In general, the early Filipino family had these common traits:
(a) Female offspring marry other Filipinos. They often marry
men who are as old as their father and informally arranged by the parents.
It was not uncommon when young girls were married barely out of school.
This arranged marriage was practiced till the end of the world war. We
are also liberated as the Burtanog sisters claimed.
(b) Males marry outside the Filipino group probably because of necessity since the early newcomers were all male from the seagoing ships.
(c) They retain the Catholic faith molded in the less conservative Gaellic tradition however the people they marry were asked to convert.
Over time, however, their descendents intermarried with different groups and as a result they have few Filipino traces of blood. This is in contrast to the Filipinos in St Malo who were isolated and therefor unable to produce second generation. They fared better than the early Manongs of the 19th century who remained mostly single bachelors. The pride always remains . The climate and culture in the bayous of Louisiana were kinder and more tolerant to them since it was the original Filipino melting pot of the United States. In this respect, Louisiana was indeed way ahead of the rest of the south when it came to ethnic diversity. United States purchased Louisiana from France but did not know that the bargain included the early generation of Filipinos in a barangay known as the Manila Village and the surrounding parishes. I just visited New Orleans and these episodes were told to me by Marina Espina as written in her book "Filipinos in Louisiana." I was looking for the villages but due to the ever changing effect of the Mississippi River on the coastal shape of the land these villages are not always visible on the Map. Historic markers will be placed soon. There are river and swamp tours but the last trace of the Manila Village was wiped out by Hurricane "Betsy" few years ago.Martinez Boys
It would be nice if one of the "bahay kubo" of St Malo or shrimp drying factory of the Manila Village can be reconstructed on stilt in the bayous. I would like to hear a tour guide announce, "ladies and gentlemen, couple of hundred years ago from halfway around the world the people from the Philippines amazingly settled in this part of the United States.."
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Last updated on 95/10/02 13:23:51 EDT.