Filipino Amerasians – America’s Forgotten Children

The Many (Forgotten) Faces of America

ameriasian9When the US naval bases in the Philippines closed in 1992, the military left behind thousands of Amerasian children. Since the closings, American presence still exists and -contrary to initial estimate of 52,000 – it is now estimated that there are 250,000 Amerasian children, ranging from newborn to geriatric, abandoned in the Philippines. These Amerasians are acutely vulnerable, particularly to human trafficking, and painfully stigmatized. They live in abject poverty, forcing them to continue the cycle of marginalized sub-existence and prostitution.

How can one be half-American and still not a citizen? The US Senate Judiciary Committee ameriasian2rejected attempts to include the Philippines in the Naturalization Act, “claiming that Filipino Amerasians were not victims of discrimination, that they were conceived from illegal prostitution, and that, unlike Amerasians in South Korea and Vietnam, they were born during peacetime. But none of these are unconscionable grounds for selectively preventing Filipino Amerasians from coming to this country.

Amerasian Girl with Filipino MotherAt a time when the issue of immigration reform is before the nation, Amerasians need new leaders in Congress to speak on their behalf. What’s more, the military has recently announced that it will restore a significant presence in the Philippines; last year, over 70 ships stopped at Subic Bay, and over 100 planes stop at Clark Air Base each month. The United States, then, has an opportunity for redemption — to make sure Filipino Amerasians are not left behind by the ship again.” (1)

ameriasian1

sources:

(1) “The Forgotten Amerasians,” by Christopher M. Lapinig, Op-Ed page, The New York Times, May 27, 2013 (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/opinion/the-forgotten-amerasians.html?_r=0)

(2) “Five times more ‘G.I. babies’than previously thought,” by Jarius Bondoc, The Philippine Star, December 17, 2012 (http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2012-12-17/886826/five-times-more-g.i.-babiesthan-previously-thought)

(3) “America’s forgotten children,” The Stream, Aljazeera, September 13, 2013 (http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/americas-forgotten-children)

_______________________________________________________________

Notes on Bayanihan Foundation’s work on the Filipino Amerasian issue by Dale Asis (written July 2011):

On July 2-3, 2011, the Bayanihan Foundation partners with WeDpro and Buklod, nongovernmental organizations (NGO)s in the Philippines to support the Filipino Amerasian community leaders in an important two-day conference celebrating their heritage and contribution to local Filipino society.

The conference goals included:

1) Setting up an organization of Amerasians in the Philippines that shall serve as a strategic venue for the promotion of their rights and welfare;

2) Formulating and executing strategic plan of programs and activities for the welfare of the Filipino Amerasian community; and

3) Securing support for the foundation’s public education and outreach in the United States, through a partnerships that will build awareness of and advocacy for the abandoned Amerasian  children.

Who are the Filipino Amerasians?

In 1992, the United States military left the Philippines. I thought they took everything with them. But they left behind 50,000 Amerasian children whose fathers were American sailors and their mothers were assumed to be prostitutes. These Amerasians are America’s forgotten children.

In 1982, the United States Congress voted to grant U.S. citizenship to Amerasians from Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries, in what was known as the Amerasian Homecoming Act. Although the Philippines has been a United States ally for more than a century, Filipino (and Japanese) offspring of soldiers were not included: they must be claimed by their former American G.I. fathers if they wish to claim their U.S. citizenship.

Why is the Bayanihan Foundation making this one of its partnership priorities?

Many Amerasian children are labeled Iniwan ng Barko (left by the ship). I met some of them during my first visit to Angeles in January 2011. I heard many of their tragic stories of discrimination and prejudice.

Many are unaware of this important issue yet it involves  many complex issues and moral issues.  What does the future hold for these forgotten children of the post-war world? What moral obligation does the US have to America’s forgotten children?  Do they have to find their fathers in the US to find peace? Will their fathers and their families accept their Amerasian offspring? Will these Amerasians even adjust to life in the US after living in the Philippines all their lives? Or does the local Filipino society have to accept these forgotten children and not discriminate against them?

It is critical for the foundation to bring this issue to the forefront.

