An Exploration of Filipino Identity

I was raised by three Filipino immigrants and grew up immersed in my culture. My siblings and I were taught to dance the Tinikling, ate all the foods, and hung a Parol from our apartment balcony during Christmas. Yet Iʻve always associated being Filipino with shame and confusion. Growing up, Iʻd draw myself with white skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. I still catch myself wanting to be everything but Filipino to this day. The older I get, the sadder I realize it is. To combat this, I decided to create a portrait series on what it means to be Filipino. This project is ongoing and will feature Filipinos in America and the Philippines, showing the contrast between how we view our identities. With this project, I hope to help others and myself discover what being Filipino truly means.