Efforts to aid the Philippines after the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda are flooding our social media newsfeeds and global news. My mom, a Philippine native, taught us her country’s values from childhood and even spoke to us in Tagalog although we grew up in the United States. The Filipino culture is one based on strong family ties and patriotism, both tested by the horrors of nature this past week. As a Filipino, I wanted to share an article that I wrote in college, that was recently published in Positively Filipino, A San Francisco-based digital magazine celebrating the global Filipino. The essay focuses on the identity crisis of being a mestiza, or half white and half Filipino in my case. My personal struggles revealed a deeper understanding of family and friendships, and ultimately the core values of Filipino pride.
With that said, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the typhoon. Filipinos are some of the most selfless and generous people I know, and I’m not just being biased. They open their arms to others, feed them, and make them feel like a part of their family. That is why I am blessed to have so many cousins, titas/titos, and lolos/ lolas that aren’t even related to me! I hope the rest of the world can return the favor today to help clothe, feed and rebuild this strong yet struggling nation.