There are many vibrant parts of the Filipino Community that are being overshadowed by the recent events surrounding Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener.
As a proud Filipino American in living in the State of New Mexico, the recent events surrounding Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener have left a poor visual of the Filipino immigrants and Filipino Americans currently living in our state.
I am one of the Filipino Americans that are proudly defending our pride and heritage. The organizations have given back to the state through arts, food and service, and it is disheartening to see a photography blog skew the perception of Filipinos.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Human trafficking and solicitation has been a morose problem that has plagued third-world countries for centuries, and the problem is an epidemic that no Filipino American can fight on their own. I, as a board member of the Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico, will never know the truth of what had happened to Commissioner Weiner, but I represent many of the women who work to live and make unwilling sacrifices to make ends meet.
Though there are accusations and we will never know the truth of what had happened, as a Filipino I have been raised on morals and greater care for our neighbors, and I only want men and women to be empowered to live a life full of freedom and spirit.
There are many vibrant parts of the Filipino Community that are being overshadowed by the recent events:
- Recently, the media showcased the 70th anniversary of the Bataan Death March and its historic commemoration at Bataan Park in Albuquerque.
- Filipino Americans are creating jobs and sharing our culture through cuisine by opening an authentic Filipino restaurant called “Filipino Kitchen;” they are also entrepreneurs with other organizations.
- The Filipino American Foundation of New Mexico Cultural Dance Groups keep kids in school and active by educating them on Filipino heritage through dance.
I strongly urge the public to realize the greater reputation of an indigenous culture. We are not a culture slammed by a commissioner’s actions. We are Filipino Americans that do great things for New Mexico.
Living in the greater Albuquerque area for over a decade, Kristelle Siarza is a 25-year-old marketing professional with a passion for social media and community service. She is a full-time student and heavily active in Filipino organizations as a board and committee member. You can find Kristelle at misskristelle.com.