The entire month of October is recognized in USA as Filipino American History Month. Let’s take it in because only less than a decade ago this month was nationally recognized. Eight. Years. Ago. Filipino-American culture earned its deserved place here in the States.
How My Fil-Am Journey Began
A year ago, I started my journey to learning more about my Filipino culture because of filipino teleserye called On the Wings of Love. It was such a new journey for me and it only felt right to bring in YouTube in the mix because of how passionate I am with making videos and sharing information. So, I shifted my YouTube channel from being a general everything-I-like (beauty, style, challenges, etc.) channel to a culture-centered channel. Here’s my first video of a more detailed reason why I started FILAM FANGIRL:
We’ve only had Fil-Am History Month for how many years?!
29 YEARS: In 1988, The Filipino American National Historical Society established Filipino American History Month. Way to go!
11 YEARS: In 2006, Filipino American History Month was recognized statewide by the Calif. Department of Education.
8 YEARS: In 2009, a California State Senator had a resolution passed to recognize Fil-Am History Month. All within that same year, the resolution moved through our nation’s Congress, it was passed, and the month of October was finally recognized as Fil-Am History Month.
As a proud Filipino-American, it’s so disheartening to know that Fil-Am culture was just recently nationally recognized in my lifetime. Luckily, the filipino spirit has been alive and well for the last 425 years. For the last hundreds of years, Filipinos have taken part in building the America we know today.
⇢ Related Links: FILAM FANGIRL
How to Celebrate Filipino American History Month If I Know Nothing About My Filipino Culture
● Have an open mind. Whatever is keeping you from learning your culture… whether your family scarred you, or you grew up in a strict family household when you were young and you never want to go back to things that remind you of them, or you were judged based on how you look because of the unrealistic Filipino Standards of Beauty, know that it is okay to let go. Let go of that anger, hurt, or pain, and go into learning about the Filipino culture with an open mind. There’s a lot more to culture that is interesting and a lot more to be proud of when you are able to block out the negative and learn more about all good things that come with being Filipino.
● Disregard any judgment and criticism that comes your way. Sometimes you’ll come across people who are more well-versed in the Filipino culture, or people who will try to judge you for not knowing about the culture at all. My advice is to block out that noise and keep learning.
● Learn from observation and interaction. When I put myself out there and made a video called I Used to Hate Being Filipino, I sparked a lot of anger in the online community. In turn, I also found out that there are more people in the world who once felt or currently felt the same way as I did. Observation of Filipino life through media and research is valuable. Interaction with others is valuable. In turn, it will help you celebrate your culture with people you never thought could exist (especially when you thought you were alone in your thoughts and opinions all your life).
● Stray far, far, far away from stereotyping. As much as I do it, and many other people do it. Stay away from stereotyping Filipinos and create your own depiction of what you believe Filipinos can be. Once you can do that and add your own reflection in what you think Filipinos should be, you can finally associate yourself with the culture and feel connected enough to celebrate it.
● Check out my FILAM FANGIRL series. (Shameless plug!) In my YouTube series, I talk about what it’s learn about my Filipino culture as an adult through American-raised eyes. And to add to the mix, I was also raised more under Hawaiian and Japanese-influenced culture.
Daily Kababayan Shoutout: @Joshua_Luna
This month I’m incorporating a Daily Kababayan Shoutout to recognize the people out there who remind me why I continue to do what I do and push representation of Filipino life in media. Today’s goes out to Joshua who talks about self-love as a the revolutionary step our generation is taking to love our Filipino heritage more. Thank you Joshua for the reminder that self-love allows us to self-discover regardless of how much negativity tries to come our way.
Can’t wait to touch base with you every day this October at 7am PST/10pm PHT!
lots of virtual hugs,
*NOTE: Even if I’m doing this month’s series as a commemoration of Filipino American History Month, please know that this series is fully inclusive of all Filipinos around the world who are learning about and celebrating the culture. Whether you’re FilCan (Filipino Canadian), Filo (Filipino European), Filish (Filipino Spanish), Fil-anything and everything… you are welcome here.
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a historical, sociological, cultural expert in Filipino culture. All thoughts and opinions come from my own experience and any facts and dates come from my basic research online. Please feel free to comment below if you have input or other credible sites to contribute.