November 22, 2006

Nonhistoric Very Little Filipinotown



A throwaway song, "Bebot," from a year-old Black Eyed Peas album, becomes an anthem for California's Filipino American community. From the LA Times:

So begins the story of Allan Pineda, a member of the hip-hop band the Black Eyed Peas, who two years ago wrote a song about his journey from a poverty-stricken district in the Philippines to Los Angeles' Atwater Village...

The Filipino American community... the second-largest Asian group in California behind the Chinese... have never established set 'Filipino' neighborhoods - the equivalent of Monterey Park for Chinese Americans or Little Saigon for Vietnamese Americans.

There is a historic Filipinotown west of downtown LA, but the U.S. census found that less than 15% of its residents are actually Filipino...

Hudgens was living in the Wilshire district at the time but decided to look for a neighborhood where there were mostly Filipinos. The best he could find was a block in Atwater Village, a diverse section of northeast LA that included some Filipinos...

He wanted to pen a song about his roots that people could dance to. It took him about two days in the band's sound studio in Atwater Village.


UPDATE: A stat to back "Bebot." According to the 2000 Los Angeles Almanac, of Atwater Village's 8,042 neighborhood residents, 1,028 are Filipino. That's about 13 percent.

4 comments:

Danielle said...

He should have checked Eagle Rock.

AnakngBayan said...

Historic Filipinotown IS very significant to the Filipino community of Los Angeles. Look it up on Wikipedia and you'll get a short history of the area.

celia said...

Or Cerritos.

sherru said...

YEAH FLIPS REPRESENT!

Also...I'm kind of always sad that there's not much going on in "Historic Filipinotown" nowadays.