Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, my first lessons in Filipino American history were from family who lived and farmed in and around the Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington State. I learned from my grandfather and other manongs, stories of labor strife, race riots, and political struggle, all in attempts to keep Filipinos from farming. My Grandfather immigrated from the Philippines in the 1930's and worked to fight the laws that were made to keep Filipinos from leasing and buying land. Rediscovering farming through food justice and urban farms has brought me full circle to pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming a third generation Filipino American Farmer as well as gaining a deeper connection to ancestors, soil, community, and social justice.
I am farming in NE Portland through the Pathways to Farming program. I am a small scale flower farmer who practices no-till. My farm name is Mabuhay Garden's. Mabuhay in Filipino can be defined as "long live", "may you live", "cheers", "welcome", and "hurrah". This helps me define flower farming while growing and redefining who I am as a third generation Filipino American farmer.