America celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month to train the limelight, albeit briefly, to the many contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders to weaving the colorful and vibrant fabric of American society.
The Asian Pacific Islander community itself consists of 45 disparate ethnicities and about a hundred dialects.
Filipinos now comprise the 2nd biggest Asian immigrant bloc, next only to the Chinese.
This commemoration is both a celebration and a challenge for the Filipino American community.
The contributions of Filipinos from defending democracy and the American way of life to caring for Americans young and old to providing skills that keep the American economy humming are legion and continuing.
Just as Filipinos cast their own distinctive hue on the Asian American rainbow, there is also the need to make that even brighter and more vibrant.
For today’s FilAms, this should not only be a time to remember and honor compatriots who’ve blazed trails for us more importantly, it should be occasion to contemplate and rededicate ourselves to the task of forging even newer paths for generations yet to come. And one of them is political empowerment. (RJJ)