Doctor today, nurse tomorrow
She kept on reiterating the Whites’ sheer snobbery and overflowing self-regard in her school; it hit me right then and there that racism is still discretely active in the United States. Racism must also be the cause of the predicament of the thousands of Filipino doctors who are rarely employed as doctors in the United States. Racism is the prejudice a certain race has toward another race. In the case of Filipino doctors, they suffer from the racist views of Americans toward Filipinos which takes ground on American views on skin color and on past events that established a derogatory notion of Filipinos in the American mindset.
There were different waves of Filipino immigration to the United States and each wave had unfortunately contributed to the aggrandizement of the racism of Americans toward Filipinos. The commencement of the influx of Filipinos to the United States dates back to the 18th century with the settlement of Filipino sailors in the land of present day Louisiana. These so-called “Manilamen” jumped off from the Spanish vessels that they were on to deliver themselves from their excessively rigid captains. A perception of Filipinos being barbaric and uncivilized stemmed because of the manner the Manilamen lived.
The Manilamen greatly incorporated hunting into their lifestyle and lived in huts similar to what is seen in rustic areas in the Philippines. They regularly feasted on crocodiles and this habit may have perhaps fueled the disdainful view of Americans toward Filipinos. With the machination of generating adept individuals only to serve under the ideals of the American Government, the second wave of Filipino immigrants step foot on American soil. The passing of the Pensionado Act in 1903 allowed scholars, who were labeled as “Pensionados”, to be sponsored and educated by the American government.
The coming of the third wave of Filipino immigrants in 1906 functioned as the greatest stimulant of oppression and belittling toward Filipinos. Collectively dubbed as “Pinoys”, these Filipinos scattered mostly on the west region of the United States. The farmers which composed this group of immigrants endured the cruelty from their Hawaiian employers and tasted stern working conditions. The stripping of virility from Filipino-American men sprung from the history of Pinoys embracing jobs which were normally befitting for women. Having no other options, Filipino men often worked as dishwashers or laundry cleaners.
Pinoys in California nicknamed as “Manongs” were blatantly discriminated by Caucasians for they engaged in backbreaking and low-paying jobs such as bed making and cooking. Ironically, during the Great Depression in 1929, Filipinos were deemed by many Americans as an economic obstruction and as an annoying competitor for jobs. Due to the American’s repugnance and contemptuous ideals, Filipinos were frequently assailed and even massacred. In 1946, the fourth wave of Filipino immigrants came and consisted of World War II veterans who fought jointly with American soldiers in opposition to the Japanese.
The fifth and final wave is made up of beneficiaries of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Present day immigrants as well as future immigrants are also contained in this fifth wave. A great fault which had been probably unknowingly displayed by all of these waves of Filipino immigrants is susceptibility to the blarney of Americans thus leading to the abuse of the natural goodness of Filipinos. This characteristic suggests to the Americans that when combated with flattery, Filipinos can be easily duped and manipulated.
The contentment most of the Pinoys in the early 20th century seemed to display toward their relatively inferior jobs absolutely did not help in altering this belief of Americans. The savageness and emasculation Americans see in Filipinos, the overmuch gratification the Filipinos showed for socially unwanted jobs, and the jealousy the Americans had for Filipinos during the Great Depression all lessen the likelihood of the success of Filipino doctors in the United States even if their abilities and abysmal knowledge already surpass job qualifications.
Apparently, a PhD degree is not always an assurance of a stable career (Banaag et al. 3). Salvation from severe poverty in the Philippines and exploration of greater possibilities are among the most common reasons to explain the exodus of Filipino doctors from their homeland. What generally explicates the concept of Filipino emigration to the United States is the Push and Pull Theory of Migration. It can be deduced from this theory that the main push factor for a Filipino doctor’s desire to emigrate is the discontent he or she has for his or her native country.
This dissatisfaction is the mediocre salary he or she receives. The major pull factor that drives the Filipino doctor to immigrate is the allurement and comfort he or she sees in the United States. This attraction is the relatively higher salary he or she will be receiving in the United States regardless of the career he or she is going to be in. One of the most destructive psychological effects occupational degeneration of doctors leads to is the intoxication of the minds of the Filipino youth.
Filipino children might presume that to aim for more is pathetically unproductive. The dream of thousands to become doctors would be enshrouded and forgotten. Potential cardiologists, dermatologists, and surgeons would alternatively become nurses and physical therapists. Thus, a generation of Filipinos who live in contentment with mediocrity would eventually evolve. Optimistically, I confidently assume that not everyone is blinded by cash. I am not completely despondent with the beating of this occupational phenomenon.
I am hopeful that not all future Filipino doctors would want to immigrate to another country and degenerate themselves occupationally. I am sanguine that there will be a positively drastic change in current trends of immigration. I am certain that Filipinos would not tire in pursuing their dream, whatever dream it may be, and choose to serve their fellow countrymen more than foreigners. I am wildly rosy that the Philippine economy would surge and be able to accommodate the monetary needs of Filipino doctors.
What I hope for the most is the total eradication of racism so that Filipino doctors could remain as doctors and have more opportunities. It is truly a pity that the high human capital attributes of Filipino doctors who become nurses are not further utilized and are prone to be deteriorated over time. The best solution to this occupational crisis is for Filipinos to become more demanding and less piteously resilient. It must not be expected that Americans would be able to erase from their subconsciousness the concept that Filipinos are minor-league.
All Filipinos, not only Filipino doctors, must show that they are worthy. Filipinos must prove their caliber and abilities without stripping off their dignity or abdicating their occupational role.
Works Cited Banaag, Eric, et al. “Halo-Halo: Mixed-Mixed Filipino-American Generations. ” 2003. 2 Oct. 2009. ; http://www. doroquez. com/arts/documents/ethn01. pdf; Geller, Adam. “Filipino MD picks life as Nurse in U. S. ” USA Today. 1 July 2007. 2 Oct. 2009. ;http://www. usatoday. com/news/health/2007-01-07-jacinto-choice_x. htm? csp=34;.