SOLYMONE BLOG

THE PLIGHT OF AMERASIANS IN PHILIPPINES

 
ANGELES CITY, Philippines - There were believed to be at least 50,000 “Amerasians” children fathered by US soldiers who served in the Philippines, home to the US military’s biggest overseas bases until they closed down in 1992. 
The US embassy in Manila declined to answer questions about government policy towards Filipino Amerasians and whether it had tried to help them find their fathers.

The Amerasians’ problems have continued to deepen with time, according to a 2012 study by Kutschera’s research unit.

Their community has grown to up 250,000, taking into account children and grandchildren, and they remain at the lowest rungs of a society in an already impoverished country.

“Many of its (Amerasian community’s) members are living in extreme poverty of the variety unknown, or not imagined, in the United States,” Kutschera said.

Kutschera described Filipino Amerasians as “a marginalised, at risk, highly stressed population” adding they were particularly vulnerable to drug use and prostitution.

For the once-youthful but now visibly exhausted Calaguas, life has been as brutal as it has been typical of many Filipino Amerasians.
Beirut Calaguas, now 44, is among the tens of thousands of “Amerasians” fathered by US soldiers who served in the Philippines, home to the US military’s biggest overseas bases until they closed down in 1992.

  • Struggling to pay the rent, Calaguas’ mother entrusted her to childless landlords, hoping to one day return. She never did. 
  • Calaguas dropped out of school at 17 and, unable to find work locally, acquired fake travel documents so she could become an entertainer at clubs in Japan that also catered to US servicemen. 
  • “I fell in love with a soldier, and got pregnant, so now, I also have an Amerasian son,” she said.
  • After the father abandoned Calaguas, she returned to the Philippines with her son. 
  • The Philippine government is expected to seal the deal late this year to welcome US soldiers back to Subic and other bases.

Filipino leaders have hailed the defense pact as an important plank in its effort to fend off an increasingly assertive China, which is expanding its presence in contested South China Sea waters near the Philippines.

But on the fringes of the Filipino bases, there are fears the US soldiers will plant another baby time bomb that will cause many more generations of pain.

“Many (new Amerasians) over time will become the abandoned, forsaken offspring of soldiers and contractors,” Kutschera said.
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