THE ROMANCE OF FILIPINAS/OS IN AMERICA:

THE SHORT STORY OF A LONG HISTORY


Description:

This lesson plan will show the relationship between the short story, The Romance of Magno Rubio and the Filipina/o American experience from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. It may also be connected to current issues in the Filipina/o American community.

Lesson Plan Materials:

• The Romance of Magno Rubio short story
• In Exile: An Introductory Reader on Pilipinos in America-
A project of Resource Development and Publications, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1976


PART 1: CULTURAL ENERGIZER


Have and Have not: Students will discuss, in pairs, a time when they really wanted something but could not have it.

Step 1
Have the students get into pairs. Instruct them to share a time with each other when they really wanted something but could not have it.

Step 2
Ask them to identify the

Who
What
Where
When
How and
Why
In their story of when they wanted something that they could not have.

Step 3
Have them share their experiences.

PART 2: COMMUNITY COLLABORATION AND CULTURAL PRODUCTION


The Racism of Magno Rubio: Through this assignment students will connect the short story to articles that describe discrimination against Filipinos during that time.

Step 1
Have the students read the short story, The Romance of Magno Rubio. Dependent on the grade and reading level if your students, you may want to read some the story in class.

Step 2
Ask the students to answer:

What did Magno Rubio want but could not have?

After coming up with a few answers, ask the students why they think Magno Rubio could not have what he wanted. It will be important to relate their answers to the larger problem of racism.

Share with the students the definition of racism:

The systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (African Americans, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asian Americans), by the members of the agent racial group who has relatively more social power (Whites). This subordination is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and practices of society (Adams, Bell, and Griffin, 89). When we think about racism, we can look back at hundreds of years of acts of racism. The term “racism,” however, did not actually appear until the 1930s.

Have them put the definition in their own words.

Step 3
Break up the class into five groups. (This can also be taught in five class sessions if you have time in your course to focus on Filipino American racism.)

Give each group an article for the book, In Exile: An Introductory Reader on Pilipinos in America- A project of Resource Development and Publications, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1976:

1. California Discrimination Against Filipinos 1927-1935
2. No Orientals Wanted Here
3. Anti-Filipino Race Riots
4. Anti-Miscegenation Law and the Pilipino
5. Filipino Immigration Viewed as a Peril



Step 4
Instruct each group to

A. Read their assigned article
B. Identify how the article explores an act(s) of racism against Filipinos.
C. Uncover the 3 most important points covered by their assigned article
D. Relate their article to the Romance of Magno Rubio
E. Come up with a create way to teach the rest of the class about the main ideas in their article and how it related to the experiences of Magno Rubio. Encourage them to use skits, poetry, movement, and/or visual art to teach the rest of the class. They should be given between 15-20 minutes to teach their article.

Step 5
This lesson plan can span between 2-5 days. If you assign the articles for homework, students should be given at least 20-30 minutes to come up with their lesson plans to teach the class about their article. If they will be reading the articles in class, you may want to give them one whole class time to prepare for their “teaching” presentation.


PART 3: CONCLUSIVE DIALOGUE/CRITICAL CIRCULAR EXCHANGE


Problems/Questions of the Day: What kind of the discrimination affected Filipinos? How did discrimination limit what they were allowed to desire, accomplish, and how they lived?
Connection: Encourage students to connect the Romance of Magno Rubio to the major struggles that Filipinos faced during that time.