Oral History Interview with "Jane"


Oral History Interview with "Jane"


Oral history interview with "Jane" [pseudonym], interviewed by Shawn Lupo




The Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies and the UC Davis Asian American Studies department holds intellectual control of these recordings. Usage is restricted for educational, non-commercial purposes only. For other uses, please contact archivist Jason Sarmiento at ajsarmiento@ucdavis.edu


Audio Recording and Transcript




Shawn Lupo




[Session 1, June 2, 2019]
[Being Audio File]
SHAWN: It is June 2nd, 2019, 7:08pm, I shall be doing an interview with a Filipino immigrant,
this immigrant did not want her real name to be used in the interview , so throughout the
interview I shall be referring to her a Jane. So hello Jane , and thank you for giving me your time
JANE: Hello and go ahead with your questions
SHAWN: Okay, so to start off where and when were you born?
JANE: I was born July 7th, 1968, in Dingras, Illocos Norte, Philippines
SHAWN: Where were your parents born?
JANE: It is the same thing, Dingras, Illocos Norte, Philippines
SHAWN: Oh okay, so it looks like your family is generations into that city, how many
generations is your family in that city?
JANE: We have three generations.
SHAWN: Oh okay, what did your parents do in terms of work?
JANE: My father is a businessman and my mother is a housewife
SHAWN: So for your father’s business is it like a family business or was just working under
JANE: It’s a family business
SHAWN: Oh okay, what did your grandparents do?
JANE: My grandfather on the mother's side is in military and my grandmother is a farmer and a
housewife and my grandmother on the father’s side is a businessman, the same thing with my
SHAWN: On your grandfather that was in the military was the military in the family?
SHAWN: And on the business side, for your grandparents that were in the business is that also in
the family?
SHAWN: Okay, and so growing up how many siblings did you have? And like was your family
JANE: No, we have a small family, and I have two siblings
SHAWN: Two siblings, okay, did you or did any of your family members move to American
before you?
JANE: No, it’s just by myself
SHAWN: Just by yourself, okay, what was your academic experience in the Philippines?
JANE: When I was in college I was a library assistant, and after college I served as an assistant
at Allied Bank
SHAWN: What did you major in at college?
JANE: Business and Management, Business Management, bachelor of science in business
SHAWN: Okay, so do you have any professional experience working in that field?
JANE: Yes I do
SHAWN: Okay so, what made you devide to move out of the Philippines?
JANE: Coming here to the US, its financial staiblity and a better life
SHAWN: What made you think that you would have better finacial stability in the US?
JANE: First of all is they said that there’s more job here compared to the Philippines and the pay
rate is better than the Philippines
SHAWN: And who did you hear this from?
JANE: A lot of people, a lot of Filipinos coming here and I heard it from them.
SHAWN: Okay, so when did you finally move to the US?
JANE: That was 1996
SHAWN: 1996, was there any huge struggles you had in moving to the US?
JANE: Yes, because it is hard to get a visa and when I came here again I had to find a job, thats
the struggle I do, and then competing with Americans is not that easy to find a job
SHAWN: When you first moved to the US how were your English skills?
Jane: So-so
SHAWN: So-so, did you move anywhere before you came to the US?
JANE: Yes, I work in Taiwan and Hong Kong, Indonesia, and China
SHAWN: Was this apart of the export economy of the Philippines? Where they send out many
workers to different countries, was it apart of that?
SHAWN: This was on your own accord?
JANE: This one I applied in the Philippines, its an import-export business from a US company,
they hired me after graduation, like 6 months before my graduation they hired me, and they send
me to every countries, like every like Hong Kong 6 months, I go to Taiwan, 6 months,
something like that. It’s like quality control.
SHAWN: Okay so with your thoughts that you had about America before you immigrated did
they change after you came to America? Before you came to America you believed there was
more financial stability, do you agree with that now that you arrived here?
JANE:Not exactly
JANE: Because if you don't have a good job money is not good , yes, and if you don't have an
education job is not good either, so it’s not a paradise
SHAWN: Okay so, what was different about living in America compared to the Philippines?
JANE: Living in America is easy if you have a good job, living in the Philippines is not that easy
because there's no job in the Philippines, there is a job again they’re hard to find , you have to
have a connection to get a job in the Philippines. Down here it is fair, you apply, you have the
skills they hire you, so that’s the difference in it
SHAWN: With your belief that with skills you can get hired in America, do you think as an
immigrant your discriminated against a lot more than Americans? In the American job market
JANE: Yes-yes , and no. Yes if it depends on the company and no because some companies
don’t discriminate. But on my experience they do discriminate, the first time I worked, but the
second time I worked for a company, no.
SHAWN: And so with your English abilities being so-so, do you think it gave you an advantage
or disadvantage compared to other immigrants from other countries?
JANE: Disadvantage
SHAWN: Why do you believe that?
JANE: Because sometimes they don’t understand you, the way you speak in English is different,
they can hardly understand you sometimes with the Americans. But with the migrants just like
