Beyond Lumpia, Pansit, and Seven Manangs Wild features many stories about our second, third, and fourth generation Filipinos, their experiences on how they identify or not as Filipinos in America. The narratives reflect the nature of living influenced by multiple cultures and some reveal the pride felt by the authors in their Filipino heritage through their stories and poetry, as in Tess Crescini’s “Birth of the Ancient in New Times.” Many Filipino Americans in the U.S. maintain strong bonds with family and friends in the Philippines. For some, their parents and grandparents serve as the sole bridge to the islands. There are also those who still cling to the Philippine culture, but have a strong allegiance to the U.S., especially the older second generation (70s to 80s) who may visit the islands but not return to live.
Food is an integral part of the culture. In “My Life as a Lumpia,” Jessica Jamero tells how the simple act of rolling lumpia awakens cultural pride. Pete Yamamoto’s poem, “Beef Stew, Maybe Tripe,” shows how the Filipino culture of food unites us. Instead of always giving in to American hamburgers and hot dogs, the act of longing and savoring adobo, lumpia, and pansit helps us resist complete assimilation and through our senses helps us retain elements of our unique identity. Through our writing, we combat amnesia and what destiny would otherwise hold for us, the casting of our personal stories and histories to oblivion.
Eastwind Books of Berkeley
2066 University Avenue; Berkeley, CA 94704
To order: www.asiabookcenter.com