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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:16 PM

Filipinos fathered by US soldiers fight for justice

Source: Guardian

Filipinos fathered by US soldiers fight for justice

'Amerasians' fear history may repeat itself if American troops return to their shores as part of Obama's 'pivot to Asia'

Sunshine Lichauco de Leon in Manila
The Guardian, Monday 31 December 2012 13.00 EST

They call them "Amerasians", a throwback to a time when America had soldiers in the Philippines, and some of those soldiers had local girlfriends.

Most of their mothers worked as "bar girls" in the rest and recreation areas surrounding sprawling American naval and air force bases. When US troops left 20 years ago, they left behind the product of their liaisons with these Filipino women: thousands of infants who would grow up never knowing their American fathers. Many were abandoned by their mothers, who were financially unable or too ashamed to keep them.

Now, this generation of second-class citizens are starting to find their voice, after a lifetime of discrimination, bullying and worse. They are also eager to point out that with America once again taking a close interest in the Pacific and likely to rotate soldiers through the Philippines as part of its "pivot to Asia", history may be about to repeat itself.

The majority of Amerasians an estimated 52,000 people were fathered by Americans during the long military association with the country grew up in extreme poverty, raised by family members or guardians. They experienced intense levels of discrimination for being illegitimate, mixed race, or the children of prostitutes. Many were unable to finish high school, lacked the skills to find work or were denied jobs because of their skin colour.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/31/amerasians-philippines-american-army

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