Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Raph Velacruz Interview by Denise Lara Mangalino


Juan Raphael Velacruz, commonly known as Raph,  immigrated to the United States form the Philippines when he was 17 years old, along with his two parents and four siblings. I chose him, not only because he is a friend of mine, he had recently adapted to the American culture as a new fellow young adult. He is a dancer and majors in philosophy. Raph talks about his new beginning, family, and life experiences as a result of moving to America. 

Perspective On Education

Due to financial issues, Raph took a year off in school when he first arrived in America and so he went back to the Philippines for school and went back to the U.S. once more. Raph believes that the education in the U.S. is better in comparison to the Philippines since its more thorough as the public education system have more hand-me-downs in resources. Philippines' public education system, not inclusive of the universities, did not require much work load.
"California's booming economy, increasingly centered on high technology, demanded a more educated, specialized work force." (Competing Visions: A History of California, p 316)


As commonly experienced, it was not easy for Raph to make friends in the beginning, felt like an outcast and awkward, not knowing who to associate with. From his short period of time living in the Bay Area, he was lucky enough to not face a direct form discrimination that specifically targeted him and his nationality, to only have had witnessed an outburst of racist remarks made by a lady on BART.
"While blatant legal discrimination against Filipino Americans is largely a matter of the past, Filipinos continue to encounter many barriers that prevent full participation in the economic, social, and political institutions of the United States." (We Don't Sleep around like White Girls Do": Family, Culture, and Gender in Filipina American Lives, 416)


From foods that he eats, learning different forms of dances, and his multicultural group of friends, Raph is exposes himself to a diverse community. He discusses his perspective and knowledge on California's diverse population and why a certain race immigrated California's cities, such as the Chinese migrating to San Francisco. 
 "... demographic changes have created challenges for communities of diverse people to find ways to coexist in peace in the new multicultural settings in which they live." (Cities of Color: The New Racial Frontier in California's Minority-Majority Cities, p. 27)


Raph reflects back on his experiences of living in California in a span of a short few years. He is further learning for to pursue his new found dreams and way he could pursue them. He believes that living in the Unites States will give him a better chance of chasing down his wishes and how his plans will lead up to his own form of an "American Dream". 

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