To effectively and accurately communicate, cultivate, and exemplify culture and Filipinx/Filipinx American Studies.
To foster an inclusive and welcoming space for all.
To serve and connect with the University of Michigan, the Midwest, and the Philippines while expressing solidarity with marginalized communities.
Cultural ’18-’19, Secretary ’19-’20
During my Freshman year, I was determined to seek out a community to help me personally grow and to foster friendships during the intimidating college transition. Coming from a small, rural hometown in Northern Michigan, I especially knew that I wanted to join a community where I could meet other Filipino Americans. FASA offered this community, and from joining I’ve learned so much about leadership, Filipino culture and history, and have gained incredible friendships.
Being Filipino is a part of my identity that I have always taken for granted. Living in Grand Rapids, my parents provided me with a strong community where I could share food, music and stories with other Filipinos. However, when I moved to the University of Michigan, I had to leave my family and all our traditions. At school, there was no sinigang on the table at dinner, my mom wasn’t nagging me daily in Tagalog, and I didn’t have to take my shoes off at the door of my dorm. Not only was I missing my parents, but I also felt like I left my culture behind. Because of this, I sought out the Filipino American Student Association. I had heard about the club from my older brother, who had been in the club six years before. At the first event that I went to, the infamous Pancake Breakfast, the members were incredibly welcoming and proud of their culture. As I continued to attend events like Philippine Culture Night, Tinkling on the Diag, and Adobo Night, I began to feel more connected to my roots. FASA provided me with a space to learn about my culture and myself. Not only that, but I also gained lifelong friends. I have had the pleasure of watching FASA grow and change through my four years of college. If you are looking for a place to strengthen your connection to your roots, FASA is a great place to start!
I grew up being one of few Filipino boys in school. My only source of connecting to my heritage and culture were through my family, Filipino dramas and game shows, and the other Filipino boys in school. When I was accepted into the University of Michigan, my older brother immediately told me to join FASA. He said, “Join FASA, you’ll meet people who are like you.” I initially did not believe him and wanted to prove him wrong, but now I am extremely glad that he was right. I never thought that I would be welcomed into such a wonderful community that focuses in Filipinx culture and creating an environment to safely share our experiences. The people in FASA helped me appreciate my Filipino heritage and gave me better insight into what it is like to be a Filipinx American. I joined FASA because my brother told me, but I stayed because the people there made it worth staying.
Ever since moving to the US, I haven’t had much chance to socialize and spend time with other Filipinos of the same age-group as I am. I learned about the Filipino-American Student Association when I transferred to the University of Michigan. I initially thought that it would be a breeze socializing with the group, but I learned that there is significant difference between Filipino-American culture compared to Filipino or Filipino Immigrant culture. I was amazed about how interested 2nd generation Filipino-Americans are with connecting with Filipino culture. I was born in the Philippines, but I felt like I have started to lose touch with my ethnic roots in my attempt to assimilate into American culture. FASA has renewed my interest in Filipino culture and I have learned to focus on what I have in common with the other members of the organization. I feel a responsibility to share my own experiences to help others better understand Filipino culture in general. The group has also made me more aware of the immigrant culture in America.
President ’07-’08, Treasurer ’06-’07,
Social Chair ’05-’06 Dance Chair ’05-’08
Honestly, I joined FASA because my brother was a member and he made it sound fun but I didn’t realize that by joining FASA, I’d find my UMich family. Finding people my age who were just as proud of being Filipino and as interested in learning and sharing the culture was a refreshing experience. I gained a lot of knowledge from the cultural events and workshops with community members and other student orgs and was introduced to many mentoring opportunities like the YK Program and Filipino Youth Initiative where I was able to share my experiences and knowledge with the Filipino and Asian community in Metro Detroit. The dance practices were by far the best FASA events – although stressful, all the late night practices were great bonding experiences. Like most families, FASA can have its ups and downs, but I have nothing but fond memories of my time as an active member and, no matter how much time we spend apart, the friends I made in FASA are and always will be family. I encourage anyone who has an opportunity to join FASA or a group like FASA to do it, it will be one of the funnest experiences you’ll ever have.