Dawn B. Mabalon
Little Manila is in the Heart
The Making of the Filipina/o American Community in Stockton, California
Duke University Press 2013
Read most any account of early Filipino America, and you’re likely to hear a story of roaming migrant bachelors who rarely settled. Yet if this was always the case, then how did third and forth generation Filipino/a Americans appear in the United States? In her sharply focused and elegantly written new book, Little Manila is in the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American Community in Stockton, California (Duke University Press, 2013), Dawn B. Mabalon narrates a fifty year history of the Filipina/o settlement in Stockton, California’s Little Manila, the largest Filipino/a settlement in its time. In focusing on the Filipina women and the role of religion, family, and community, Mabalon’s study offers new and diverse conceptions of the early Filipino/a migrant. Her book reveals a space where sedentary Filipina/os started families, churches, unions and businesses, and where migratory Filipina/os came to relax, meet old friends, dance and gamble. Acting as a center of gravity for the emerging immigrant community, Stockton’s Little Manila, over the decades, became the capitol of Filipina/o America.