Chrisal Valencia is a proud Filipina mother of two and two-time Public Allies Arizona alum. She is based in Phoenix, AZ and have recently joined as Manager of Alumni Engagement & Mobilization for the Public Allies National Office.
Tell us a fun fact about you
I love to roller skate, and I just recently put a half pipe in my backyard! I’ve met so many kind and inclusive people in the skate community.
- What does Asian-Pacific American Islander mean to you?
For me, I am still uncovering more about my roots. My parents immigrated here in the 1970/80s, so growing up was an interesting amalgamation (and sometimes clash) of cultures and values. I’m hoping to hear and record more stories about my direct ancestors.
- What is something you wish others knew about your heritage?
We’re not a monolith, and the Philippines is made up of thousands of islands. Each with its own history and culture. I’m learning more about indigenous peoples of the Philippines.
- Tell us about a favorite tradition you want to pass down to your generation
The FOOD! Growing up, food and being fed was a love language. As I begin to carry on some of my mom’s recipes, I am astonished by how much time, love, and care was put into these meals. Growing up as Asian-Americans many of us had to deal with “stinky lunch” commentary – I hope the next generation feels 1000% pride when it comes to sharing our traditional eats.
- Share your favorite song (Asian-Pacific Artist)
Us by Ruby Ibarra or Speak by Jhené Aiko
- Which book/podcast/video would you share with someone who wants to know more about your heritage?
Jo Koy’s Netflix specials are accurate and hilarious. I learned a lot about the evolution of Filipino food from Episode 639 of The Splendid Table.