By Zachary Liston
Staff Writer

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Clackamas Community College held an event to share the experience of two Filipino American students in Roger Rook Hall on May 29.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee hosted the event which focused on students Danielle Borres and her sister Dominique Borres. The two students shared their experiences growing up as Filipino Americans.

The presentation had a large focus around family, with both students sharing the importance of their family.

“Our family and making them proud is a huge motivator for us,” Danielle said.

The presentation began with a little information about the students themselves (both of whom will be studying chemical engineering). This quickly moved on to their family’s history in the United States.

“In 1963 Lolo, which means grandfather in Tagalog, joined the U.S. Navy for fun and curiosity,” Danielle said. “He was a mechanical engineer and worked on HVAC systems, specifically air conditioning, and he was on a submarine and was underwater for six months on a ship called USS Barb (SSN-596). That ship went to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Pearl Harbor and all over the Pacific.”

Their grandfather later applied for U.S. citizenship and immigrated with his family. The family settled in Southern California.

Danielle and Dominique’s mom stayed in the Philippines and married their father, a Filipino with Canadian citizenship. After marrying, the couple moved to Canada and then later to California to be closer to extended family.

Both Dominique and Danielle were born there. Unfortunately, their grandfather passed away when they were young, but this gave them their first chance to visit the Philippines for his funeral.

“It was really interesting living like how my mom grew up, it made me realize how much privilege we have here in the United States and it made me really appreciate the sacrifices that our parents make for us,” Dominique said about her visit to the Philippines.

The sisters showed the audience how important food is to Filipino culture by bringing in food, made by their mother, to the presentation: puto, which is a Filipino cake, and lumpia, a rice paper meat wrap. Both dishes had cheese added, which has a special meaning in Filipino culture.

“In the Philippines that means you’re rich,” Danielle said.

Anyone can learn about their family’s culture, if they want to. There are some very simple things you can do, according to Dominique.

“Talk to your parents, look up the history in general, there is a lot I learned about the Philippines that I learned when doing this presentation,” Dominique said.

Zach Liston

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