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Sara Cronquist



Sara and her sister Katie were both born in Anaheim, CA. Her father came from the Philippines with his family as a young boy. Her mother, Donna, is white.




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My Immigrant History Story: Sara Cronquist

This picture was taken in 1998 and includes my mother, Donna, sister, Katie, and myself. My sister and I were both born in Anaheim, California. Many people associate Anaheim, California with Disney Land but for me Anaheim is this “other home/family”. Ethnically, I am half Filipino and half White. However, I spent almost my entire life being raised by my White mother and know little about my Filipino family or culture. Although, I know little about my Filipino background I still experience life as an “Asian American.” It doesn’t matter that the only language I can speak is English because my experiences in life have largely been influenced by how other people can physically see me. I remember growing up and my kind and loving mother would always be asked if my sister and I were adopted. I think people meant well but their curiosity was often misplaced and hurtful. Growing up, it was confusing to not know a whole lot about my father’s family and Filipino background. Technically, I’m a second-generation immigrant because my father came to this country with his parents when he was a young child. I did not encounter the same barriers and obstacles in life that other second-generation immigrants might have. However, I have encountered some of the more negative stereotypes that affect Asian Americans such as the racist jokes and stereotyping. While I endured these experiences I was always left wondering that maybe if I knew more about my Filipino background that maybe I wouldn’t feel the same. I love my beautiful mother but there are some things that she cannot understand. A few of the memories I have of my family in California are: the holiday cards I would receive for Christmas or my birthday. My father’s side of the family practices Catholicism and takes their beliefs very seriously. My sister and I still receive cards that have Bible verses written on the card or inside of the card. I am very thankful for both sides of my family who have both taught me very different but both equally important ideas. This picture of my sister and I represents the emotional and spiritual journey that we have taken together. The photo also celebrates the unique challenges and success of my biracial family. I believe that growing up as Filipino and White person has given me a personal sense of strength and power. I think it’s important to continue to encourage and inspire other biracial people to explore their unique ethnic background.