If there’s one thing that separates us from the rest of the world—or makes one unique as a Filipino—it is our never-say-die spirit or also known as #PinoyPride. Whether it’s a beauty pageant or a sporting event, you can expect Filipinos to be the first group of people to express their all-out support on social media. Actually, the #PinoyPride just gets a little too much that you can almost feel it whatever the occasion is.
So in time for the Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month (a celebration that recognizes the impacts of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans on the history and culture of the United States), 25-year old FilAm Justine Nathalia Peñas paid tribute to her roots by creating a Pinoy culture-inspired merch. Yes, she even made a customized shirt for lumpia lovers out there!
Here are some of the nicest pieces that she posted on Subtle Filipino Traits.
Get ready for the rainy season with this Sampaguita-printed sweater! (By the way, this specific design also comes in tank tops, hoodies, leggings, phone cases, and crew socks.)
Your Tita Baby’s default reaction to your TikTok videos: SUSMARYOSEP! It’s an amalgamation of JeSUS, MARy, and JOSEPh to express anger, frustration, or disbelief.
Every Pinoy celebration will never be complete without Lumpiang Shanghai or also known as Filipino spring rolls. Usually, it is served as an appetizer or snack but we Pinoys pair it with rice because why not??
Vicks VapoRub is a mentholated topical ointment used to relieve sore throat and minor muscle aches. BUT for Pinoy moms, it’s THE cure for all.
Be proud of your “Filipino AF” attitude with this classic pullover hoodie.
Speaking to POP! Texas-based chemist and artist Peñas mentioned that the inspiration behind these designs is her family’s upbringing.
“What inspired the designs were my own upbringing and my pronounced pride in it. I feel like I had a typical fil-am upbringing. My dad’s an engineer, my mom’s a nurse, and my brother works in crypto. Some very stereotypical fil-am jobs lol. Since joining Subtle Filipino Traits, it’s actually been great having the validation of commonality with other people from around the world. I almost feel like we all had the same titos and titas!,” explained Peñas.
She then went on to say: “With Asian Pacific Heritage Month coming up (now lol), I wanted to make designs that were aesthetically pleasing, but meaningful as well. I remember us growing Sampaguitas in the front garden of my childhood home and how fragrant they were and how they would be the first thing I smell when I got home from school.
So I drew a single Sampaguita on my drawing pad and added the words ‘FILIPINO AF’. (I’ve seen ASIAN AF shirts but wanted to cater specifically to the Filipino community first, so I did my take on it.) I signed up with Teesprings because I wanted it on a shirt that I wanted to wear personally, but decided on selling to the public last minute as I intended.”
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