Filipino American, Ako!

SJSU Graduation, May 2019
BA: History
BA: Social Science Teacher Preparation
Cum Laude, Departmental Honors
Phi Alpha Theta

“Sophia, be somebody. Do this, and you can be somebody.” My mother sternly repeated every time she reprimanded me.

As a little brown, Filipina girl growing up in East Side San Jose, my mother had always left me off with a little push, a type of parental motivation, that I still carry in my heart every day. She had always pushed me to be someone, to be someone great. Known to be maarte and tigas ng ulo, I astutely responded with “Ma, how? I do this and that, how am I not someone already? What is someone anyway?” Sometimes she’d secretly smile and sa, “Hmph!” Other times, she just angrily stomped around yelling, “puta ina, anak ng puting!” Unanswered, she left my question alone to wonder in the back of my mind for endless years to come. Admittedly, although she had reprimanded me for being lazy and stubborn, my mother’s words left a legacy within me. To be someone, someone great.

(Translation for maarte: bossy, choosy, picky)
(Translation for tigas ng ulo: hardheaded, stubborn)
(Translation for puta ina, anak ng puting: cuss words in Tagalog, anak ng puting = son of a shark)

Now that I have officially graduated college, I wondered what that person would be like, and if I became the woman my mother once envisioned to be. More importantly, I wondered if I became the woman I wanted and needed to be. With time gained and productivity on my side, I reflected on three questions.

“What do I do with my degrees outside of my career?”
“How do I put the skills I’ve learned throughout college in use?”
“Am I Somebody, yet?”

The answer to some of the aforementioned questions are hidden away, right here, in this blog, through all of the future posts, articles, and writings. I’ve written a lot before through journals, diaries, bu-jo entries, past blogs, and sometimes just Word Documents. I also deeply expressed my thoughts and articulated arguments throughout my college essays (See my Senior Thesis/Writing Example pages). I cultivated a massive base for writing, yet I could not maintain a single diary, blog, or Word document for the life of me. Now that I have walked on stage and earned two bachelor degrees, I had an innate, intense feeling that now is the time to be Someone.

Now I know everyone is asking, “okay, Sophia, so what does it look like?”

I did not understand how our cultures were integrated and how that personally affects me, a first generation American.  In this blog, I will attempt to explain my experiences between myself, my family, and those around me who may or may not share the same experiences.  These are first hand, anecdotal experiences and the conclusions I may come to are purely based on my assumptions and observations. I feel the need to write my experiences down, as they are coming at me at a faster rate than ever before.  In addition to providing first hand experiences, I will attempt to research and explain my family’s history (both paternal and maternal) as well as explore more aspects of Filipino American history. In addition to exploring my cultures, I also intend to write about, well, just life in general; dating, relationships, being queer, traveling, food, education, and my journey to be an educator.

It’s a lot, I know. But bear with me, as I do feel that people can benefit from and contribute to my writing. I hope that these experiences and assumptions will shed some light towards our daily lives and that my readers will somewhat find truly enjoyable. Now it’s time to roll up my sleeves and start writing, contributing, changing, and being!

Regardless of the hardships and difficult I may face, I wholeheartedly intend to continue living the life I have chosen with love, grace, and greatness.

Mabuhay!

-S.

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3 thoughts on “Filipino American, Ako!

  1. Great start Ading. Well on your way to being that someone :). Kuya is looking forward to following your adventure and see the woman you will become! Its people like you that will make me and many others proud of their culture and heritage! ~Tunay na filipino~

    Like

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