Digital Oral History Projects - Model Topic Outline

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Topic Outline (Model)

Family Background

What was it like growing up in the Philippines?

Where were you born/raised?

How many were in your family?

What did your family do for a living?

Was your family well-off, poor, middle class?

What do you remember about growing up there?

What was daily life like?

What was your schooling there?

What were your plans/goals for the future when you were going to school?

What was it like living during the Marcos regime?

What do you remember that was very different than in the U.S.?

 

Leaving the Philippines 

Why did you choose to leave?

What were your motivations?

How old were you?

Did you bring any family?

Did you have an idea of what you were going to do once you got here?

What sacrifices did you make to live in the U.S?

What did you expect life to be like in the U.S.?

 

Settling in the U.S.

What is the first thing that you remember about coming to America?

What were your first impressions of the U.S.?

Did you know anyone here?

Where did you first settle? Why there?

Did you have family already here?

Did you meet anyone?

 

Life in the U.S.

Tell me about your life in the US. 

How did you go about finding a job?

How did you go about finding housing?

What was it like providing for your family?

What was it like making friends?

What was the most difficult adjustment for you?

Did you have to study more to get work or advance your career?

How did your life here compare to your life in Philippines?

Were there differences in values between the Philippines and America?

Did you experience any discrimination?

Would you petition for any other family members?

 

Being Filipino in the U.S

Were you able to maintain Filipino customs? Language?

What difficulties did you face maintaining your culture?

Did you maintain contact with Philippines? Did you return to visit?

Do you experience homesickness?

What do you miss most about the Philippines?

Do you plan on returning or staying in the U.S.?

Did you notice a difference of personality between Filipino Americans and Filipino immigrants?

Do you feel as if Filipinos in the U.S are the same as they are in the Philippines?

Is an education in the Philippines equivalent to a U.S education or enough to sustain a career in the U.S?

 

Reflections 

Looking back on your experience, what would you have done differently?

Would you have stayed in Philippines?

Do you feel as if you’re living the “American Dream”?

What are some positives and negatives about living in the Philippines or the U.S?

What have you learned from your experiences?

What would you have done differently in the U.S.?

 

Themes discussed in Pinoy Capital (see pages 16-17)

·        motivations for leaving the Philippines
·        patterns of arrival
·        varying expectations of life in the U.S.
·        searches for employment
·        differences between the Philippines and the U.S.
·        contrast between Filipino immigrants and American-born Filipinos
·        work
·        possibility of return
·        homesickness
·        being Filipino in America
·        race
·        colonial history
·        sexuality
·        politics
·        effects of career or lifestyle decisions on decisions concerning family reunification, or vice versa

 

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