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Featured Fil-Am: Sunday Garcia

We are honored to become acquainted with Sunday “Sunny” Garcia, who is making a name for herself blogging about Filipino American culture and soon to be releasing a Filipino and Filipino American apparel line. 

Q: What is the story behind your name?

A: My name is Sunday Garcia. My great grandmother was named Domingo, and since I was born on a Sunday, my mother named me after her. My nickname is Sunny.

Q: Where do you currently live? Where are you from?

I live in Yuma, AZ, born and raised. My husband and I were living in the Phoenix valley recently for over 12 years but just moved back to our hometown to be closer to our family.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your cultural background. 

A: My mom is Filipina. Her side of the family is from Angeles City and we are Pampangan. My father is French, German, Scandinavian mix and he was an American airman on Clark Airbase in the Philippines. That’s how he and my mother met. My parents moved to the states after following friends, in which they moved to small town Yuma, Arizona taking my then 4-year-old sister. My mother, second eldest of nine children, was the first to move to the states in her family. She later helped some of her immediate family members obtain their U.S. citizenship and make a life here in the U.S. through family sponsorship.

Growing up, we spent many holidays and family vacations with our Filipino side of the family in California (the San Bernardino area) mostly gathering around the table, eating pancit, lumpia, shrimp, tilapia, sinigang, lechon, adobo, and many other cultural foods depending on the celebration.

Locally, my mother was one of the first members of the Filipino-American Association in Yuma, and helped build the organization to what it is today with over 300 members.

Through the years, I participated in the local cultural events such as the Annual Santo Niño Fiesta! I had the opportunity to visit the Philippines when I was 7, but left early because Mount Pinatubo erupted (circa 1991), and I have not been able to make a return trip since. My only regret about my culture is not knowing the language. While visiting the Philippines when I was young, I learned a few words to get by running my grandmother’s candy shop based out of her home in which kids would come buy candies and treats after school. I still remember this experience quite clearly, almost 30 years ago! 

Q: What do you want others to know about the Fil-Am/Filipino culture? 

A: I am an avid learner of our culture, and I want people to know that the Filipino culture is rich and vibrant, as many other cultures are, as well as unique in its own right. I want people to respect our culture by acknowledging and understanding the special intricacies of the many islands, languages, history, food, cooking, traditional dress, and the kind nature of Filipino people in general.

Q: What do you currently do or have you been doing in hopes to contribute to the Fil-Am/Filipino community?

A: In hopes of contributing to the Filipino American culture, I have been writing and storing a collection of personal blogs on experience and culture over the past 10 years – primarily focusing on Filipino American culture and my personal/family’s experiences. These blogs are intended to bring and inspire cultural awareness to others. With the help of social media, I use my personal blog via WordPress.com and also often post photos relating to our culture on my Instagram profile from Filipino food, traditional events such as the Santo Niño Fiesta held in my town each year, and sometimes Filipino news, facts, history, etc.

And, more recently, I am in the process of launching a t-shirt and apparel line promoting Filipino and Filipino American culture. The t-shirts are geared towards women for now, but I plan to later have apparel for kids and men. The t-shirts are digitally printed designs that I have designed myself and consist of symbols of our culture such as the sampaguita and the Filipino flag sun. I am also including a print design for people of mixed race, “mestizos”, which is the reason for the name: “MestizCo Apparel”—hoping to officially launch within the next 30 days!

Q: What or who is your inspiration behind what you do?

A:  My inspiration comes from many spaces. First, my mother and the Filipino side of my family has inspired me to discover more about our culture, which is why I pursued a minor in Asian Pacific American Studies during my baccalaureate degree program. While in the program, several of my professors inspired me to continue to study our culture and demonstrate the importance of understanding positive promotion of culture through reading, writing, speaking, and bringing awareness. I would say that is where most of my inspiration lies.

 I try to blog every few months on culture. But my t-shirt line, MestizCo Apparel, is set to launch end of June! 

Follow Along & Learn More about Sunday:

Blogs/Facebook/Instagram/Website information:

Cultural Blog Site: Pinay Sunday in the City

MestizCo Apparel (officially launching soon)