Today, there is a broad political representation among Hawaiians with Filipino ancestry. Belinda Aquino's work in establishing the Center for Filipino Studies at UH Manoa has been instrumental in this regard, as it has enabled students to take Filipino studies courses and gain a greater appreciation for their heritage. In Filipino circles in Hawaii, it is often said that when the luna (foreman) of one of the sugar plantations asks a new worker if he is a Filipino, the latter replies: “No, I am Ilokano”. This speaks to the quest for Filipino empowerment that people talk about, which is often related to shortages in some way or form. In their work about the United States as a permanently unfinished society that has once again become a new nation of immigrants since the 1980s, Portes and Rumbaut discuss first-generation politics, which focused on concern for the old country among the first immigrants to the United States.
This is reflected in early immigration policy in the United States, which was largely determined by the conditions and events of the sending countries. When one moves out of Hawaii (and not California), they realize how Hawaiian Filipinos take for granted their incredible strength, according to Quinabo. About 85% of Filipinos in Hawaii are Ilocanos, meaning that their roots go back to the Ilocos region in the north of the Philippines, mainly to the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Aquino stated that “many political candidates of Filipino descent have already been elected in various areas of the political system, such as the legislature, cities and counties of neighboring islands”. This could apply to Okinawans versus Japanese and to Ilokanos among Filipinos, in early periods of Asian immigration to Hawaii. The ICHS has received awards for its high quality of care and Batayola has been recognized in the Puget Sound Business Journal for the outstanding philanthropic contributions of 26 percent of companies, to Woman of Courage Undaunted from the University of Washington Women's Center and to the most influential Filipino woman in the world by the Philippine Women's Network.
The debate about Marcos calmed down somewhat during his funeral in September 1989, mainly because of Filipino respect for the dead. Community leaders believe that Filipino heritage is being reborn in Hawaii, as young people gain an appreciation for the language and traditions of their ancestors. Caroline Julian-Freitas, from Alewa Heights, mentions another pioneering educator who has played a role in empowering Filipinos in Hawaii: the late Domingo Los Banos. He was the first superintendent of Filipino descent in the state of Hawaii, director and educator of the Hawaii State Department of Education. This article examines how political representation among Hawaiians with Filipino ancestry has evolved over time. We will look at how it has changed from 1986-1989 when Ferdinand Marcos -the Ilokano Philippine president turned dictator- lived in exile in Honolulu up until today.
It is clear that there are initiatives to promote political representation among Hawaiians with Filipino ancestry today. In terms of early immigration policy in America, it was largely determined by conditions and events from sending countries. This could be seen with Okinawans versus Japanese and Ilokanos among Filipinos during early periods of Asian immigration to Hawaii. Belinda Aquino's work at UH Manoa was instrumental in providing students with an opportunity to take Filipino studies courses and gain a greater appreciation for their heritage. The ICHS has received awards for its high quality care while Batayola was recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal for its philanthropic contributions. Caroline Julian-Freitas mentions Domingo Los Banos who was a pioneering educator who played a role in empowering Filipinos in Hawaii.
He was also the first superintendent of Filipino descent in Hawaii. It is clear that there are initiatives to promote political representation among Hawaiians with Filipino ancestry today. Through education and recognition from various organizations, Filipinos are able to gain an appreciation for their heritage and be empowered politically.