My name meant a lot to me.: Becoming Minnesotan

Dr. Maryam Beltran Shapland, Emergency Physician at Woodwinds Hospital, Woodbury
  • Name - Maryam Beltran Shapland
  • Age at interview - 34
  • Gender - Female
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 01.25.2011
  • Maryam Beltran and James Shapland on their wedding day, August 18, 2001.

    We Are Here

    Bi-Cultural, Filipino, Identity

    Essential Question

    We Are Here: What does it mean to this immigrant group to be here in America?

    Cultural Preservation: How does a person weave his or her traditional culture into a new American identity?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    Many Filipino immigrants struggle with their “dual identity” - especially young people growing up in a different place than their parents did. Their parents have more memories of growing up in the Philippines, and more of a connection to that country, which they often still view as home. They often form friendships with other Filipinos and try hard to maintain their Filipino culture, religious traditions, and values. However, the younger generation often feels more "American" than "Filipino", and they grow up surrounded by friends and classmates who are not Filipino. Parents face the tough challenge of finding balance between helping their children learn about their traditional Filipino culture and also encouraging their children to become comfortable and successful in American society.

    To learn more about Filipino history and culture, visit our Filipino Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Maryam Shapland 9
    1:48 Minutes | 1.74Mb


    Narrator: Maryam Shapland (MS)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    MS: It was a very hard decision to make whether I was going to change my name. I’ve always been known as Beltran. I love my name Beltran. It meant a lot to me, because it was very Filipino sounding. Then, here I was, making two decisions. One of them is am I going to now be known as Shapland? Because I was pretty sure I didn’t want to hyphenate. It was too long. The second decision was am I now going to be known as Doctor Shapland? Because when somebody thinks of Doctor Shapland, I think they don’t necessarily see a small Asian Filipino woman in their minds. So it was really hard for me to make that decision. Actually, I didn’t make that decision until I was pregnant with my daughter. I decided that I wanted to have the same name as her. I didn’t want to have a different last name than my kids. I was happy to do so at the time. It took me a long time; it took me about two years…almost three years to make that decision, though.

    LM: Your beautiful children have such beautiful Filipino names. Why Filipino?

    MS: Well, I knew they would be Shaplands, so I wanted to infuse a little Filipino-ness in their names. Well, but the main thing also is I wanted their names to be pronounceable by both cultures. I wanted them to have no problem integrating in both their American side as well as their Filipino side.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Verb: To join words or syllables with a hyphen. (hyphenates, hyphenating, hyphenated)


    Verb:  To blend in; to desegregate.  (integrates, integrating, integrated)


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 2151