Finding The Filipino Identity: Interview With Larry Antiporta

From a view, Larry Antiporta appears as a normal, established American citizen. Proudly sporting his Delta Chi collared shirt, Ray-bans sunglasses, khaki pants, and Sperry footwear, he greets me and asks, “Do I look like a douche right now?”

For my journalism class, all the students were asked to interview and develop a movie project around someone who has immigrated to the U.S. Seeing the opportunity to learn more, I wanted to center my project around Larry, one of my best friends since elementary school.

Antiporda is your typical young adult from the San Francisco Bay Area; he prioritizes work while also seeking a good time with his friends and fraternity brothers. Yet, Larry’s story is more complex than the stereotypical, “frat dude.”

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Antiporda and his father during Delta Chi’s parent’s weekend.

Moving from the Philippines as a four year old, Antiporda has not been back since, but sees a clear difference from Filipino culture to the culture in the United States. He says,

“In America, there is this huge emphasis on career progression, capitalism, kind of that whole idea of the American Dream. In the Philippines, people really just care about family and growing the family bigger. There is a real emphasis on big families.”

Before coming to Cal Poly, Antiporta discusses a “clash”  between life at home versus life at school. At home, his parents raised him in a Filipino cultural context. At school, his teachers educated him with American ideals.

R.J. Arbaquez, a member of Cal Poly’s Pilipino Cultural Exchange (PCE), says, “I think America is a country where the culture is easy to adopt. But, for people raised in a Filipino context, the ideals kind of stick with you.”

On the PolyCultural Organizations website, the PCE describes its intentions. In a subtext, the description states, “[Each member] can… find themselves a lifelong ‘family’, which is one of the most important aspects of Filipino culture.”

Although Antiporda is not actually a member of the club, his priority of “family” is very similar, if not the same, as members of the Filipino club on campus. All of these people have integrated into American culture, yet principles of their ancestry stay with them.

 

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