Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Studio Fine Arts
Theater and Dance
Filipino American, Philippine Folktale, Filipino Art, Short Animation
As a Filipina American from Southern California, my cousins got to experience our Philippine culture through their college’s Filipino American Student Associations, while I had a hard time learning about our culture as I attend a school that has a low Asian American population and miniscule Filipino American population. Although the populations are small, my senior thesis has pushed me to learn about my ethnic identity through the arts and especially through the power of storytelling. This journey in learning the importance of authentic folklore untouched by the western influence has shown me as a Filipina American, that the original folktales and myths are fading away or blending into the Western stories. This ultimately poses the questions I tackle in my thesis on the internal conflicts I have about my identity which are; “What does it mean to be Filipina American and am I Filipino enough?”, “How do I connect to my homeland that I have never been to and barely speak my parents' native tongue?”, and “How can I keep my Filipino heritage alive in a small community?". To answer these questions, I have created a performative narrative piece to go alongside an animated short film of an original Philippine folktale. The performance will engage with the Union community during the Visual Arts Senior Art Show opening. Whereas my thesis paper will cover my discoveries and struggles throughout the creative process and emphasize the power of fables, myths, folklore, and legends have on a person's identity. Adults were once kids too and listening to a fable or myth from their heritage can remind them of a time when they were a child listening to bedtime stories from their parents and grandparents. Bedtime stories to myths and legends vary from place to place. Some may have the same messages depending on the influence of the West but the characters and creatures are different because they are based on the location and at times religion. Original and raw stories, myths, and legends need to be shared to honor our indigenous community and the rich history of our ethnic background whether we are from that homeland or not. The more stories that are shared, the more likely your own cultural history and roots will be kept alive. Through the art of storytelling, I hope the audience for my performance will be captivated and inspired by these stories of the past and will be willing to ask questions about the tales, especially with the younger generation. Hopefully the audience will also want to research the mythology and superstitions from their own heritage to keep the memory of their ancestors alive. At the end of the performance, I will provide answers to the questions mentioned above.
Nuqui, Rochelle-Leah Barcelona, "“Ang kuwento ng araw at buwan” (“The Story of the Sun and Moon”): What it Means to be Filipino-American." (2022). Honors Theses. 2579.