I guess moving to Tacoma because I grew up in federal way and the people in my high school never really embraced their culture so neither did I. I would usually try to hide it before because I was seen as too Asian. So moving to Tacoma and a new high school brought me closer to my culture because they had a multicultural assembly every year that showcased different cultures so I was like oh it’s okay to embrace that side. That’s basically how I really started to accept and want to delve into my culture. A culture shock was when I came up to Bellingham. I've never been around so many white people. Because I grew up in pretty diverse neighborhoods and it was just weird because I’d find myself counting how many people of different ethnicities were in my class. Sometimes it would only be me and one other person and I’m just like wow...
Growing up I wasn’t really connected to being Filipino-American. I say this because I grew up within a Filipino-American family but had Japanese culture mixed in since I grew up in Japan. I would wear and show Pinoy pride by wearing the Filipino jacket and knowing bits and pieces of Tagalog. However, as I came to Western and joined FASA, that experience changed my outlook on my identity. I was able to feel a connection and build relations with other people that look like me and shared similar stories of being at home with Filipino families like family potlucks and karaoke and
I moved to the US from the Philippines 8 years ago, and I have never been back ever since. The 13 years of my life that I spent there used to be such a prominent part of who I am, now as years go by, those 13 years are relatively getting shorter, and there will be a point in my life where those years will be minuscule, and that's scary to think about how a big part of you then eventually just becomes a memory. I miss the Philippines and my childhood, but now I just find myself searching for home within me and the community I surround myself with. The immigrant narrative is often about overcoming, but I think it’s also about reclaiming the parts of who you are in spaces you take up. It’s defining your own truth. It’s being resilient.
I was 8 years old when my mom and I immigrated to the U.S. I was in second grade in the Philippines, but when I was enrolled into my elementary school in Union City, California, they said, “You’re supposed to be in third grade.” I guess that’s why my math skills is so bad - I literally missed half a year of instruction in basic fractions, division, and multiplication. That was my first culture shock. My second culture shock was the cold. In the Philippines, I could sit down with a fan in front of me and still sweat and being cold, wow, that was something my body simply did not recognize. My third culture shock was the language difference. No one told me “CR”, or comfort room, is not how people say bathroom here. My teachers also always thought that I was really shy when really I just didn’t know how to say things and was scared to
"What is a past experience that shaped your Filipino-American identity?"
I was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia. There is a large Filipino-American community over there. They are my family, my kapamilya growing up. They are my titos, titas, lolos, lolas, ates and kuyas. One of my earliest memories in Virginia is when all of us would go over to each others houses. There would be karaoke, kids playing in the backyard, all the adults playing cards, everyone laughing and having a good time. Of course the table would always be filled with all the filipino dishes like rice, chicken adobo, pancit, lumpia, bibingka, and so much more. I remember when I moved to Lynnwood, Washington when i was nine or ten years old. Honestly it was a hard transition for me. I went to school where I didnt know anyone. I left all the people I knew growing up behind. The first few years of living in Washington was rough. I met a
NWFASA honors Filipino American History Month! This week, we will be launching part 2 of our #FAHM2018 project.
Part 3: Reminisce by Chelsea Consolacion I'm a huge fan of self reflection. Our personal experiences make us who we are and it's important to be able to look at what makes you, you. As Filipino-Americans, we experience things that sometimes makes us feel like we're the only ones going through it. In my segment I wanted to create unity through remembering and being transparent with our past, even when it stings a little. I want to thank the people that opened up to me and allowed me to share a glimpse into their lives with all of you. I hope you enjoy my segment and find similarities in other Filipino-American's experiences to show that you are not alone in this.