Check out this video trailer for the upcoming Silicon Valley Asian American Voices project:
The documentary follows the stories—the successes, hardships, and hopes—of three Asian American immigrants in Silicon Valley. Two seconds into the trailer, I could tell the first lady featured was Filipina. Her looks, her accent... she is so Pinoy!
Seeing my kababayan onscreen immediately made me sit up and pay attention. I haven't watched the film yet (it's going to be showing at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, starting March 20th), but I know her name is Nenita Ibe, and she's a Filipina woman working as a room attendant in the hotel industry. She's a Filipina immigrant. Although I've never worked in the hotel industry (in the US at least; my nightclub gigs in Manila are another story altogether and a subject of future blog posts), I'm a Filipina immigrant too, so her story is a little like my story. And her story is a little like my cousins' stories and my high school buddy's story and your story. And if you're not a first generation immigrant, her story might be a little bit like your mother's story, or your father's or your grandmother's. It's a story that's been told and retold by hundreds and thousands of Asian Americans all across the United States, and it's a story worth hearing.
If you live in the Bay Area, check out the Silicon Valley Asian American Voices Facebook page for a schedule of upcoming screenings of this documentary. Hopefully watching this document will get more Asian Americans aware of the struggles that new immigrants still face.
This post originally appears on Bonggamom's personal blog, Finding Bonggamom. She also blogs for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Savvy Source, and Bonggamom Finds.