Allyson Umali

October 17, 2014

Uncovering an Unspoken History

If you were to write a history textbook, what kind of story would you tell? The dominant narrative told about U.S. relations with other countries is giving a “helping hand” to less fortunate nations until their citizens are strong enough to govern themselves. Sounds like a story with a fair ending. However, what is unspoken of is the way the United States has colonized “less developed” countries such as the Philippines, draining them of natural resources and potential laborers. This is the version of U.S. history that I uncovered this summer. I examined how U.S.- Philippine relations perpetuate the past and present migration of Filipina/o farm workers, domestic workers, nurses, and professionals. Throughout my research, I found my own place in Filipino American history and realized my family’s migratory experience was shaped by U.S.-Philippine geopolitics that promote the United States as a “land of opportunity.”