A bit over one percent of Americans are of Filipino ancestry, making them one of the largest Asian American subgroups. Unlike Chinese, Mexicans or Europeans, Filipino immigrants are unique in that their homeland, the Philippines, was actually an American colony for five decades, between 1898 and 1946. This is one reason that the level of English fluency in the Phillippines is very high, a factor in very strong economic integration with the US through outsourcing. And yet despite the historically close ties between the US and the Philippines, most Americans are unaware that as many as one million Filipinos died in a rebellion against the US army 120 years ago. From the perspective of many Americans, the Philippines is just another Pacific nation with more American entanglements than most.
Today on the Unsupervised Learning podcast, Razib talks to Manuel L. Quezon III, columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and grandson of Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon. Razib tells Quezon that his first awareness of the Philippines came with the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, and they discuss the fact that the late dictator’s son is now President-Elect and what means for politics in the island nation. Quezon addresses how Filipinos view themselves, whether as Southeast Asian, Pacific or Latin? He also notes that the global rise of populism has arrived in the Philippines, and predicts that Americans may not recognize much of its politics in the near future.