Melting Pot Culture: Filipino American History Month

There’s Lola, my grandmother, with my brother and her anthirium. 

It’s Christmas in Naples, Florida, 1988.  I know I’ve been into the retro photos lately, as my aunt has passed them on.  But upon seeing the anthirium plant, I couldn’t help but post again.  I have an anthirium in my home right now and also adore the plant and its flowers.  I guess anthurium was also one of Lola’s favorites.

Lately I’ve been writing a bit more on the Fil-Am experience, or just my own experience as one of however many Filipina-Americans there are among us.  I’ve been writing these Instagrams and writing privately.

Incidentally, unbeknownst to me at first, October is also Filipinx/a/o History Month or Filipino American History Month in the United States.  This has been celebrated in this country since 1992, particularly in Hawaii and California and areas with dense Pinoy concentrations.  Did you know the first Asians to the U.S. were Filipino?  I didn’t.  Maybe I’ve caught on to the collective unconscious psyche by my efforts to make Filipino food at home and to look deeper inside myself.  Lately I’ve found these core reflections on race, identity and femininity as quite important to me.  I feel more sensitive to it this election year.

Half of my heritage is Filipinx.  It’s been something I could write a novel about.  But it feels relevant now to at least bring a little more light to it.  I sense the polarization of attitudes in this country, when assuredly everyone here or the large majority is from somewhere else!

How can we forget in the U.S. that we are a country of immigrants?  How can we reckon our exile, our diaspora and how it plays out in the mental health and inequalities in our melting pot culture challenged by white supremacy?

There are many perspectives to share about this gal’s Fil-Am Gen X experience.  Let this be a tiny seed.

Anthirium Plant in Ithaca New York

Shayna Grajo