Our Interpretation of Filipino Culture
Jazmyne Faith Viloria | Maui High School, Class of 2023
Differing social norms, beauty standards, trends and foods. Today’s Filipino youth are being pulled in numerous directions to formulate their balance of Filipino and Western culture. What elements, daily routines or traditions helped form today’s youth’s interpretation of Filipino culture?
“Some of the biggest things that have helped me wrap my head around Filipino culture would include food, daily prayers, superstition and the language and dialects themselves too,” realized Carlo Cortez. Although Carlo is now continuing his studies in Washington, he continues to connect with his Filipino culture by “learning how to cook certain dishes and spending more time with cousins and families and going along with the social norms they established.” Instilling Filipino culture throughout childhood has significantly resonated with Carlo even through college. “As I grew up, I was exposed to many cultural aspects, and in the way, each one tends to be carried out, I understood more about the nature of the culture as well. That alone has helped me envelop my perception and interpretation of Filipino culture.”
“My interpretation of Filipino Culture had been formed by chores that had us using brooms and dustpans, the variety of flavors displayed in different food dishes, traditions of having a debut and dancing Tinikling, and most importantly, the people that surround me,” Jhanessty Bautista reveals. With Maui’s large Filipino community, numerous Filipino traditions, stories and social norms are stringed through everyday life. “Whenever I see my parents or extended families, the children, including myself, greet them and mano. This traditional practice forms my interpretation of Filipino culture as having great values of respect for our elders and community,” Roxelle Magliba expresses. Slight implementations of Filipino culture in everyday routines motivated Jhanessty and Roxelle to connect with their cultures and encourage others to do so.
“I noticed that our school is mainly composed of Filipinos, yet many of us don’t know much about our culture. I wanted to re-start the Filipino club with hopes of spreading cultural awareness and helping Filipino communities.” Maui High’s Filipino club now holds eighty members with the mission to “create a place where any student at Maui High School could learn about and participate in the Filipino culture. Each month, our club gets together to learn about a certain topic in Filipino culture or to come together for a fun celebration,” Jhanessty explains.
One of Maui High’s Filipino Club’s monthly activities was choreographing and performing Tinikling at Maui High School’s Saber Family Fun Night. Roxelle, Filipino Club president, led and choreographed the performance within three weeks. “As I was teaching the steps, it was a learning experience for me. There were many trials and errors but in the end, I have gotten closer to my culture.” Through student-led experiences, like choreographing and publicly performing a traditional Tinikling dance “has brought me from a place where I knew absolutely nothing about the culture except that I was a part of it to learning and teaching the culture to other people around me,” Jhanessty emphasized.
There is no limit to how small actions or grand gestures could impact youth’s interpretation of Filipino culture. Whether it be cultural stories, practicing traditions or cooking delicious meals in the kitchen, all hold a key portion in youth’s journey to discovering themselves and strengthening cultural connections.
Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Jazmyne Faith Viloria, a Senior at Maui High School. She is a member of SaberScribes (Maui High’s journalism club), Historian of the Video Club and Team Captain of Blue Thunder, Maui High’s Robotics club. Jazmyne is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, focusing on videography and photography. In her free time, she sews and refashions old clothes, journals, edits photos/videos and loves to analyze lyrics in songs. She is the daughter of Ruth Sagisi and Rudy Viloria.