Myk Miranda, Mithi Esguerra, and I were invited to speak on Radio Migrante (105.5FM) yesterday afternoon on the theme of migration and identity. For one hour every Tuesday from 4-5pm, York University Radio with host Marco Luciano of Migrante-Ontario runs this program about the Filipino migrant experience.
See my previous post, Filipinos in Canada, for an overview of the Fil migrant experience to Toronto.
Mithi, who came to Canada as a teenager because of political repression in the Phils (her father was a political prisoner and is still a prominent activist today), was there representing Migrante-Youth. Myk, who was born in Canada and whose families is one of the original migrants to Toronto, represented the KPC. I was born in the Phils and came to Canada with my family when I was two. I was there to represent both for KPC and for another group I work with, PATAC.
We were asked about racism* and our community, with the Jeffrey Reodica shooting as one dramatic example. What do you readers think? How does racism affect our community? This is a question I've dealt with and answered in different ways at different points in my life.
[*as a sidenote, there's a new book about Asian racism called "The Myth of the Model Minority" that seems interesting. I haven't read it yet though.]
Identity was also a prominent topic. How you you identify? As a Filipino or a Canadian? And what do those terms mean anyway? What part does language and knowledge of cultural history play in this identity? Myk led a youth discussion on this topic last week and I'm sure thoughts around this issue were still fresh in his mind.
These are the types of questions that I'm sure we all have to go through in our youth to mature in our concept of self. We are immigrants or the children of immigrants. That migration plays a BIG part in who we are as individuals and a people--whether we admit it to ourselves or not.
The show airs Tuesday 4pm. If you live outside of Toronto you can listen to 105.5fm online by clicking HERE.
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Migrante-Ontario is a local branch of Migrante-International based out of the Philippines. Migrante fights for filipino migrant rights around the world.
As you may know, over 4000 Fiipinos leave the Philippines everyday to work abroad. Many suffer. In Canada most of our migrants are currently women coming to work as live-in caregivers. Just locally in Toronto in the last year two have made headlines:
Jocelyn Dulnuan was murdered in the home of her employer. And Juana Tejada, who completed the difficult requirements of the live-in caregiver program, was threatened with deportation when she was discovered to have terminal cancer.
Migrante-Ontario was closely involved in both cases. For more information on Migrante-ON: firstname.lastname@example.org