Filipino-Minnesotan Youth Organization.: Becoming Minnesotan

Patrick Faunillan, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2008. Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Name - Patrick Faunillan
  • Age at interview - 19
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 12.22.2010
  • Faunillan family photo at the Minnesota Arboretum, Chanhassen, Minnesota, 2009.

    We Are Here

    Essential Question

    We Are Here: What does it mean to this immigrant group to be here in America?

    Cultural Preservation: How does a person weave his or her traditional culture into a new American identity?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    Filipino immigrants living in the U.S. today often find it difficult to maintain their Filipino identity. The younger people may have never lived in the Philippines, and are much more influenced by the American culture around them. The Filipino community in Minneapolis and St. Paul has worked to establish cultural organizations where Filipino children can continue to speak Filipino languages, practice traditional music and dancing, and participate in other activities to maintain their Filipino culture.

    To learn more about Filipino history and culture, visit our Filipino Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Patrick Faunillan 6
    3:33 Minutes | 3.42Mb


    Narrator: Patrick Faunillan (PF)

    Interviewer: Lita Malicsi (LM)

    LM: You were former president of FMYO, or the Fil-Minnesotan Youth Organization. Now what kind of organization is FMYO and what does it do?

    PF: Filipino-Minnesota Youth Organization’s goal is to get Filipino youth from Minnesota together and learn about the culture, and at the same time have fun, make new friends. You don’t have to be Filipino to be involved. And yeah, it’s basically just a group of Filipinos getting together and helping out with the Filipino community with events, and having their own events like a variety show or going camping. And I think the next year’s FMYO is planning on going to Chicago for their camping trip and in place of that. And yeah, their goal is just to learn about the Filipino culture, but at the same time have fun and make Filipino friends or anyone who’s involved with FMYO.

    LM: Now Patrick, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing our young Filipino-Americans in today’s society?

    PF: I think that a lot of the same things that are challenging all of the youth today, and minority youth in general, that Filipino youths are getting affected as well. And I think a great challenge is just be able to accept the Filipino culture, and both cultures. And that we need to pass that along as well to our next generation and not forget about it. Because our generation is a combination of both cultures, and then next, our children will be, I guess, a little bit, just a little bit of Filipino culture. If you look at it more of like in a biological way, we’re fifty-fifty, our kids will be . . . my generation’s kids will be a fourth of the culture. But unlike biology, you can change that. In culture, you can get more of that. So I think our challenge is to really pass on the traditions and the Filipino roots.

    LM: How can you make that happen?

    PF: Through workshops and FMYO, like we’ve been doing. The Filipino-Minnesota Youth Organization and the Filipino community here in Minnesota is pretty big and pretty strong. So I think that’s just being aware of it, and being with other Filipinos and other older generations of it really exposes us to the Filipino culture. The best way, I guess, would be to go to the Philippines, really, which really opens your mind and sees, hey, this is who I am and part of me. So I think literally being in the Philippines can help that out as well. And another thing that we can do is just expose the youth to cultural events, other Filipino events such as José Rizal Day, which is an event to honor the Filipino national hero, José Rizal, and what he did for the independence of the Philippines.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  A group of people who share a common understanding of the same language, manners, tradition and law.


    Noun:  The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation.


    Verb:  To introduce to; to become familiar with.  (exposes, exposing, exposed)


    Noun:  1. A period of around thirty years, the average amount of time before a child takes the place of its parents.  2. A group of people who are of approximately the same age.


    Noun:  A custom that is practiced within a group.


    Noun:  A brief intensive course of education for a small group; emphasizes interaction and practical problem solving.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 2154