While BOSFilipinos has its own mission, if you ask us three founders separately what our personal mission is, we all have a slightly different answer. We all have a reason for starting this community group and to explain mine, I guess I should take a step back and talk a little bit about myself.
I am a very fortunate girl, having a great and eclectic set of parents. My father is a Jewish Upstate New Yorker. My mother is a Catholic Ilocana (from the Ilocos Sur region, in northern Philippines) raised in Manila and the province town of Tabuk, Kalinga-Apayao, Philippines.
Even though I am an American citizen, and have an American father, living in the Philippines until I was 18, my brother and I were raised Filipino. We were brought up by mostly Filipina women (i.e. my mother and up to 7 helpers). We typically ate Filipino food, at home and from the street vendors, (and I mean things that you would never imagine would be considered food - check out this CNN story about how to eat balut - duck egg in embryo form). We didn't have snow days, but we had school cancellations due to flooding during “typhoon season”. And we even had to stay home from school for several days due to an attempted coup d’etat in the city! We walked around our house (even outside) barefoot, celebrated Noche Buena (the night before Christmas), and called our elders (even if we weren’t related) “Ate” (older sister), “Kuya” (older brother), “Tita” (Aunt), and “Tito” (Uncle). Now, even as full grown adults, these are things we still do happily.
Moving to the U.S. 17 years ago, I realized that I had a story to tell. The things I did in the Philippines, were experiences that not very many people that I meet have had. This gave me a sense of purpose and pride. I told myself that I would represent the Philippines the best that I could. To tell the world, especially Boston, my Filipino story.
I have so much pride in being Filipina, I have taken it upon myself to educate people, from friends and acquaintances, to my Uber drivers, and now you guys. There's so much to tell about the wonderful country that I call home, and I'm so thrilled that I can use this platform to share my love of the Philippines.
I want to thank my partners in crime Bianca and Trish for letting me take this ride with them. Because of them, I'm able to take the first steps of pursuing my dream!
Salamat (Thank you)! Mabuhay (similar to Aloha - it has many meanings)! Kamapai (Cheers)!