The Filipino Nation in Daly City
Benito M. Vergara, Jr.
Home to 33,000 Filipino American residents, Daly City, California, located just outside of San Francisco, has been dubbed “the Pinoy Capital of the United States.” In this fascinating ethnographic study of the lives of Daly City residents, Benito Vergara shows how Daly City has become a magnet for the growing Filipino American community.
Vergara challenges rooted notions of colonialism here, addressing the immigrants’ identities, connections and loyalties. Using the lens of transnationalism, he looks at the “double lives” of both recent and established Filipino Americans. Vergara explores how first-generation Pinoys experience homesickness precisely because Daly City is filled with reminders of their homeland’s culture, like newspapers, shops and festivals. Vergara probes into the complicated, ambivalent feelings these immigrants have—toward the Philippines and the United States—and the conflicting obligations they have presented by belonging to a thriving community and yet possessing nostalgia for the homeland and people they left behind.
“Pinoy Capital is a colorful and nuanced ethnographic foray into the social institutions and quotidian lives of Filipino Americans living in Daly City. Vergara is a gifted writer and his work delves closely on the affective and reciprocal relationships and practices of Filipino Americans as immigrants. This is a welcome and important study, and Vergara puts forward important and innovative assertions and arguments that will have repercussions on debates about Filipinos in the United States.”
—Martin Manalansan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and editor of Cultural Compass: Ethnographic Explorations of Asian America
“Pinoy Capital is a landmark text—an exciting, refreshing, and critical ethnography that continues, but revitalizes, ongoing conversations regarding Filipino immigrant/transnational life in the United States. There have been very few ethnographies of this group, and I think this one not only offers a much-needed and provocative study, it complicates arguments and discussions about the specificities of Filipino immigration to the U.S. Vergara provides solid and rigorous engagement with his objects of study, and he is especially attuned to the clarities and complexities of everyday life in a particular site that is touted as a quintessential one for Filipino American settlement.”
—Rick Bonus, Associate Professor, Department of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington
About the Author
Benito M. Vergara, Jr. is the author of Displaying Filipinos: Photography and Colonialism in Early 20th-Century Philippines. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
3 tables 2 map(s)
paper: $25.95, Jan 09
cloth: $74.50, Jan 09