Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Global Studies


Francis Tanglao Aguas

Committee Members

Deenesh Sohoni

Benedito Ferrão


Due to the persisting legacies of U.S. colonization, the Filipino American identity is shaped not only by migration but forces of neocolonialism that is felt generationally. Asian American scholarship largely conceptualizes the Filipino American identity as merely reactive to historical factors, however the colonial project continues to influence and define the agency of Filipino Americans and affects the way they present their culture in transnational spaces. Therefore, I suggest that Filipino Americans engage in self-orientalization by presenting their cultures in a commodified manner. To analyze this, I turn to Filipino student organizations to look at the ways Filipino Americans have created their identity rooted in cultural commodities that are ultimately offered up for American consumption. In these spaces, I argue that Filipino Americans “other” themselves to simplify their complex histories and culture to be palatable and, in many ways, profitable. This thesis aims to meet and introduce the “lumpia Filipino,” a moniker for this contemporary Filipino American identity which has recently emerged in informal critical race and culture discourse. Ultimately, I seek to assess the implications of self-orientalism for shaping a new context of Filipino culture and identity, one that is intricately reflective of Filipino America’s simultaneous connections to imperialism and the yearning for a decolonized identity.