Photography Irvin Rivera – Graphics Metropolis
No crisis of identity here. Filipino is as Filipino feels. The Philippines, perhaps more than any other Southeast Asian country, has always been about diversity. Even more, as our people scatter all over the world. Our community is a quintessential melting pot of cultures, beliefs, and idiosyncrasies. We are not one boring blanket of color. We are a rich and vibrant tapestry. We were born to be different. So let’s be.
Meet some young and proud Filipinos from LA who are challenging the standards of what it’s like to be a true Pinoy.
DIANA CARL, 22 – FILIPINO-AMERICAN
I am Filipino. Also American. I actually feel happy about being a Filipino. I believe Filipinos are a very happy people. We love to laugh and have fun. Being a Filipino has never been a challenge. But as a model, Filipino food can be a problem–haha!
DEVON SPENCE, 26 – FILIPINO-SWEDISH
Filipino is my dominant side, but my Swedish mix gives my brother, sister and I a unique look. I love it. I also always hear from people that Filipino friends are the most hospitable and make sure you are never hungry. Can’t imagine being something else. Being Filipino is the best! We dance, we sing and we look the best! 🙂
RODELL OCAMPO, 27 – FILIPINO-SPANISH-CHINESE
I am 100% Filipino. I am extremely proud to be a Filipino because of our rich culture, our ethnic mix, beauty, hardworking ethics and perserverant attitude. I never considered being a Filipino an issue, but actually a strength.
NIKITA PIA MCELROY – FILIPINO-AFRICAN-AMERICAN
Yes. I consider myself Filipino. Not only because my mom is Filipino, but because I have the heart of a Filipino. Filipinos are very resilient and loving.
Being Pinoy makes me proud. Filipinos have a diverse culture that’s very interesting. Foreign friends also think that we are the most hardworking and nicest people in the world.
Growing up, maybe I just had a little bit of challenge. I didn’t experience anything awful, but I did experience bullying because I looked different.
FRANCIS KENNETH ANUNCIACION, 27 – FILIPINO-AMERICAN
I am Filipino through and through. I might not sound or act like one but Filipino culture has been and continues to be an influential aspect in my life. I feel blessed, to be honest. We’re a group of hardworking and passionate people and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Growing up, I was one of a handful of Filipinos in my city (Lomita), so outside my family, I didn’t really have anyone I could relate my ethnicity to. As a result, I had to adapt to the different cultures around me. But my parents never let me forget that I’m Pinoy at heart.
LOUISE BARRETTO, 31 – FILIPINO-SPANISH
I am Filipina. There is no other ethnicity that I can relate to. Although, when people see me, they think I’m Mediterranean, Latina or Italian. I guess I’m just racially ambiguous.
I’m proud to be a Filipino. But sometimes, I wonder if more doors will open up for me if I weren’t Filipino. Filipinos have the biggest hearts and they’re open to new experiences. It may seem contradictory, but the issue for me is not about being a Filipino, but not looking Filipino or looking like any one in particular. It’s a double-edged sword but I prefer to roll with it and let it work for me.
JEREMY CARLOS, 19 – FILIPINO
It’s awesome. Being a Filipino makes me unique and it’s part of my overall identity. Fortunately, being Filipino has never been an issue for me, but I feel like everyday is a challenge in itself.
MARIA KRISTINA ABIGAIL ROXAS, 27 – FILIPINO-CHINESE
I’m 100% Filipino! We Filipinos have unique personalities! We have an optimistic attitude towards life and are always ready to help others. i’m proud to be Pinoy.
EDWIN LOYOLA, 41 – FILIPINO
Being Pinoy is always unique. We’ve got unique talent and culture to share with the world.
MADDY NORDUIST, 14 – FILIPINO-SWEDISH
I consider myself a Filipino and white, totally equal. I love being a Filipino for tons of reasons. We are very culturally diverse. There are a lot of things I can be proud of especially how close my Pinoy family is.
It has always been a challenge; being half and being called not a true Filipina, or just not good enough to be Pinoy.
MARK ANTHONY PASCUAL, 28 – FILIPINO-PUERTO RICAN
I am Filipino all the way! It’s a privilege to be one, actually. Most people I’ve met think highly of Filipinos.
MEG RIVES, 26 – FILIPINO-FRENCH
I identify as a multi-racial woman. I embrace everything that I am–Filipina, French and American. But I consider myself to be many things.
I feel blessed that I have a connection to my roots, and that I have culture and a great vacation spot.
As a mixed person who mostly looks more Filipina than Causcasian, I guess racism and stereotypes are a challenge. And when I inform people that I’m half Filipina, they say, “Oh, speak Tagalog!” But I only know cuss words.
IAGO RATERTA, 34 – FILIPINO – IRISH – MEXICAN
I am a Filipino, absolutely! I was born and raised in Iloilo, Philippines.
At times it is a challenge being a Filipino, especially living in a foreign country, but I don’t make it an issue.
MJ NORDQUIST, 11 – FILIPINO – SWEDISH
I consider myself Filipino. Equally Filipino and white.
I love being a Filipino because of cultural diversity. Being a Filipino is no issue. Except, some relatives and Pinoy friends may bully me saying I’m not a true Pinoy.
JANINE TUGONON, 25 – FILIPINO
I’m 100% Filipino. Both my parents are Filipinos and born in the Philippines.
I’ve always been happy, grateful and proud to be a Filipino. Filipino women, they say, are some of the most beautiful in the world, so that’s great!
When it comes to moving to the US, it wasn’t easy. But other than that, I had no challenges being a Filipino. I actually feel very privileged to be one.