As we were scrolling through Instagram, one account, in particular, caught our attention: Pinay Collective. Here was an account that had images of so many strong and empowering women who all had a different story to tell and answered the main question on Pinay Collective: What does it mean to be Filipina? Each caption told a Pinay’s story which eventually turned into a community of women who all shared a common thread – Filipinas embracing their heritage.
We recently had a chance to chat with the woman behind the account, Patricia De Peralta. During our conversation, we learned what inspired her to create the account, what she’s learned from it, and of course, asked her what it meant to be Filipina.
TFCU: What inspired you to create @pinaycollective?
Patricia De Peralta: Three factors inspired me to create Pinay Collective; firstly, it was time for me to learn more about my heritage being Filipina. I needed to know more than just the food and speaking Tagalog. It’s imperative for me to learn the history of the Philippines and my People because it connects to the now and will help guide me.
Secondly, I wanted to immerse myself in a project and be part of a community. I often do things alone like travel, so I thought it would be an opportunity for growth.
Lastly, Pinay Collective is a positive reaction to the negativity and isolation that Donald Trump and his Administration projects, specifically towards Women, People of Color and Immigrants, amongst other groups. I am a daughter of an Immigrant. My family history is not as deep-rooted here in America, and my Mother was born in the Philippines, but that does not make us less American. Donald Trump and his Administration’s hate and ignorance prompt me to celebrate the beauty of being Pinay and the Pinay sisterhood.
What’s it been like running this account and connecting with so many Pinays around the world?
The amount of enthusiasm that I have encountered has been illuminating. There is an eagerness to share and be heard. It gets overwhelming but connecting with other Filipinas is a vitalizing experience. It reminds me that I am not alone.
Since you’ve been running this account for almost a whole year, what have you learned while doing so?
When I realized how many individuals and organizations existed for Filipinas by Filipinas, I was truly humbled. Here I am thinking that the Filipina Community is lacking, but I was wrong. It was myself not making the time to research and get involved prior. I have so much to learn and understand. I am becoming more and more prideful being Filipina.
Why do you think it’s so important to ask the question: What does it mean to be Filipina?
Growing up I wasn’t necessarily ashamed of being Pinay, but I wasn’t proud of it either. Lack of representation, misrepresentation and my favorite, no representation at all was the struggle. I didn’t define being Filipina until two years ago, and so many revisions have happened since then. There is more to a Filipina than just being Pinay, but I think asking what that means is a good starting point. I know I never was asked what being Filipina meant until I asked it of myself. I wonder if there are others.
👁 “Growing up, I thought Pilipinx culture was staying out of the sun and maintaining pale skin. I thought it was straightening my hair and pinching my nose, hoping it would grow a little more narrow. I saw my Filipina identity as a state of being, achievable only by erasing my Black identity in the process.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ I've grown and I've learned. I see that being a Filipina is shattering post-colonial mentalities and fighting imperialism. It's calling out family members at the dinner table. It's being intersectional. It's embracing the sun and the tans that come with it. ⠀⠀ To be Filipina is to be unapologetic, someone to make my ancestors proud.”⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thank you @tylerlaaauren ❕ .⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀ Let's inspire and build a community! What does it mean to be a Filipina to you? DM us, we'd love to know! 💭 #pinaycollective #pinaygrown .⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀ #browngirls #explore #browngirlbloggers #filam #asian #pacificislander #ph #pilipina #komunidad #pagkakaisa #pamilya #family #community #brownwomanrise #lipi #tampok #babae #community #pinas #pinayigers #familia #filipina #tribe #herstory #sisters #kapatiran #woc #reclaimyourpower #kaibigan
We have to ask YOU! What does it mean to be Filipina to you?
Spanish influence is deep-rooted in our culture, language, name, genotype, etc., while America currently influences our pop culture, music, fashion, etc. Being Filipina means deciphering through all those years of reform. We as Filipinas inherit the struggle of previous generations, and whether we take on the responsibility of mending through resentment that we might not have experienced but felt, it affects us all. While there may be a burden, being Filipina means having an empty bowl and getting to fill it up with whatever kind of cereal and milk we choose. We decide what defines us!
How has social media impacted your life overall?
I use social media daily, and I enjoy the format of it. I like Yelp, Tumblr, and Instagram the most. I’m more of an introvert, so I save all the face to face interactions for a later time. I do have to remind myself to take a break from looking at various screens all day to give my eyes some rest.
Who inspires you?
Right now, at this very moment, I am inspired by Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky and the other Parkland students that survived a shooting at their high school. Unfortunately, what occurred could have been avoided. These teenagers are fighting so what happened to them, and their friends won’t be the standard experience. They all have so much conviction in how they speak and where they stand on the issue of gun control, it inspires me!
What’s a quote you live by or simply inspires you every day?
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” – Maya Angelou