite white…
If you walk down Manhattan, no one looks at you, most of all, they don’t stare. Here in the Philippines, Americans who are new in the place get stared at.
In the world not so far in time from now, there will be a good measure of Amerasians, Caucasians mixing with Eurasians, mixing with more “sians” (and neutralizing the world?).
Is it goodbye to white babies? Or is it a welcome to a time when color does not matter?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2012.