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Mabuhay! Your Light Shines on Us |

Mabuhay! Your Light Shines on Us Cultural, Heroes, National Heritage Month, Pinay, Pinay Shine, #pinaydotcom Cultural, Heroes, National Heritage Month, Pinay, Pinay Shine, #pinaydotcom Cultural, Heroes, National Heritage Month, Pinay, Pinay Shine, #pinaydotcom Cultural, Heroes, National Heritage Month, Pinay, Pinay Shine, #pinaydotcom Cultural, Heroes, National Heritage Month, Pinay, Pinay Shine, #pinaydotcom
M.T. Vallarta

When you hear the word Pinay, what comes to mind?

Resilience. Resistance. Strength. Struggle. Beautiful narratives.”— Malaya, 20

My mother. My aunts.”—J.N., 31

…a long line of strong courageous women.”—Alyssa, 24

…the amazing perseverance of Filipinos that I continue to see in the community today.”—Justine, 23

A Pinay is a Filipino woman. In many ways, she is a symbol of the culture and resilience of the Philippine nation. So many Pinays have contributed, built, and laid a foundation for our Filipino heritage. When the Spanish conquistadors came, women like Gabriela Silang played crucial roles in the early resistance movements. And during the Philippine Revolution, women like Melchora Aquino provided refuge and aid for Filipino soldiers and fought for the freedom and sovereignty of our nation. Our legacy does not end there. To this day, the Pinay has continued to be in the forefront of triumph and struggle. It is there where her beauty, courage, and strength shine.

Other than great food, a never-ending optimism, the Maria Clara dress, and the tinikling dance, Filipino culture has remained as unique, diverse, and beautiful as ever. Various Pinays have contributed to our rich and fruitful heritage. Writers like Joi Barrios and Evangeline Buell have written poems and narratives highlighting the Pinay experience. Through their words, metaphors, and imagery, they have inspired countless Pinays to pick up their pens and tell their own stories—to share them, find hope, love, and empowerment in them.

And then we have our artists: Pacita Abad and Lea Salonga. Abad, a visual artist from Batanes, was most known for her colorful, vibrant, and abstract works—paintings that instilled happiness, warmth, and social commentary in others. Lea Salonga, Broadway star, is most known for her portrayal of Kim in Miss Saigon and for providing the singing voices of Mulan and Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. Creative and determined, Pinays all over the world have shown how talented and powerful Filipino women can be.


For this National Heritage Month, we celebrate the Pinay for her many cultural contributions as well as for her strength and empowerment. “I truly admire our values and how they shape our lives. Such values include God, family, hard work, and education.”—Kiki, 18

It is extremely important to celebrate being Pinay because we are very beautiful and very diverse…We Pinays are talented, intelligent, crafty, joyful, poetic, playful, smart, kind, strong, and so much more.”—Amihan, 18

I am proud to come from a culture that espouses hospitality in a way that means everyone is cared for.”—Hazel, 22

…to the Filipina mothers who travel across oceans to work…to the Filipina girls who must face a variety of issues growing up…Pinays are some of the toughest and most badass women ever.”—Ella, 19

Pinays all over the world have continued to inspire and shape the beliefs and values of our nation. They have fueled future generations of Pinays to become artists, professionals, scholars, and anything they hope to accomplish. With the support of our extensive community, pride for our country, and love for ourselves and our friends and families, every Pinay has the potential to rise, grow, and shine like the eight-rayed sun in our Philippine flag.

Mabuhay ang mga Pinay!

Maria Vallarta is an incoming Ph.D student from Los Angeles, California. You can get to know her, and read her take on 5 Pinay Scholars You Should Know.

M.T. Vallarta

M.T. Vallarta is a Ph.D. student from Los Angeles, CA. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, where she double majored in English and Asian American Studies. While at Cal, she was an editor of {m}aganda Magazine and was heavily involved in student of color groups and community organizing spaces. She identifies strongly as a scholar-activist, and hopes to produce scholarship that directly impacts and benefits the very communities she serves. When not blogging, writing, or studying, she enjoys reading, playing video games, drinking tea, and eating good food.


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