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FASA brings Filipino culture to the CSUN community – Daily Sundial

The Filipino American Student Association is proud to share its culture, history and appreciation with alumni, continuing their Filipino traditions and connecting with the CSUN community.

FASA was officially founded in 1982 and aims to unite Filipinos, Filipino Americans and people from all walks of life who want to learn more about Filipino culture.

The club shares Filipino culture by hosting its annual “Students for Filipino American History Month” event, where members can showcase their talents and traditions through music, dance, artwork and story. The club also draws attention to the history and social issues of the Filipino community.

“[Filipinos] helped build this company as we know it, we continue to serve it, ”said Allan Aquino, FASA club advisor. “Philippine and US History Month is just a bright and joyful reminder of what we do and accomplish every day, as we have done for centuries. “

FASA events are free and intended to showcase members’ talents as well as celebrate Filipino culture with the local community, according to Camille Villaflores, who has been a member of FASA since fall 2017.

Filipinos began migrating to the United States in the late 19th century, and Los Angeles has the largest Filipino population in California, followed by San Francisco, according to a Migration Policy Institute article. Today, Filipino immigrants are the fourth largest origin group, preceded only by immigrants from Mexico, India and China.

Although there is a notable Filipino community in the Northridge area, Filipino Americans often feel invisible, according to Aquino.

Aquino added that Filipinos haven’t always been welcome throughout history. Many Filipino immigrants came to the United States for higher education and work. They have been marginalized and abused, often finding support and happiness in their “kababayan,” who are fellow Filipino immigrant and extended family compatriots.

FASA brings together Filipino American students in a space that allows them to have a sense of belonging and camaraderie within their own cultural community, similar to a kababayan. Even FASA alumni still feel a family bond with the organization. Some members of the 1980s founding generation of FASA have children or family members who are part of the current group.

“FASA is like a big family,” said Bernadine Corpin, social president of FASA. “It has played such an important role in so many lives that alumni always come to support new generations in their efforts and the growth of CSUN FASA. “

Corpin appreciates that her parents surrounded her with Filipino culture from an early age, but also recognizes the difference in her thinking compared to her parents. She was taught that her elders sacrificed a lot by coming to America for better opportunities, which motivates the children of Filipino immigrants to achieve great things.

However, as a Filipina raised in the United States, she also recognizes that the children of immigrants also need to think about themselves and their own futures. It’s a balance Filipino Americans need to strike, Corpin said.

“This is what I feel like I learned from my parents and through who I am as a FilAm (Filipino American),” Corpin said.

Corpin believes she is passing this lesson and the many others she has learned from her family through her involvement with the club.

Villaflores also thanks her mother for encouraging her to get involved in a cultural organization on campus.

“Growing up, she made sure I always had a connection to my culture, whether it was through food, language, the arts, clothing and even Filipino soap operas,” Villaflores said. “She would tell me stories about her experiences growing up in the Philippines and remind me how lucky I am to live in the United States.”

Through his mother’s stories, Villaflores felt a deep appreciation for culture and wanted to share it. Villaflores strives to connect with other Filipino American students using FASA and helps promote greater Filipino American representation on campus.

“I’ve never been around so many people I can relate to and it was so refreshing,” Villaflores said.

Aquino said that for major events like the club’s annual “Philippine Cultural Night” or History Month programming, alumni typically attend the celebrations and provide financial and moral support as needed.

Aquino is one of the many alumni still involved with FASA. He was even part of the team that started hosting Filipino American History Month events on campus.

“As an advisor, I have the opportunity to see the younger generations of FASA members – many of whom are children of FASA alumni – continue [to grow] the achievements and hopes of those who came before them, ”said Aquino.

As of now, FASA is planning events to help them close the fall semester and organize their return in the spring.

Next semester, the club plans to host its annual “Filipino Cultural Night” in April and its own Filipino graduation ceremony just before the start week.

Even with COVID restrictions and limited in-person events, FASA will continue to educate and connect students to Filipino culture through the CSUN community.

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