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Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Feat. Chrisal Valencia

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.


Chrisal, rolling skating in a backyard.

  • 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.