Happy Filipino American History Month!
Did you know…
- -Filipino Americans are the second-largest Asian-American community in the U.S.
- -The first Filipinos arrived on the land that is now the continental U.S. on October 18, 1587 in what is now Morro Bay, California.1
October is Filipino American History Month, and it’s a great time to celebrate the culture and contributions of the Fil-Am community!
While it’s wonderful to celebrate cultural heritage (because who doesn’t love Filipino food like lumpia and pancit, dancing, and karaoke), what I want to highlight is the story and the power behind it. That’s history. History is about understanding the struggles, the resilience, the wins, and the overall journey that has contributed to where we are today.
For example we wear traditional see-through shirts called barongs as formal attire at weddings or funerals, but did you know that this started as a result of Spanish colonization? During the time of Spanish rule in the Philippines, natives had to wear barongs so that they couldn’t hide weapons underneath their clothing. Colonization and resistance is a push-pull dynamic deeply rooted in Fil-Am history.
Behind the experience of being Filipino American there is a duality in nature, meaning there are constantly separate identities in play. I’m thinking about how many times I threw away the rice and chicken adobo my mom packed for lunch because it was so different from the other kids’ PB&J’s. The conflict between these identities was something I struggled with growing up, and I used sports as a way to find comfort within myself. Over time this grew into a passion for movement and exercise, leading me to a career in physical therapy! (Side note: October is also National Physical Therapy Month, wooo!) The point is, there is so much power in your individual story and in understanding its different parts in order to effectively grow.
Just the same, it’s important to note that those of you who come see us at Lakás aren’t JUST patients, and you aren’t JUST athletes. You’re people with your own experiences and motivations for the sports you compete in or activities you want to get back to. Lakás means strength in Filipino (Tagalog). Here at Lakás PT, we encourage each of our patients to find strength in your story. Embrace it, celebrate it, and use that to move forward stronger than you ever thought possible.