The Filipino Amerasians

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In Philippines, an estimated 52,000 Amerasians are scattered throughout the 7,107 islands. “Amerasians in Philippines” is the term used for the American children born to Filipino mothers and American fathers. These children are born when the US bases are stationed in the Philippines from 1898 till 1991. The Amerasian phenomenon is concentrated in localities where U.S. naval and Air Force bases were prominent before they closed down such as the Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, the United States’ two largest overseas bases at the time. Many were born out of committed relationships, 90% of them were born out of wedlock. Soldiers’ limited tours of duty, hard to get licenses and permit to marry a foreigner, consents from their respective captains, the abrupt closures of the bases — tore the American-Filipino couples apart.

Amerisans

Due to the Amerasian phenomenon, several Charity organizations were formed by various groups and communities to help the Filipino Amerasians find their American fathers. One of them is The Philippine Children’s Fund of America (PCFA), a non-profit organization to assist impoverished Filipino children of American ancestry by providing educational scholarships, employment and working visas to the United States. March 4 has been designated as Amerasian Day in the Philippines by The Amerasian Foundation, an organization in which the mission is to help develop an “Amerasian Voice” for Amerasians in the U.S. and Asia in an effort to unite all Amerasians and inform the public around the world on their plight.

Many Filipino Amerasians long to be recognized by the U.S. government. In their hearts, they long to meet their American fathers, to know them and to connect to their American roots. The only way for Filipino Amerasian children to gain U.S. citizenship is if their American fathers claim them when they turn 18. Children born out of wedlock to an American father and a Filipino mother are entitled to United States citizenship and they must file paternity certifications no later than their 18th birthday to get it. Some Amerasians were fortunate and able to trace their fathers through internet and social networking sites, some with the aid of charity organizations, they were re-united. Those who are granted American citizenship are truly fortunate because their American fathers acknowledged them, took them to USA and provided for them and their lives changed a lot. There are also success stories of Filipino Amerasians being sponsored by Americans other than their fathers and their plights are truly inspiring which gives hope to those who are left behind… Americans in Philippines

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