John Carl Anduyan. Video Grab
MANILA – A tall man with fair skin and brown eyes walks along the pier of Subic. At first look, one would think that he is an American.
Twenty-eight-year-old John Carl Anduyan or JC is among the Amerasians abandoned in the Philippines by their American fathers when the United States (US) forces left the country 22 years ago.
Back then, the US Bay Subic Naval Base was the largest military base stationed outside the US.
Despite being abandoned by his father, JC said that until now, he longs for the dad he never met.
“Parang ‘dun mabubuo ‘yung buhay mo eh. ‘Dun mabubuo ‘yung sarili mo [kapag] nakilala mo ang tatay mo.”
Growing up, JC said that he became the subject of relentless teasing from his classmates in school. But he soon learned how not to listen to his bullies.
“Sinasabi nila na, ‘Hindi ka naman Filipino eh. Kano ka. Anak ka ng Kano eh.’ Tisoy, ganyan ang mga tukso nila sa’kin, ‘Anak ka ng araw. Di ka naman dapat dito eh.”
Meanwhile, JC’s mom Gina Mystica recounted what it was like to live as an entertainer in Subic when it was still a US military base.
“Nandyan ang lahat ng kasalanan. Siyempre, bina-bar ang babae, nilalabas, binabayaran sa counter. Bahala sila kung saan sila pupunta.”
Gina was only 16 years old when she started working at night clubs in Subic. She said that since Americans have no concept of courtship, hooking up is almost too easy.
She was working in a club when she dated Scott Miller, a US soldier who would become JC’s father. Scott offered her regular sustenance and a decent place to live in if she stopped working in the club.
"Siyempre, ako, gusto ko rin namang mahinto. Kasi galante naman eh. Tapos ayun, nag-live-in kami, binahay niya ‘ko. Ang pumasok sa isip ko noon, masusuntentohan ko na ang mga magulang ko kasi binibigyan naman niya ‘ko every payday.”
But things did not go smoothly for Gina’s relationship with Scott. When she told him about her pregnancy, he vehemently refused to take responsibility of the baby.
“Sabi niya, ‘I can’t accept that. I am not sure.’ Ayaw niya talagang angkinin. ‘That’s not mine’, sabi niyang ganon.”
In the end, Scott left P10,000 to Gina and her baby and never came back.
“Ganon naman ang karamihan sa mga Kano eh, hanggang pier ka lang. Kapag wala na ‘yung barko, wala na rin sila,” she said.
When the US military forces left the country in 1992, Gina became a fish vendor to provide for her family. With no one to look after his siblings, JC took on the role of the head of the family while Gina was gone.
Because of their situation, JC wasn’t able to concentrate on his education and eventually stopped schooling.
But despite her dark past, he said that he never judged or blamed his mother for anything that has happened in their life.
“Unang-una, nakikita ko rin ‘yung hirap niya sa’min eh. Kahit na iba-iba kami ng tatay, ang importante sa’ming magkakapatid, walang iwanan saka galangan kung sino ang matanda.”
JC has now become a parking attendant in a public market. He also sidelines as a porter or kargador for store owners who are importing their goods to another place.
But JC’s income remains meager as his salary is not regular.
He says that he envies those Amerasians who were not abandoned by their fathers. He tried searching for his dad but all his efforts were in vain.
“Nanghihinayang din ako na siguro kung nandito ang tatay ko, siguro ganyan din ang buhay ko. Minsan ganon, naiisip ko ‘yon. Ang hirap lumaki ng wala kang sariling ama tapos ‘yung ibang pamilya, nakikita mo, ang saya-saya nila.”
JC is now a father of three, with a fourth child on the way. He promises not to leave his kids like his father did to him.
Gina, meanwhile, said that she does not approve of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that was signed by both the US and Philippine government.
She argued that this will only result to more Amerasians who will be abandoned by their fathers.
“Base sa experience ko, hindi maganda. Katulad niyan na napabayaan ng mga magulang nila, ng mga tatay nilang Kano, inaabandona, diba? Madaming naaabandona na mga anak ng Kano sa Pilipinas katulad na lang ng anak ko na hindi naman inaangkin. Kawawa naman ang mga bata.”