Hm. My wife is from the Philippines. She had been in America for eleven years before we married in 1992 (got her citizenship through Reagan’s amnesty), and she’s got quite a story to tell. But that’s her story to tell, and not mine. I will say that while the experience of Filipinos in America is different from those of Chinese descent (in my opinion, Filipinos adapt more easily than any other immigrant nonwhite, non-British Commonwealth group), they still face quite a bit of racism. It infuriates me no end when she is ignored or given poor service by someone who then is all smiles when I introduce myself. They take one look at her and assume that she must be less intelligent (she’s certainly more intelligent than I am), or that she’s somehow weak-willed (she’s not), or that she’s either atheist or Muslim (she and I are both Christian). On a side note, she and I share true love — and yeah, as silly as it sounds, there really is such a thing. It’s the realest thing I know. It’s very much like what I read so long ago in O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”: her happiness is more important to me than my own, and my own happiness is more important to her than her own…and even now I’ve got a tear in my eye as I write this.
But I’m getting way off track here. Go watch a fairly recent movie called “Brooklyn”. It’s about Irish immigrants in the 1950’s, but my wife identified so closely with the struggles of the main character that she almost cried.
The point is, immigrants may be from wildly different cultures, but the challenges they face are often very similar indeed.