The Philippine community is one of the biggest foreign communities in Italy and they’ve settled they “Italian Capital” in Milan. There are around 50.000 Filipinos in the Lombard capital, the 10% of the foreign inhabitants of the zone. You’ve probably never heard of them, because they’re not in the newspapers, they’re not “a news”, but they contributed – with a constant hardworking – to this country, embracing its tradition and way of life. On the other side the Filipinos have a really strong sense of community, they use to stay together, and live their public life all together. In this life there are two main centers that act like ancients agoras: the church and the playground.
«This is how we built our sense of community, playing basketball».
Giovanni was born in Italy but originally from the Philippines; he works since he was 18, now he has 26, for a cleaning company but is now ready to make a leap in his career. He has a bigger brother and a father who like him was used to living inside basketball courts near home. Looking at that playground, Giovanni is able to draw the lines of a generational change by looking at that playground , is able to look at tomorrow.
Jonathan lives his life in the best possible way by trying to match everything, including his university studies in economics and management. He lives right outside a playground that, as usual in Milan, hosts a basketball court that our young man can also see from his window. “I was born in Italy, but then I moved to Philippine to some relatives, to let my parents work here. ”
Like a lot of young man from his generation (and community), Jonathan was a lot into music, and especially the hardcore scene. With a little sadness he admit to have putted music bit aside, to focus on University.
Every Sunday, along with the rest of the Filipino community, he goes to church finding a way to contribute to the life of the evangelic community.
Paul is 17 years old, born in Italy and despite his Filipino origins he also has a strong Milanese accent. He is the typical adolescent, elusive and almost arrogant. He left school, «I just didn’t enjoy going there», he said, and soon he found a job. But not in Milan. «Just few weeks ago I started to work as waiter in Bergamo, even if my dream is to become a photographer. It’s tough, mostly because I’m not finding the time to playing basketball. And church? «Oh yes, I always find time for that. Not like my mother, she’s incredibly pious, but I also like it».
James is a 19 year old girl we met for the first time on a Sunday during a basketball tournament among Filipinos.James believes a lot in this sport so much that he is trying to improve his game with the hope of becoming someone one day.
All around the building, in fact, there was an entire community that, after church, decided to spend Sunday together, watching their boys’ plays, cheering (very loudly) for them, and relaxing after a whole week. It is a perfect representation of what a community is, of what the Filipinos community is.
Mike is a great connoisseur of the culture of his country, the Philippines. He has lived in Italy for a long time since 1999, but has traveled a lot in his country to overwhelm Western philosophy. He is part of a hardcore punk band, The Seeker, who has been very successful. Mike explains that the punk spread to the Philippines thanks to US soldiers selling vinyl and punk tape to make extra money.
Chris is a very sporty girl, but his dedication goes especially to the basketball world. He lived for some time in Sacramento, California, where his father met his mother, then moved to Milan a few years ago. She is building her future as a bartender working in some of the city’s best clubs, is something she likes and makes her feel independent. “I live alone now and I’m happy. Maybe I would like to have some experience in another European country.”