In honor of May being Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage month, I wanted to share with you a few things about my heritage!
I am from the Philippines, a beautiful country in the Pacific with 7,100+ islands. So you can imagine how much coastline there is and how many beautiful beaches we have!
I was born and educated in the Philippines and immigrated to the USA, so I have many fond memories of my native country.
The Philippines is a country rich in resources, but sadly, our government has not lived up to its people’s expectations. So, a lot of Filipinos find work elsewhere. There is a large and growing population of Filipinos, Filipino Americans, and Americans with Filipino ancestry here in the United States, many of them are in the healthcare fields, teaching professions, and tech. As of 2018, that number was 4.1 million.
You can learn more about the contributions of Filipino Americans to the United States here: https://bit.ly/3tgWUZY
What is my favorite Filipino food?
Lumpia, Adobo, and Pancit! If you have never tried either of these, you are seriously missing out!
Want a taste? You can, by visiting “Meat on the Street” a Filipino restaurant here in Milwaukee: https://www.motscatering.com/. You have probably seen their food truck at several places around town, too! For those outside of Milwaukee, I am sure a Filipino restaurant is somewhere nearby!
What are my favorite destinations in the Philippines?
Boracay and Palawan! If you ever decide to go, they are on the list of the top ten best beaches and islands on Conde Nast and Travel and Leisure. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! We have better white sand beaches than Bali. https://www.esquiremag.ph/life/travel/boracay-palawan-best-island-beaches-2021-a00304-20210106-lfrm2
What is one of my favorite Filipino books?
“Nasa Puso ang Amerika” (America is in the Heart) by Carlos Bulosan, which documents the Filipino diaspora and the early days of migrant farm labor in the United States.
How do you say “Hello!” in Tagalog, the Filipino language?
Say “Kumusta ka!” and you’ll be making friends straight away! Want to learn more? Here’s a short tutorial for quick easy phrases every beginner should know!
My friends from the local Milwaukee Filipino community have also compiled some links to great programming that celebrate the heritage and contributions of Asian Americans. I hope you enjoy them!
On a more somber note, I also want to take this chance to speak about something that has been affecting our Asian communities. Hate crime. It is happening and it’s wrong. Whether it is hate crime against Asians, African Americans, or the Jewish community, we should not condone it. If you see it, speak up, and act to stop it. Luckily, we haven’t heard of many instances here in Wisconsin, but we worry about those in other parts of the country.
Here is a website where you can report it when you see it, and a way for you to support those efforts: https://stopaapihate.org/