us, they do understand, so that’s the disadvantage of it
SHAWN: Okay and so when you came to the US where do you live?
JANE: I live in San Diego
SHAWN: Did you stay with family or were you alone by yourself?
JANE: Alone by myself
SHAWN: How did you provide for yourself
JANE: I had to work
SHAWN: So what was your first job when you came here?
JANE: When I first came here, my visa was just a tourist visa, so I did so-so job, like a
housekeeper, babysitting, something like that. And then when I get my card, or greencard
something like that, I get married, so I helped my husband, my ex-husband by the way, to run his
business, and then after that when we get divorced i find my own job by myself, which is in the
hotel being a manager.
SHAWN: Did your professional and academic experiences help you get this job as a manager?
SHAWN: Was the job related to what you did in the Philippines in terms of profession wise?
JANE: Yes, because its management
SHAWN: Was managing in America very different from managing in the Philippines?
JANE: Of course
SHAWN: What were the biggest differences?
JANE: Here, it just not only management, in the Philippines if they say you're manager, you're
manager. Down here being a manager you need to do everything, like if you're short of staff you
need to step in and do their job, in the Philippines you don’t do that, you have to find somewhere
else to do the job, not you doing it, here you are forced to do it
SHAWN: When you came to America did you continue your education in America? Did you go
back to college?
SHAWN: What college did you go to?
JANE: Ashford University, online college
SHAWN: What did you do?
JANE: I did my master roll
SHAWN: In what?
JANE: Business management
SHAWN: Business management, and so has that helped you with your career in America?
SHAWN: Is it significant or just a little?
JANE: Significant
SHAWN: Like how?
JANE: Right now I’m dealing with a lot of doctors, okay, and also in hospitals it helps me do all
the job im not supposed to be doing it, meaning to say it advances, because they see that with
master roll they respect you more, and they give you more opportunity to go up
SHAWN: So when you came to America have you noticed anything different between first
generation immigrants like yourself and the Filipino-American community?
JANE: Yes, I do, the first generation, more family orientated, more respectful to their eldery
family, listens more, advices and education are the priority, while the second generation is
ego-lucky, doesn’t know struggles, disconnection from Filipino culture, and traditional culture
clash with western culture, and largely unfamiliar with their home country
SHAWN: What do you think causes these differences?
JANE: Well which one? Are you talking about the first generation or the second generation?
SHAWN: What do you think caused the difference between first generation immigrants and the
Filipino-American community, do you think it's more so how the Filipino-Americans were raised
or do you think it's more so just being in America?
JANE: Definitely the way Filipinos raise, like when the children are born here they are raised
like Americans, whereas the Filipinos born in the Philippines come here they raise us like a
Filipino, meaning to say that the respect is there, the more--go ahead
SHAWN: So you believe the first generation immigrants raise their second differently than they
would in the Philippines?
JANE: Yes, definitely
SHAWN: Why do you think that happens?
JANE: Maybe because parents down here don't have much time with their kids, while in the
Philippines we got a lot of time to mold our children. Here parents they tend to work more hours
and they tend to forget their kids, they need to mold them the way their supposed to be, but
because of their work hours or work load they don't have that time, that’s the reason why,
because the way you do it, you have to spend more time with the kids or the children while
they’re growing up, so that that’s the big impact of raising a kids, so comparing to the
Philippines y’know people down there you have your own family, you have your relatives that
they look after, so the kids saw it. Down here in America you have your family and your
relatives, it's still again the time is not there for them together or something like that. Plus you
know there a lot of people here already like a lot of, what do you call it, countries coming in here
so those things they learn things from those in the school, where in the Philippines there’s only
one country that you're dealing with, so we are just like one company or something like that, that
you don't have any kind of people there like Americans or Chinese in the school that they learn
bad things or good things from them, it's only Filipinos, down here [California] its Filipinos,
Mexicans, White, or something like that, so those are the different one, those one different
cultures. So with this one they learn things from them, that’s what I think, I might be wrong
SHAWN: So I know you’re pressed for time so I guess I’ll just ask you one more thing. So do
you have any advice for any Filipinos in the Philippines that want to come to the US?
JANE: For them it’s not bad to dream to come here, but you need to think first, because down
here if you come here without education it’s useless, okay, with education on it it's easy, better
life, because if you don’t have an education , you can have like housekeeper making $9 an hour,
$9 an hour not gonna put food on the table, not enough. So with education your making more
than that , so better before you come here to get an education first , and then when they come
here they can study more, that's all I can tell
SHAWN: Jane, thank you so much for your time
JANE: You’re welcome
SHAWN: So it is June 2nd, 2019, 7:22PM, and I shall be ending this interview
[End Audio File]