Four select essays by E. San Juan are intended “to elicit critical thinking on this evolving ‘identity’ and to provoke informed, constructive discussion.” Published in time for the celebration of the Centennial arrival of Filipinos in Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations, the essays encapsulate the history and rationale for the presence of Filipinos in the United States.
Carlos Bulosan, the radical writer-activist, captured the saga of Filipino resistance from the thirties to the outbreak of World War II in his testimony, America Is in the Heart.
Union organizer Philip Vera Cruz memorialized the evolution of the indeterminate sojourner to the pioneer militant of the United Farm Workers of America in the sixties.
In the last essay, “Returning from the Diaspora, Rediscovering the Homeland”, the author challenges Filipinos based in America to analyze their historical trajectory in order to understand the true character of the emerging Filipino diaspora.
Uprooted, dispersed, displaced, transported, can Filipinos—in the homeland and in foreign shores—ever come to terms with their dislocation to find an authentic identity?