The Leadership Aspects of the Filipinos in Hawaii

Tungpalan, Eloise
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
“There are no leaders in our community, because as soon as someone gets up there to lead, the rest of the Filipinos start sticking knives in his back.” This statement was made by a well-known individual in reference to a question concerning the supposed “lack of unity” among the Filipinos in Hawaii. It has been estimated that the Filipinos in Hawaii number close to 80,000 and 26,311 of these people are immigrants from various provinces in the Philippines. The largest number come from the Ilocos regions but many also come from the Visayas and the Tagalog areas. These people bring with them their culinary tastes, dress, mannerisms, and the dialects of their provinces. Due to these provincial differences many of these immigrants feel more comfortable with their relatives and “town-mates”- as they are commonly called in Filipino circles. Therefore, to the public peering in on the Filipino people, it appears that the Filipino is not only clannish but also not unified.
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