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Filipino immigrants find common ground in Alaska

Though the climate may be a stark contrast to their native country, many immigrants from the Philippines are taking up residence in Alaska. According to New America Media, many Filipinos have adapted to life in the Last Frontier.

Some may think that life in Alaska is starkly different than daily existence in the rest of the nation. “People think we live in an igloo and Alaska is always covered with snow,” Susan Dickinson, a Filipina nurse living in Alaska, told the news source. “But we’re just like anyone who lives in other states. We drive, we go to the mall…it’s a normal life.”

The news source reports that large numbers of Filipinos have come to Alaska in recent years to take advantage of the state’s tax benefits and other financial advantages. Many immigrants may be enticed by these benefits in order to send money home to family members who are still living in the Philippines.

Filipinos have been coming to the states since before it was officially part of American territory. According to Filipina-American author Thelma Buchholdt, the first Filipino immigrant came to Alaska aboard a merchant ship in 1788, the news source reports.

According to The Migration Information Source, the number of immigrants from the Philippines in the U.S. tripled between the years of 1980 and 2006, reaching a total of 1.6 million people.

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