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45 Responses to Filipino Amerasians – America’s Forgotten Children

  1. Hi,
    I have started an online petition that I think you may be interested in. It concerns Amerasians from Japan and The Philippines. I hope you will consider reading it and spreading the word about it, Thanks.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/usa4us/petition.html

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Jimmy,
      Your efforts for an online petition is commendable. However, the Filipino Amerasian community leaders that attended the July 2-3, 2011 workshop are more focused on the daily survival needs of their fellow Filipino Amerasians. They also expressed concern on deep discrimination that they face everyday. Thank you for commenting and reading my blog entry.

      Sincerely,
      Dale

  2. Thomas Hernaez says:

    Please pursue this advocacy for the benefit and welfare of Filipino-Amerasian who left by their fathers or wasn’t able to give a chance to claim their birthrights! Or at least given a chance to have a priority job or to be able to continue their study’s to be prepared in the near coming future.!!

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Thomas,

      Thank you for your positive comments and for reading my blog entry. Please keep reading and keeping in touch. Your continued support is important.

      Sincerely,
      Dale

  3. lorna santos frelles says:

    i am a mother of an amerasian…he is on his 25th year already…his birth certificate was signed by his father…as of now we have a communication already…but he doesn’t have any work in u.s….so by this kind of organization…what possibilities do we expect in regards to others who the same situation?

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Lorna,

      Kumusta na? The Bayanihan Foundation does not provide direct support services to Amerasians and the processing of their paperwork. The foundation’s role is to promote public education and outreach to the general public, especially to other Filipinos in the US regarding this issue. The Bayanihan Foundation is partnering with its nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) WeDpro and Buklod to help Filipino Amerasians and their immediate needs. Please contact them directly for more information.

      Please also join the Facebook page of United Philippine Amerasians for more info about the public education and outreach we are conducting. Thank you for your interest and for reading my blog entry!

      Sincerely,
      Dale

  4. Ray Benavente says:

    Dale
    More work should be done by both US and Philippine govt to address these issues.
    Like you stated that the US military is seeking more Philippine govt assistance in relocating some of it forces back to Philippines. Some kind of aid should be given to these kids by US Congress similar for the renovations of the US cemetery. Since the Hawaii senator past away you may try to seek assistance from the Guam Congresswoman to follow this up. Let me know if you need assistance in this. Ray.. Guam USA

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Ray,

      Thank you for reading my blog and for offering assistance in helping the thousands of Amerasians left behind in Clark and Subic, Philippines. I will certainly reach out to you and request for your help in reaching out to your Guam Congresswoman.

      Sincerely,
      Dale

  5. Eilleen says:

    hi … i am eilleen clark.amerasian,52,from manila..interested to be volunteer…my email eilleenclark@yahoo.com. thanks

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Eilleen,

      Maraming salamat! Thank you for volunteering with the Bayanihan Foundation. We’ll be contacting you shortly.

      Dale Asis

  6. cindy delena says:

    paano po ako makakakuha ng right sa dad ko na inabandon po ako pls let me know.thanks

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Cindy,

      I’m so sorry but the Bayanihan Foundation does not provide legal advice. Please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. Maraming salamat. Thank you.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  7. Rodney Strong says:

    Who can I get in touch with in finding my possible baby mother. We got involved in 5/20/82. When I met her again on 09/09/02 she was pregnant. She told me that I wasn’t the father but at the same time she wanted me to marry her. I was at the point of I wasn’t sure what I was to do. In my heart, I felt that it was minds and I really wanted it to be minds. But, “I was not the father. Thirty-two years later I still wondering if that now grown child was minds. I need to get in touch with Sue Yso. She work out of lirous #2. After all theses years, I still worry about her and the child.

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Rodney,
      I’m so sorry but the Bayanihan Foundation does not provide legal advice nor connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. Thank you again for reading this blog.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

      • presnel says:

        hi sir im just taking i chance if i still can find or know my father i just got a photo of him from 1982 i was born in subic bay dec. 26 1983

  8. miggy says:

    Hi I just read this article, my Dad is a GI baby born in olongapo at 1956. he does not know who his father is but is there any chance that my dad could claim his birth rights as an american?

