March 1, 2014

“Degrees evade Filipino youth”

A comment on the Filipino Youth Transitions in Canada Study

by Darlyne Bautista (published in Pilipino Express March 1-15, 2014)

On February 20, the Winnipeg Free Press published an article entitled “Degrees evade Filipino youth.” The article featured the Toronto-based study, Filipino Youth Transitions in Canada. The study took place in four cities: Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver and Hamilton. It took three years to complete, and its findings suggest that Filipino-Canadian youth across Canada are not meeting their full potential.

ANAK worked with Dr. Philip Kelly to conduct the study in Winnipeg. ANAK took to the role by calling on Winnipeg youth to complete surveys as well as participate in key interviews and focus groups. The comment ANAK can make about Winnipeg findings is simply: we are not the rest of Canada.

In accordance with researcher, Dr. Philip Kelly, we concur that “what we found in Winnipeg is the immigration history and geography of settlement is quite different.” For those of us who call Winnipeg home, this statement means a number of things we take for granted. For starters, we are more likely to hear Tagalog on the street than Canada’s own official language, French. We can forever satiate a Filipino food craving with a hop, skip, and jump over to any local Filipino bakery, store, or restaurant. We can also consult Filipino-Canadian officials at our local levels of government. Although these things may be just another day in Winnipeg, we must remember that these things are also a great anomaly to our kababayan in other provinces.

In Ontario, it is foreign for Filipino-Canadians to understand what it is like to be an entire city comprised largely of Filipino families and extended networks. It would be difficult for them to understand that political pundits must listen when Filipinos exert their civic participation. Notably still (and perhaps sadly), they don’t see their role models the way we are likely to. These days, Filipino-Canadian youth in Winnipeg can look to their teacher, coach, boss, or elected officials to reflect the same confidence we have in who we are.

So, how is it that “degrees evade Filipino youth”?

Maybe we are asking the wrong question. Does a degree only equate to success for Filipino-Canadian youth?

Read the Full Article

Read the Report:
Understanding Intergenerational Social Mobility - Filipino Youth in Canada