Monday, October 6, 2008

Pinoy Ako!

On October 1st, Barack Obama recognized Filipino American History Month. He wrote,

" Dear Friends,

I appreciate the opportunity to join the Filipino American National Historical Society and its friends in celebrating Filipino American History Month. This celebration is a wonderful opportunity to honor the values and traditions of Filipino Americans, and your role in the story of America.

America’s greatness lies in our nation’s ability to embrace and integrate different cultures into our national character. Filipino Americans nurture and maintain important social, cultural and business ties between America and the Philippines. As you celebrate your Filipino heritage and your American identity, I hope you remain inspired to make our country as great as we know it can be. "

His entire letter can be read > here.

I am very proud of both my American upbringing and my Filipino culture and ancestry. Growing up in California and Virginia, I didn't experience any extreme discrimination. I can recall only twice being discriminated against. One instance, my mother, brother and I were walking to the parking lot from the mall, and a group of teenage caucasian boys drove by in a pick up truck and shouted "Go Back to China!" and drove off laughing. I was too young then, to understand that they were being racist.

A second time, while walking to my first class, during highschool, one African American boy started making fake "asian talk", like "ching chong chee!" all the while with this cocky sneer. This made me mad. I thought, this guy doesn't even know what he's talking about. Even though he was bigger than me and standing with his friends, I walked straight up to him, looked at him - eye to eye and told him "I'm Filipino." He was stunned. He never said a bad thing to my face again.

Several times, when I first moved to the Philippines for college, there were people that told me "You're not Filipino, because you don't speak Tagalog." While I did in fact, know several phrases and words in Tagalog, but not enough to carry on a conversation. I can understand where those nay sayers were coming from. But, at the same time, what do they know about me and my family? When I grew up in Virginia, they didn't offer Filipino language classes and both my parents worked 15+ hour days, running out family owned Lola Lly's Donutery. So, I couldn't blame my parents for not teaching us. Besides, you learn the language that you talk in school, right? I've since learned enough to carry a general conversation in Tagalog. Aside from that, I do my ownl online study of words and phrases, in Tagalog, Ilocano and Pampagueno languages. There are things my parents did teach me, they're values of education, hard work, loyalty to your family and siblings, honoring & respecting your elders, like "mano po". We ate rice with almost every meal (my dad even ate rice with spaghetti! Now that's hard core. lol!) We take our shoes off in the house, to not track dirt on the carpet. My father would often tell me, "Never forget, that you are Filipino, OK."

It's funny now, that I'm an adult, living in Arizona, one of my Fil-Am friends told me quite affirmatively, that "You're not." He said this to me, after I just recounted my story, about how a few people in the Philippines had told me that I'm not Filipino. I was rather stunned, actually, at his comment. I can't recall what I said to him in reply, or if I said anything at all. Well, he's entitled to think that of himself or me. But, I do know myself. I am very proud of my heritage, of my grandparents and parents' lives and hardwork, both here in the US and the Philippines. I am proud of the Filipino and American Veterans that walked the Bataan Death March. I am proud of my brother and sister in law who both serve in the United States Navy.

I am a proud digiscrapping citizen of both the Philippines and America - and that's that! Don't ever stop believing in yourself, in your heritage, and in your dreams. Here's another sneak preview of Crop Dreams. Just one more reveal preview before the big reveal on Friday. ;-)

(click thumbnail for larger view)

I wonder have you ever felt like your culture was not recognized? Do you feel invisible? Do you like blending in? What about the Filipino culture (or the cultures you identify with) that make you proud? Today, I challenge you to scrap about the cultures the make up who you are. Please comment back with a link to your layout.

P.S. I have also created a group on Facebook for Mabuhay Project. Please log on today and join! Find me on Facebook as Marissa Madrazo Carranza.

Filipino Moms has a list of events in San Francisco > blog
SF Gate >
Asian Americans for Obama > Letter from Sen. Obama

Also, I want to wish Shaui of Fei Fei's Stuff at Oscraps for being in the Designer Spotlight this month. She is a talented Filipina designer based in the UAE.

Here's a page I made using her free template and a Sampaguita Sticker I made for Crop Dreams.
This is called Bad Batz Maru Cupcake and I've submitted it to her 8+ embellies challenge.

My friend Ninette and I had lots of fun making these during a dry run.  The cupcakes were a hit at the Baby Shower too this weekend. I didn't bring a camera that day, so, I'm waiting to get those pictures in.

This is a page I made for her 1st challenge, to use a brush as a mask. Shaui's Crazy Beautiful kit's "portrait of love" word art is perfect for this picture and the use of a brush on the photo really makes the page special. I also added two embellies from Crop Dreams:  painted wooden roses and a "clipped up" embellie.

Thanks for looking!

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