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Millennial Voices: What Does It Mean to Be Filipino American?


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Millennial Voices: What Does It Mean to Be Filipino American?

What’s Good 206’s Rhea Panela asks fellow Filipino Americans to share their insights.

October 7, 2016

October is Filipino-American History Month in the U.S. According to the latest U.S. census report, there are approximately 4 million Filipino Americans living in the country today. They are the second-largest Asian race in the nation and in Seattle as well.

What’s Good 206 intern Rhea Panela, a Filipino American herself, is proud of her heritage but sometimes struggles with finding her place within American culture. She asked other Filipino Americans around her age about their backgrounds, fitting into U.S. culture and what it really means to be Filipino American.

Sunshine Arcilla

Sunshine Arcilla, 21, is a first-generation Filipino American. Arcilla was born and raised in the Philippines until she was 12 years old. She moved to the U.S. with her mom and sister.

Resilience is at the core of being Filipino.

Alex Gonzaga

Alex Gonzaga, 20, is a junior at the University of Washington and was born and raised in Tacoma. Gonzaga’s parents came to the U.S. from the Philippines before he was born.

Emme Daniels

Emme Daniels, 18, has Filipino, Caucasian, Korean and Chinese heritage. She was born and raised in the U.S. 



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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a summer intern with Spark Public. Rhea is majoring in journalism with minors in English and diversity at the University of Washington. She is also the Digital Media Editor at the International Examiner and a writer for The Daily of the University of Washington. She was named one of the inaugural UW Husky 100 and was also one of the recipients of the 2016 Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship. See her previous work on her website and find her on Twitter @rheapanela_.

Fun Fact: She has an unhealthy obsession with Hot Cheetos.

More stories by Rhea Panela