Asian Week, News Report, Rodel Rodis
This was the question posed to me by a curious TV news reporter on May 7, just three days after a stretch limousine, carrying nine Filipino nurses to a bridal party across the San Mateo Bridge, suddenly burst into flames killing five of the occupants, including the bride.
Ann Notarangelo, the reporter who is also the weekend anchor of CBS 5′s Eyewitness News, explained that she was only asking the question because it was on the minds of her viewers. She came to my office to interview me because she thought I might know the answer as I taught Filipino American History at San Francisco State University and I am the legal counsel of the Philippine Nurses Association of Northern California. Plus, I added, I am also married to a Filipino nurse.
She said that she was frankly surprised to learn that 20 percent of all the registered nurses in California are Filipinos, a considerably large percentage since Filipinos number only 2.3 million (officially 1.2 million) out of a state population of 38 million.
“I just never noticed it before,” Ann told me, “because I generally don’t see people in racial terms.” But, she said, in reflecting back on all the times she visited friends and relatives in hospitals all over California, she now recalls seeing Filipino nurses everywhere. Not just in California, I said.
Filipino nurses in the US may be invisible even when they are visible everywhere but not anymore.
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