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THE INDIOS.
At dawn on February 17, 1872, three secular priests are publicly executed at Manila’s Bagumbayan Plaza. One of the martyrs is Father José Burgos, the beloved friend and mentor of a tall, serious young man standing among the crowd of thousands of Indios. A seminarian and scion of a wealthy family, Placido Mendoza watches in disbelief.
This is a pivotal moment in the history of the Philippines, and in the life of Placido. It shocks the native Filipinos, called “Indios” by the Spaniards, into putting their cultural differences aside and coming together to free themselves from their greedy and corrupt colonial masters.

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'COMING HOME"

Juan de la Cruz, born and raised in Alabama, feels 100 hundred percent American. But he doesn’t look American—at least not how most folks think an American boy is supposed. Following some experiences with exclusion, he decides he wants to be a Filipino, like his parents. He spends long hours in the sun to darken his coffee with cream complexion and learns to speak Tagalog. During Christmas break, his mother takes him on a trip to the Philippines—a place she still considers home and has always served as a refuge—to help him become a Filipino.

But in the Philippines, Juan finds that Filipinos, even his relatives, consider him an American. They laugh at his wanting to be brown. His cousins, with whom he has expected to develop an easy camaraderie, fall off their seats whenever he tries to speak Tagalog.

For Juan, like so many children of immigrants, the struggle to assimilate while also developing their own identity is a challenging, sometimes heartbreaking, and an ever evolving process. Set in the 1980s, Juan’s story will ring true with anyone who’s ever experienced the search for identity in a multicultural setting, or anyone who’s ever struggled to fit in.


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Gloria Javillonar Palileo received her Masters Degree from Kansas State, and Doctorate from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. After21 years on the Sociology faculty at the University of South Alabama, she opted for early retirement, but continues teaching online classes.

Dr. Palileo and her husband have three adopted children from the Philippines. Upon recognizing the children were experiencing exclusion, she felt compelled to write "Coming Home" to not only help her children, but to reach out to children who may be suffering similar experiences.

Copyright © 2014 Gloria Javillonar Palileo

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