Narrative: Reclaiming my Filipinx Identity

When I think of “Reclaiming Filipinx Identity,” I ask myself, “Who is Darcy in her most authentic form?” When I discovered @reclaimingfilipinxidentity on Instagram this past summer, I felt the stars align. When this happened, I was already living through a transitional chapter of my life. I was experiencing new levels through growth. But, we’ll get to more of that later…

I’m from Springfield, Massachusetts which is an hour and half from Boston and 3 hours, give or take, from New York City. There isn’t a large Filipino population where I am from, and I wasn’t exposed to my Filipina culture, the same way other little girls were living in places like The Bay Area. During my childhood and pre-teen years, I felt different. I had plenty of friends, but I didn’t look like anyone else. To make things even less relatable, I didn’t see anyone in pop culture that looked like me neither. To make things even more complicated, I’m mixed and my father is Caucasian. My parents met while my pops was in the Navy and stationed in the Philippines. They married there, and my mom flew back to the states with him where they created a life together. My mom had a few Filipina friends in or around our hometown. Her closest friend passed away while I was young. Once that happened, she lost touch with the others. As far as her family, everyone is back home except 2 sisters that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person. One lives in Florida and the other in Australia.

I’ve always taken pride in my Filipina culture, but it wasn’t until my late college and post grad years where I’ve fully embraced it. The closest I’ve been to experience Filipino culture is attending the Philippines Independence Day Parade in New York City. I took my mom a few years back and we had the best time together! We were fully immersed in the culture and it was an incredible feeling! We made a weekend out of it and ate at Filipino restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan as well. My mom hasn’t been back to her country since she left with my dad in 1980, so other than visits with her sisters, this was the closest to home she’s been in over 30 years. She ate food that she had long forgotten about and laughed and enjoyed time with other fellow Filipinos. One of my life goals is to take her home so that we can experience everything the islands have to offer together.

In the past few years, I have Reclaimed my Filipinx identity in its truest form. I’ve researched my mother’s hometown, eaten the amazing food (lumpia, pancit, chicken adobo, halo halo, etc.), slowly but surely have learned Tagalog, listened to music, and also have connected with other young Filipinas. I thank God for Instagram, because without it I would have never been exposed to or have access to many beautiful and talented young women who look like me! I’ve found and supported Filipino businesses and have also found many resources.

In addition to Reclaiming my Filipinx Identity, I’ve fully embraced the fact that I am a person of color. The currently climate, along with the downtime that I’ve (fortunately) had due to coronavirus has given me the time to rethink how I want to identify myself. It hasn’t been the easiest task to understand over the years, but now I embrace my whiteness (mostly Polish) AND my Filipina roots. I have to. If I don’t acknowledge one side or the other, it is a disservice to me and those around me. During quarantine, I was afforded the time for extensive self-discovery. I took the time to I remind myself who and what is most important to me, and what my goals are. I also accepted my traumas as truths and manifested and claimed my goals then turned them to reality.

During this time, I’ve recently begun a new position and also have applied for and have been approved for a formal business LLC! Watch out world, Lola’s Lumpia LLC is on its way! I’ve had reoccurring thoughts about starting a business with my mom for quite some time, let me tell ya. The more I thought about it, the more reasons came to me why I knew we just had to move forward with the idea. Through Lola’s Lumpia not only are we creating avenues and opportunities to become more financially free, but we are also celebrating family and our beloved culture together. We are sharing our it all with others and doing so with love. Now that indoys and indays is what you call the definition of Reclaiming Our Filipinx Identity!

Thank you all for taking the time to read my story. Thank you to @reclaimingfilipinxidentity for creating this platform. Feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to join me on my personal and professional journey @darcy413. It is there where I will be announcing the launch for Lola’s Lumpia. I look forward to connecting with you soon!


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