D Center

June 11, 2021

Anti-Asian Hate Part 2

From your perspective/experience how is disability perceived in the Philippines both invisible and physical? Has this shaped your way of perceiving disabilities? Has this impacted your identity?

“In the Philippines, disability is perceived as something that is more work of the evil rather than it being more common and medical. Therefore, people with disabilities in the Philippines are belittle or are seen as a baggage from their family because in the Philippines there are no job opportunities nor rights for people with disabilities therefore, majority of them are poor, homeless, in the streets for some of them are neglected by their family especially the government. Additionally, because the Philippine is very poor our medicine is not as advanced as here in the U.S. and people who can go to hospitals are rich people who can afford them and yes there is little to no health insurance. Due to this people with disabilities there, can’t even get proper medical examinations so the majority of them just go through with it individually on their own. Due to the fact that the government is not prioritizing people with disabilities, it’s rare for public transportation or places to have accommodation for people who are wheel-chaired or are needing accommodations. I think because of this I rarely see them during the time I spent in the Philippines and sadly, I thought this is what is acceptable before getting to higher education and going here in the US.”

-Jan

“ Disability is deemed to be a deficiency in the Philippines. They are often looked down as incapable or lacking thereof. After moving to the United States, I learned to be independent as much as I can regardless of my abilities. So, after visiting the Philippines for more than a decade, I was in better words uncomfortable by the constant stares coming from my own community. It is often people with disabilities in the Philippines who are bed ridden or have no health insurance. They don’t have the same rights as an able-bodied person has. I had to continue to prove to others that I can advocate for myself if I truly need the help. With that being said, I definitely will say how privileged I am for having the resources I have right now, because I know that there are some who hope to live as independently as they can with the accommodations that the country lacks for decades. They want to go get a job, do activities they don’t really have to think prior to being assisted, or commuting as freely as they can where the people in United States have.”

-Lorie

How do you think Asian culture conflicts with disability identity? How do you think it might help?

“I think Asian culture conflicts with disability identity a lot because it is still seen as a taboo, we see people with disabilities that identify as Asian to be having a hard time within and outside of the community. Take mental health for example this is still something that is not talked about in the Asian community for this is seen as an embarrassment or a special case that people within their own families are the only ones allowed to know this thing. However, if we start normalizing disability identity and mental health there wouldn’t be individuals within the Asian community feeling silenced. Therefore, I think our generation really needs a lot of courage to break these traditions and normalize it.”

-Jan

“It has always been a conflict of Asian culture and disability identity. Whether someone may have a physical or invisible disability, it is a taboo to even speak of the struggles we face. We have to be a model minority where we are perceived to work hard and be strong no matter the circumstance. And, I think it is a shame and cruel to allow the intersectional parts of our identity conflict with each other. It shouldn’t be an identity against the world.”

-Lorie