Filipino American History Month: 10 Filipino-Americans You Should Check Out

October is Filipino-American Heritage Month. As someone born in the United States to a Filipino mother, I feel very proud to be a part of such a magnificent group of people. In honor of Filipino-American Heritage Month, I would like to highlight ten Filipino-Americans. Some may be familiar to you, while others will be introduced to you for the first time. Let’s get going!

  1. 1. Asia Jackson

    Asia Jackson is an actress and content creator, who derives her Filipino heritage comes from her mother. She is known for her campaign, #MagadangMorenx, which addresses the colorism is prevalent in the Philippines. Dark-skinned Filipinos, known as “morenas” or “morenos,” are taught that their dark skin is not beautiful; they even tend to lose opportunities because of it. There is even a booming business of harmful and dangerous whitening creams which consumers buy in hopes of conforming to the ideal beauty standards. Jackson decided that it was about time that dark-skinned Filipinos embrace their dark skin and show their fellow Filipinos that their brown skin is beautiful. With that, she created #MagadangMorenx, which means “beautiful brown skin.” Thanks to this campaign, many dark-skinned Filipinos have grown to fully embrace their beautiful brown skin.

  2. 2. H.E.R.

    H.E.R. is a singer. Her Filipino heritage comes from her mother. Some of her popular songs are “Focus,” “Best Part,” and “Slide.” Part of H.E.R.’s journey to loving music is her Filipino heritage, moreso the love Filipinos have for karaoke. 

  3. 3. Saweetie

    Saweetie is a rapper. Her Filipino heritage comes from her mom. Some of her popular songs are “Tap In,” “My Type,” and “ICY GRL”. Saweetie has shown her pride for her Filipino heritage when she tweeted “susmaryosep!”, a common expression that Filipinos say which means “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.” Furthermore, she gave a shoutout to her mom in her song, “High Maintenance,” by saying, “And that’s a word to my mother, she the Filipino queen / And she hella high maintenance, I’ma get her what she need.” Also, in an interview with L’Officiel, Saweetie stated that she will release a song called “Pretty Girl Mosh Pit” in which she raps a little Tagalog in. We can’t wait to hear it, Saweetie!

  4. 4. Cassie

    Cassie is a singer, model, and actress. Her Filipino heritage comes from her father. Some of her projects include the songs “Me & U,” and “The Boys,” in which she is featured on with Nicki Minaj. She is also known for her role as Sophie Donovan on “Step Up 2: The Streets.” 

  5. 5. Shay Mitchell

    Shay Mitchell is an actress. Her Filipino heritage comes from her mother. She is most known for her role as Emily Fields in the TV show, “Pretty Little Liars.” Mitchell once visited the Philippines and saw the nation’s numerous skin whitening advertisements. In response to that, she let Filipinos who are darker than her know how important it is to embrace their darker skin: “I think it’s nice that I hope girls would embrace their color because it’s a beautiful color to have. Trust me, many people in the world don’t have what we have.”

  6. 6. Darren Criss

    Darren Criss is an actor and singer. His Filipino heritage comes from his mother. He is most known for his role as Blaine Anderson on the TV show, “Glee.” One way Criss honored his Filipino heritage was in his wedding reception, where he wore a Barong Tagalog: a cultural garment worn by Filipino men. His Barong Tagalog was designed by Filipino fashion designer, Francis Libiran. 

  7. 7. Bruno Mars

    Bruno Mars is a singer. His Filipino heritage comes from his mother. Some of his popular songs are “24K Magic,” “Treasure,” and “Just The Way You Are.” Mars’ mom means so much to him. Reflecting on his mother’s death, Mars stated, “She’s more than my music. If I could trade music to have her back, I would.” 

  8. 8. Jo Koy

    Jo Koy is a comedian. His Filipino heritage comes from his mother. His infusion of aspects of the Filipino culture into his comedic routines demonstrates how proud he is of his Filipino heritage. You could check out one of his popular segments, “Follow Your Dreams,” here. 

  9. 9. apl.de.ap

    apl.de.ap is a rapper, singer, and record producer. His Filipino heritage comes from his mother. He is most known for being part of the group, the Black Eyed Peas. He has some songs as a solo artist as well, including “Bebot,” where you can hear him rap in Tagalog. You can check it out here. 

  10. 10. Olivia Rodrigo

    Olivia Rodrigo is a singer and actress. Her Filipino heritage comes from her father. She is most known for her role as Nini Salazar-Roberts on the TV show, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” Reflecting on her Filipino heritage, Rodrigo stated, “My dad grew up in a house where they were always making Filipino food, his grandpa always spoke Tagalog. All of those traditions have trickled down to our generation. Every Thanksgiving we have lumpia, and things like that.”

As you can see here, Filipino-Americans have made so many contributions to our life. I hope this highlight has given you more knowledge on these Filipino-Americans, taught you something new, and has made you want to check them out! Happy Filipino-American Heritage Month!