Definition and Description/Historical Information.
Without knowing any information about the history of the Philippines and its people, many times Filipinos are labeled as "Orientals". To this day, it is not uncommon to hear someone refer to Filipinos as "Orientals". Filipinos are not "Orientals". The Philippines is one of nine independent States in the Southeast Asia region. So the correct description of Filipinos would be Southeast Asian. The nature of the land surface of the Philippines is mostly agricultural; therefore the Filipinos are practically farmers. A great majority of the Filipinos are peasants and are mostly subsistence-level peasants. They are hard working people with the bare necessities of life.
The first migration of Filipinos were Sacadas. They were convinced by propaganda materials distributed to them by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association in 1906. The term sacada should be constructed from the original Spanish word sacar, which means to take. The following year, fifteen Sacadas started their adventure in the plantations of Hawaii. By the year 1946, there were 125,917 Filipinos in Hawaii alone. According the 1970 Census, Hawaii stood number one in Filipino population followed by California. Officially there were 336,731 Filipinos in the U.S. in 1970. The main center of Filipino Culture in the U.S. mainland was the San Joaquin Valley in California. This is where all the farmlands of California were located (Bonpua, 1979).
Treatment By American Society.
A major problem for Filipinos in the U.S. was the issue of citizenship. Since their arrival in the U.S. and up until 1946, Filipinos were classified as American nationals. West Coast exclusions during the depression years used a campaign of hate to oppose Filipino immigrations and citizenship. Without citizenship, Filipinos were closed out of certain profession and had a difficult time obtaining marriage licenses.