What Being Filipino Means To Me

It’s been another busy month around here. Despite still being in the middle of a pandemic, we’ve managed to celebrate a wedding, 3 birthdays, and even our baby boy’s 100-days celebration. October is already generally a busy month for us, and I am biased to love October because it’s also my birth month. But on top of all these things, October is also the time to celebrate Filipino-American History Month!

Recently a friend asked me what are 3 things I love about being Filipino. After thinking about it, I realized my answer was the perfect base for this month’s blog. But instead of simply sharing what I love about being Filipino, I’m sharing what being Filipino means to me.

Being Filipino Means Loving Food

I would have to say the biggest tie I have to my Filipino culture is the love of Filipino food. As a Fil-Am, I am thankful my mom and Lolo (meaning grandpa) always made traditional Filipino food. Growing up I sometimes couldn’t differentiate the difference between Filipino food and non-Filipino food. I simply thought it was all just food. It wasn’t until I was in school that I learned the difference. But luckily for me, I grew up in a place where there were kids from all different cultural backgrounds so eating cultural food wasn’t seen as necessarily different. Now Filipino food has a special place in my home because it’s what has allowed me to teach my kids about their Filipino heritage. While they’re not full Filipino, their palates might trick you to think otherwise. Ask my kids what their favorite foods are, and they’ll easily say adobo, sinigang, and kare-kare.

Kamayan Dinner at our house.

Being Filipino Means Putting Family First

If there’s one thing I feel like every Filipino family has in common, it’s having a tight-knit family. And I don’t just mean your blood family. Filipinos really know how to have a deep connection with people which can allow even the closest friends to feel just like family. To me being Filipino means including your family in every celebration and milestone of your life because not only is your family there to support you, but they’re there to cheer you on as well. After God, family is everything.

My brother and cousins, who are basically like my siblings also.

Being Filipino Means Spreading Joy and Hospitality

I’ve often heard that Filipinos are the kindest and most welcoming folks around, and I believe it. When Filipinos find out you’re also Filipino, they welcome you in like you’re family. And even if you’re not Filipino, as long as you’re nice and will gladly eat the food being offered to you, you’ll be happily embraced. Walk into any Filipino household and the first question is “Are you hungry?” Sometimes you won’t even be asked the question and food will simply just appear. When I started working in hospitality, I liked to think I loved it so much because the “hospitality gene” is just in my blood. 

Come to our house, I’ll force feed you my baking.

I can go on and on about what being Filipino means to me.

But simply it means food, family, and love.

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