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Miggy,
      I’m so sorry but the Bayanihan Foundation does not provide legal advice nor connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. Thank you again for reading this blog.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  9. patrick says:

    hello my name is val patrick born in olongapo at 1987.. i was supported by this ammerasian , i dont know for how long but what i remember is until my grade school days and then it stop.. my mother support me on her own until high school force her self on her limit physically and mentally and got sick.. mental problem and we where force to go on my mother birth place (biliran layte) . i was on forth grade high school at that time..she recover little by little but her sickness still come back time to time.. and now she came to olongapo for only reason to continue my Amerasians thing, and she geting worse day by day . my still tinking that my father the one supporting me on that time.. and now shes looking a way to contact him or for me to have a better job..are there still benefit on the age of 27 on this Bayanihan Foundation. i want info pls help me, i just want to stop my mother on her delusion …

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Val Patrick,

      I’m so sorry but the Bayanihan Foundation does not provide connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. Thank you again for reading this blog.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

      • patrick says:

        i all ready tried that site. its all most nothing in there except a way to find my father i all ready tried that before and until now no follow up..

      • daleasis says:

        Hello Val Patrick,

        I share with your frustration but I believe there are no quick answers to your search. Unfortunately, the Bayanihan Foundation does not have the resources and capacity to provide connections in finding long lost potential family members. I wish you the best in your search.

        Sincerely,
        Dale Asis

  10. michelle creighton says:

    HI ako po si michelle creighton 26 years old.gusto ko pung hanapin ang tatay kung American.iniwan po nia kasi ako nung baby palang ako at hangang ngayun ay wala ako alam tungkol sa kanya.gustk ko po sang humingi ng tulong.salamat po.

  11. michelle creighton says:

    HI im michelle creighton 26 years old..tatay ko ay isang u.s air force sa clark nung year 1988.gusto ko po sang humingi ng tulong para po mahanap ang tatay ko.iniwan po nia kasi ako nung baby pa lang ako.ang name niya ay donald matthew Creighton.sana po matulongan po ninyo ako na makita siya.salamat po.

  12. IM AN AMERESIAN, I LOCATED MY AMERICAN FATHER IN 12918 poway rd. CA .HOPING HE WILL SIGN A PATERNETY FORM ISSUED BY MANILA U.S EMBASSY FOR MY IMMIGRATION.BUT MY FATHER JUST DONT CARE WOULD NOT HELP AND WOULD NOT COOPERATE.

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Bert,
      I’m sorry that your father is not wiling to help or cooperate at this time. In 1982 after the Vietnam War, the US Congress
      passed the Amerasian Act of 1982, which allowed Amerasian children in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and South Korea to immigrate without the consent of their American GI fathers. However, the law excluded Filipino Amerasians. It’s a tragic omission of justice. You probably need to see a pro bono lawyer for any other legal recourse. Thank you for reading my blog. Maraming salamat.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

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  14. Stephen Stoddard says:

    I like this article. I was stationed at subic for three years. I have often wondered, and been deeply troubled by the fact that I could have left behind a child. And I have never had any idea of how to go about finding out.

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Stephen,

      Thank you for reading this blog. However, the Bayanihan Foundation does not provide connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. Thank you again for reading this blog!

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  15. Presnel Evalobo says:

    hi i want to know how can i find my father i was born in subic on dec 1983 i just got a old pic of him i dnt know how to start thanks.

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Presnel,

      The Bayanihan Foundation does not provide connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. Thank you again for reading this blog!

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  16. Magnus W. T.Scott Sr. says:

    My name is Magnus W T Scott Sr I read your article about The Forgotten AMERICAN in the Philippines.I have grand daughter I have tried to locate her and her mother but unsuccessful.Please let me know how to contact you for help in finding my daughter. My email address is, pastor_scott33@yahoo.com Thanks.

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Magnus,

      I’m sorry but The Bayanihan Foundation does not provide connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. I hope this is helpful. Thank you again for reading this blog!

