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I am not finished yet but by now you know my story line. We all descended from the ancient navigators from the south seas. Our language reveals this: marine language is engraved in our dialects and our nomadic urge is forever carried in our ancestral bloodline.

Why am I telling you this? I showed you St. Malo because the significance of capturing childs first step. It might be awkward, ugly, and meaningless. It was a beginning for others to follow and we did. We are one of the fastest growing minority. The 1990 census reveals that our average family income is the highest among the demographic group despite the fact that we are engaged in all types of professions. As early as the 16th century there were Filipino sailors coming ashore in the United States and one of the founders of Los Angeles can be traced to a certain Antonio Rodriguez who came through Mexico.

Today, you will find Filipino merchant mates and engineers all over the world operating ocean going vessels more than any nationality. In the Philippines there are probably more nautical schools and marine student than the rest of the world combined. Dont be surprised if you tune in the radio marine band in the middle of the ocean and hear a lonely Tagalog ballad from a radio operator singing his way out of boredom. The biggest genre of people coming to America can be manifested on the U.S. Navy enlisting boys from the Philippines. Today, their families settled mostly in San Diego, Norfolk, and coastal cities alone the Pacific and Atlantic ocean.

Again, you might be asking me that you or your parents did not come to this country by water. Yes, you probably jet your way here but this is my story. The urge to journey overseas is what drives our ancient seafarer and thats why over 90 percent of our blood chemistry is water. We are called Tagalog (people of the river) Pampanga (water bank), Mindanao (people of the big lake)and Ilocano (river.) We were never out of the realm of the sea and were always ready to sail overseas. I also spoke with great pride and passion about the builders of the Banaue Rice Terraces who for some reason abandoned the high seas. They stopped foraging the forest and settled down for good. They were the exceptions and I have nothing but admiration and respect for them. They are what we are not. We are forever searching for greener pastures; it can be a mountain, island, or another country. Our children will be the same... the software was already made a thousand years ago. It is a tradition.

WANDERLUST BLOOD

I sight for my distant country, now I remember home, and now my thoughts turn to rest. I have already wandered through so many countries; I have observed so many customs; I have met so many people, that I have almost lost any idea of the ideal, I have not seem more than the surface appearance of good and evil. I have loved but I have smothered my heart's desire, I have overruled them I life goes on like this, my heart will end of dying." It was all the fault of the Malay wanderlust in his blood, as told in his letter to Dr Bluementritt. He added that he was not yet Europeanized, to use the expression of the Filipinos in Madrid. He always wanted to go back to the land of our ancestors. " A goat always acts like a goat, Rizal said..

The first organic act, known as the Philippine Bill of 1902, was passed by the U.S. Congress. It called for the management of Phillipine affairs, upon restoration of peace, by establishing the first elective Philippine Assembly and the Taft Commission comprising the lower and upper house, respectively, of the Philippine Legislature. The passage of the Act may be attributed in part to José Rizal and his stirring last farewell to his beloved country immortalized in his poem, Mi Ultimo Adios, that he wrote in his cell at Fort Santiago on the eve of his execution by the Spaniards on December 30, 1896. At first, there was strong opposition to the passage of the bill from misinformed members of the House, some of whom referred to the Filipinos as "barbarians" incapable of self government. Thereupon, Congressman Henry A. Cooper of Wisconsin took the floor and recited Rizal's last farewell before a skeptical House. Silence soon pervaded the floor as Cooper, eyes moist with tears and voice deep with emotion, recited the poem stanza by stanza. Soon after his recitation, Cooper thunderously asked his colleagues might there be a future for such a barbaric, uncivilized people who had given the world a noble man . Vote was taken and the bill passed.
phix7@yahoo.com Nestor Palugod Enriquez


Average Income in New York City by Ethnic group


Nestor Palugod Enriquez, an ancient mariner himself