My story, and the new story of Filipino immigration

Daishi Miguel Tanaka, Harvard Class of ’19, is DACA immigrant. HARVARD. PC

By Emil Guillermo/INQUIRER.NET U.S. Bureau – When did your dad come to America from the Philippines? 2000? 1990s? Or was he an old-timer—1970s?

My father—not my grandfather, my father–came in 1928.

That’s when Babe Ruth was in pinstripes hitting real home runs and Al Jolson wore blackface. Different times. It’s the Filipino story you rarely hear if you’re under 40.

I tell the story of my father in my “Amok Monologues: All Pucked Up.” I’m bringing the 2019 iteration to the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC. July 20-28. Just five shows, at odd times, and tickets are limited.

It’s the history they don’t teach in school, and it’s funny. Like this column on occasion. I talk about my time in the media and at NPR. And I talk about learning our history on purpose at Harvard.

I was able to find a section in a Chinese/Japanese U.S. history class where the professor would let me study Filipinos. What I found were unpublished theses by Filipino scholars who came to Harvard to get their Ph.Ds by studying Filipino immigration in the ‘20s.

Come see my show. Like I said, it’s funny, like this column on occasion. And genuinely Filipino. It’s the story of the old Filipino immigration tragedy: From colonization to Americanization.


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