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  17. Iya reyes says:

    Hi! Good day!
    I just wanted to ask on how and what are the possible ways to find the father of my friend who is in US because she can’t remember anything about her parents.Her father was an American whom she was looking for.
    The same with her father, she also doesn’t know where her mother is. No one can tell where her parents are.Someone told her that she was adopted by someone in olongapo.When she was 1yr old, my friend and her mother was left by the ship in Olongapo 43 yrs ago.
    Hoping for responds thank you and Godbless
    Iya

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Iya,

      I’m sorry but The Bayanihan Foundation does not provide connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. I hope this is helpful. Thank you again for reading this blog!

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  18. Gerald crisostomo molina says:

    Im gerald crisostomo molina
    June 2 1985
    Add .San joaquin balungao pangasinan
    Tulongan nio po ako para mahanap father ko william bill hahn US AIRFORCE WW2
    Addres . port richey florida USA my mother florentina bautista crisostomo

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Gerald,

      I’m sorry but The Bayanihan Foundation does not provide connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. I hope this is helpful. Thank you again for reading this blog. Maraming salamat.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  19. rociel of Angeles pampanga says:

    Hello good evening,Im rociel 41 yrs old from angeles pampanga and I have child from Canadian father, hes name is gaetan bazenit and I know before he live in Thailand,I’m not sure if he still in Thailand now.I don’t have address to hem.but i got email address gabaz44 Gmail .com my son he’s 10 yrs old this coming may 9,since I’m pregnant he never give me support know I hered that they have group like this so I trying to reach many times how can I fined this bayanihan foundation.thank you and I hope you understand my English and my spilling coz I’m not good for English hope you reply me thank you so much…..rocielrr

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Rociel,

      I’m sorry but The Bayanihan Foundation does not provide connections to find long lost potential family members; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to help. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. I hope this is helpful. Thank you again for reading this blog. Maraming salamat.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  20. Regie says:

    My wife is amerisian her american father married her mother legally here in the Philippines her birth certificate is her father last name but the embassy not recognized her as a u.s citizen daughter. I hope you can help my wife to get her rights to be a u.s citizen. Thank you and Gidbless

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Regie,

      I’m sorry but the Bayanihan Foundation does not provide legal advice; it does not have the capacity to do so. However, please refer to the foundation’s partners Wedpro http://wedprophils.org/ for further information. You can also contact the following website for additional information or assistance: http://www.amerasianregistry.yolasite.com/ They might be able to provide affordable and reliable legal assistance. Please note that is for referral purposes only; this website is not officially affiliated with the Bayanihan Foundation. I hope this is helpful. Thank you again for reading this blog. Maraming salamat.

      Sincerely,
      Dale Asis

  21. Joseph Anderson says:

    I’m American with filam babies. Let me tell you a side of story you may not know. The Philippines government makes it very hard for Father’s to claim their children. My gf/mother of my babies had a birth certificate with many mispelleings it took her a year to get corrected. Also it takes a long time just to get to babies nso birth certificate and your lucky if no mistakes which are costly and time consuming.. Then you have to apply in manila and fly whole family there. And they want multiple id’s of mother which is very hard to get especially in areas visited by military. If Philippine government would give proper birth certificates and id’s then American could claim their children. it takes years to do tho
    Many can’t wait around and do that. Their hands are tied. And it’s not because they don’t want to its because Philippines government makes it impossible to get requirements.

    • daleasis says:

      Hello Joseph,

      You’re right about the difficulty manuevering around Philippine bureaucracy. However, the real challenge lies on how the US government discrminated against Filipino Amerasians. In 1982, the US Congress passed the Amerasian Act that allowed Amerasian children in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and South Korea to immigrate – but not children from the Philippines. Some members of Congress have tried to rectify the omission of the Philippines but to no avail. The US is currently in the middle of debate about immigration. I think it has an opportunity to reevaluate its policies towards Filipino Amerasians and make sure they are not left behind by the ship again. I have been trying to advocate for US citizens to talk about this grave omission and finally acknowledge America’s forgotten children, the Filipino Amerasians. Will you join me in speaking to your US Representative or Senator about this? Thank you so much for reading this blog. Sincerely, Dale

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