In today’s day and age, information can be distributed and accessed like wildfire through social media sites. With just one click of a button, a chismis can become an instant reality despite the lack of factual evidence.

Since most people today spend the majority of their time scrolling on their phones while browsing their favorite social media sites, it comes to no surprise that some people today rely more on social media sites for important information about current events and even history. Heck, some even argue that videos in Tiktok are more reliable than history books! Yes, people actually argue that.

People need to understand that the amount of research, proofreading, fact-checking and other more rigorous processes are involved in writing books. A lot more complicated than sharing the first post you see on Facebook without conducting any fact-checking at all.

Due to this scenario, history is being easily twisted, and even forgotten. Fortunately, for those interested in learning more about Filipino-American history, they pretty much have an endless amount of books they can read to have an extensive knowledge about Filipino-American history.

With all that being said, it will be difficult to feature every single book. For this article, let us tackle five books that can give you a different perspective on Filipino-American history.

The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, & the Philippines
Paul Kramer, 2006

If you are expecting to only find books that tackle the cute aesthetic uWu side of Filipino-American history in this article, then tough luck. History is not meant to be discussed by only looking through one lens. In order to fully understand the history of something, one must learn to look through all perspectives.

(Available on Amazon)

For this book written by Paul Kramer, it tackles everything one must know about the American colonization of the Philippine Archipelago. Some may argue at present time that the said colonization made the Philippines what it is today, they are remotely true. Some positive aspects that the Philippines have today can be attributed to the policies and politics that the United States of America (USA) bestowed upon the country when they colonized it. However, in addition to that, issues such as racism, neo-liberal policies, poverty, class struggle, and racism in the Philippines can also be attributed the same way.

For a Filipino-American, or a Filipino in general, it may be harrowing to read at first. But it is one must do if they are legitimately eager to learn more about Filipino-American history. Ano ba ang kaunting pagbabasa ng kasaysayan kompara sa hirap na dinanas ng mga mismong taong sinisimbolo ng mga salitang binabasa natin?

America is Not the Heart
Ellaine Castillio, 2018

When you were told to not expect to see books about uWu moments, it means do not expect it. America is Not the Heart is a novel that tackles the life of Hero de Verra, a Filipina trying to reach the stars by following her American Dream despite numerous attempts of her past to bring her down.

(Available on Amazon)

Generally, the book revolves around not just politics in the Philippines, but also in the USA. Issues regarding the daily struggles of immigrants searching for a better life in the USA is one of the main talking points of the book. The better life that not all those who dare search for it, are able to find it.

If one is to try and jump above the abyss of uncertainty to search for their own dream, reading this novel may be the first step. As the novel was able to talk about issues surrounding family, politics, opportunities, hardships and many more through an interesting manner, it is not surprising that it was named as one of the Best Books in 2018 by reputable websites and reviewers.

Patron Saints of Nothing
Randi Ribay

This book tackling the coming-of-age story of its main character, Jay Reguero, revolves around uncovering the truth behind the death of his cousin, Jun, under the hands of operatives through the Philippine government’s war on drugs. Despite Reguero studying in the University of Michigan at the time, he did not waste any time to go back to the Philippines to find out what really happened to his cousin.

(Available on Amazon)

The book mainly focuses on injustice, ignorance, identity, privilege, hardships with family, and other social issues that affect all Filipinos not just in the Philippines, but also those who are now currently living in other countries.

The book perfectly captures how issues in the Philippines, despite the distance, are still extremely relevant to those inside the USA. It also managed to further explore the ignorance of some privileged people as they look down on those struggling in the Philippines inside the comfort of their comfy homes.

Lawrenze Empleo

Christian Lawrenze Empleo is currently a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise, and a 4th year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of Colegio de San Juan de Letran Calamba.

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