Happy Filipino American History Month everyone!
I’ve written about this before, but for those who need a refresher or who otherwise don’t know, Filipino American History Month is a time dedicated to acknowledging the Filipino Americans who’ve helped build and change the United States of America for the better. It’s more than just celebrating the traditions that have been passed down by our ancestors, so please, please refrain from calling it Filipino American Heritage Month. It’s not the same thing!
In recognizing the progress made by those who came before us, we are also encouraged to look at the Filipino Americans of today and see who’s creating waves of history of their own. There’s many to name, so much to where I wouldn’t know where to start. But for any Filipino Americans who are reading this, you might want to start with yourself and see how – if at all – you’re contributing to history being made, especially in a time like this. Even the smallest of waves can lead to substantiating change in some form in the long run.
It’s because it’s Filipino American History Month that I felt that it was only appropriate to share this panel discussion for this round of Recommended Analyzing. During the inaugural Mixed Asian Media Fest last month, one of the conversations I had the pleasure of taking part in was the Mixed Pinoy Pride Panel. Together with MAM Fest producer Michaela Ternasky-Holland and ShoPowSho co-host Patrick Michael Strange, we talked about our experiences as mixed-race Filipino Americans; ranging from how our families from the Philippines wound up here in the U.S., what we went through growing up, what makes up proud to be Filipino American, and also the dark side of what we’ve been through.
Please go watch it if you can and consider what we have to say. Even if our experiences are not relate-able to you, that doesn’t make what we have to say any less valid. Rather, it’s quite the opposite, actually. We are just a few examples of the wide range of histories-in-progress within the Filipino American community.
Content advisory: We do touch on sensitive subject matter ranging from family trauma, religious abuse, colonization, homophobia, etc.