#WalangHiya Sa Nontraditional Linya (On the Non-Traditional Path)

As a 1.5 generation Filipinx American, I’ve grown up in the United States learning to take up as little space as possible, internalizing all of the pressures to assimilate to American culture. After years of trying to balance my identity as a Filipinx in a place that deemed me as a minority, I have worked my way to university, not forgetting that I am here because of my parents who worked so hard to immigrate to the United States.

I am pursuing a career in music marketing, which took me a long time to voice. The thought of pursuing a “nontraditional” track made me petrified, especially in a Filipino culture that expects womxn to go into medical and law fields—ones that can provide stability. A Filipinx womxn like myself pursuing a career in the arts is something that would have previously been looked down upon. Is it worth it? Am I making my parents proud? Have they struggled for so long for me to make this opportunity go to waste? I buried these thoughts—this guilt deep inside every step I made. But with the nurture and deep care of my beautiful parents, who are so encouraging, and the amazing WOC in my life, I am proud to say that I am unapologetic in my passions, and I refuse to be held down by expectations and shame. Every single day is a reminder of how necessary it is to have POC in all fields—especially in music, where WOC are highly underrepresented—as it is so incredibly important to have people you can relate to in a field that is feeding you cultural artistic content. And I want to be a part of that!

I am still growing—still learning to unlearn shame, to unlearn the concept of “being mahiya,” of following the “prescribed” path for Filipina womxn. I refuse to be shamed for my passions. I refuse to be silenced, to be told that my voice does not matter in an industry that thrives on creativity and risk. I choose to trust in myself, to know what I can offer, to no longer be ashamed to say that I am good at what I do because I work hard. I choose to take the path that I know will best for me, regardless of the uncertainty it may have. I am April Jingco, I am a proud Filipinx womxn, and I will live my life unapologetically pursuing a career in the arts. And I will thrive.

This post is part of the Reclaiming #WalangHiya Project; see the landing page for more narratives.

April Jingco (she/her/hers) is a Filipinx American, born in the Philippines, and raised in the warm state of Hawai’i. As a senior studying strategic communications at Seattle University, she aims to pursue a career in music marketing and PR. In the past, April has interned with Seattle Theatre Group, Napster and MoPOP. April is also involved with Seattle University’s student-run radio station as the digital media director, where she handles social media and oversees the editorial team. Most recently, April has started Growing Girls Podcast with her friend, Megan, where they chat about womxnhood, politics, fashion and everything in between. In her free time, you can catch her at a local concert, being a full-time plant mom or FaceTiming her mom. Instagram | Twitter | Growing Girls Podcast


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