This week brings another Thanksgiving holiday, hopefully a few days off school or work, and a chance to exercise gratitude. While I’m not celebrating Pilgrims stealing land from Native Americans, I will take this contrived opportunity to show gratitude for life’s joys, blessings, and triumphs. Exercising gratitude is actually a healthy and beneficial practice. Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude “report fewer symptoms of illness, including depression, more optimism and happiness, stronger relationships, more generous behavior, and many other benefits.” As a method of self-care, I use gratitude to view my struggles in a new light.

As Kubo’s Editor-in-Chief, I see submissions and ideas for content from all corners of the Pilipin@-American millennial experience. My brain moves a hundred miles a minute, processing how I can use this platform to create connections and facilitate critical conversations. I genuinely believe every person is so interesting in some way or another. This thirst for stories from any and every venture that concerns Pilipin@-Americans keeps me on high alert, constantly noting, bookmarking, and sharing the strides my fellow Pil-Ams are making.

While sifting through some of Kubo’s previous content, you may have noticed that the Pilipin@-American community faces some tough issues. There is much work to be done in different realms, industries, and communities. But I want to take a moment to focus on victories at every level. In the spirit of reframing perspectives, I want to name some things I am thankful for, but also my hopes for the future. I want to show gratitude and then keep going.

I’m grateful for the success of food trucks, pop-ups, and restaurants like LasaMaharlikaPurple PatchThe Park’s FinestRice & ShineWhite Rabbit, and Dollar Hits (and so many others!).

It’s about time that Filipino food has found solid footing in the States. I hope that our delicious dishes will become part of the mainstream so we don’t have to convince others of our bomb food through gimmicks, novelty, or Instagrammability. I would love for Filipino food to have the chance to exhibit nuances and the diversity of dishes throughout the provinces.

I’m hyped that there are more and more happenings around the country that exhibit the beauty and richness of our culture.

The Filipino American Heritage Movement of Los Angeles recently held its first “Eat Play Move” event to celebrate Pilipin@ food and culture. Watch our footage from the event here.

I’m grateful for the Congressional Gold Medal that was recently awarded to Filipino WWII veterans.

I hope that in the near future, these veterans and/or their next of kin will be able to receive the full benefits and status promised to them when they enlisted into military service on behalf of the United States.

I’m grateful to see Darren Criss cast as Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

[Yes, I know he’s playing a serial killer… but it’s nice to see a Filipino actor actually cast in the role of a Filipino character.]

And in the vein of pop culture, I must also shout out Rachelle Ann Go and Christine Allado, who were cast in the London run of Hamilton as Eliza Schuyler and Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, respectively.

*Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!* I hope that Pilipin@s will have the chance to take up increasingly diverse and complex roles in TV, movies, and onstage.

I’m grateful for my upcoming trip to the Philippines.

I’ll be attending a wedding in Bataan and it’s long overdue that I visit such a historical location. I also love that my friends and family are making it a priority to visit the motherland and rediscover what the Philippines means to each of us. I hope that I can dig deeper into my own roots and be critical about my privilege and how I navigate these trips back home.

I’m grateful for the spaces in which I am challenged to do identity work and develop my self-awareness.

Spaces like Kubo, Lakas Mentorship, and Samahang Pilipino at UCLA have been instrumental in helping me become who I am today. I hope that those who have the privilege of participating in experiences like these are willing to share their knowledge so that others may create these spaces in their respective schools, workplaces, industries, and communities.

And last, but certainly not least, I am grateful for you, the Kubo readers.

Thank you for joining Kubo on this journey to carve out a place for Pilipin@-American millennials in the digital sphere. I hope that you will be compelled to share your story here, too.

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