Students celebrate Filipino culture at FASA’s Magarbong Pagdiriwang

By Hannah Foster | Staff Writer

Graphic by Ben Gallaway/The Whitworthian

Students converse in the Multi-Purpose Room as live music lightly plays in the background.  

Soon, the smell of fried lumpia and pork fills the air. Students flock to the tables, while members of the Filipino-American Student Association (FASA) serve bowls of food. Island Style Food Truck catered for the event, providing lumpia, pork adobo with rice and buko fruit salad, which is made with coconut strips and cream. Later, students play Kahoot with questions about Filipino culture.  

Whitworth’s FASA held Magarbong Pagdiriwang, also known as a “Fancy Celebration,” on Thursday, April 7. This is the first event that the association had held since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

FASA president Alicia Chua said the event was inspired by the Whitworth orientation event Fancy Feast. Chua recalled proposing the idea to her colleagues. “Let’s do a fancy celebration,” she said. “We wanted to have a bigger event with live music and catering.”  

“I found that having an event where you actually aren’t doing what you planned [leads to] the most genuine of conversations and [also] how you can spread Filipino culture,” Chua said. She shared an example of a movie night the association held, and rather than watching the movie, members talked to one another and engaged in fellowship. 

According to student attendee Alexis Yeoh, “I think [events like these are] important. For most cultures, food is really important, and the act of sharing food is a celebratory thing and really special.” 

Student attendee Enoch Tsai spoke about the importance of cultural events. “Students are looking for these experiences,” he said. “There were a ton of people walking outside that just came in. Minority culture such as the Filipino culture is easily suppressed and ignored but that doesn’t mean that the student body is not interested.” 

The event cultivated a personable environment, which allowed students to share their cultural experiences while bonding over food, music and fun. 

To learn about other events the club will hold in the future and meet the leadership team check out @whitworth.fasa on Instagram. 

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