The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

AAPI Month: what it is and how I celebrate

Kinzie Cusipag
May marks the start of Asian and Pacific Islander Awareness month!



Two Sartell Seniors, McKinzie Cusipag and Tori Herold celebrate their Asian culture together, and spread awareness to their friends. (Kinzie Cusipag)

In the US, the month of May has been dedicated to celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, and commemorating all of the progress they have made for our country. AAPI month has been nationally  recognized since 1992, to coincide with the arrival of the first Japanese Immigrants in the United States (May 1843), as well as the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which Asian Americans had a large part in completing.

Sartell Senior McKinzie Cusipag celebrates her Filipino heritage with her blended-culture family. (Kinzie Cusipag)



Now, AAPI month is a time for Asian-Americans to celebrate their roots. They eat traditional food from their culture, practice traditions, and spread an awareness and appreciation for Asian culture. For me, I spend this month celebrating my Filipino heritage, practicing parts of our culture that I am proud to come from, and sharing them with my friends and family.





Sartell siblings Kinzie and Kaitlynn Cusipag participate in karaoke while visiting the Philippines. (Kinzie Cusipag)


One of the pillars of Filipino culture is a love for music, especially dancing and singing. In nearly every restaurant, Filipinos enjoy live music, and at every event, karaoke is sure to be present. During AAPI month, my family and I practice this tradition from our living room, but while we are in the Philippines, we sing everywhere. Whether it be in karaoke bars, family events,  or restaurants, Karaoke is a way for us to bond, and it often is non-negotiable




Many famous Filipinos are singers. In fact, there are some stereotypes that all Filipinos can sing and dance


On the same note, we can celebrate AAPI by listening to music by Filipino creators. My dad and I’s favorites are Bruno Mars and Olivia Rodrigo, who both come from Filipino roots. Additionally, my favorite songs in Tagalog are in heavy rotation this month. Including songs by Zack Tabudlo.


Another way to celebrate AAPI month is preparing and enjoying Asian food. My Dad likes to prepare food for us, but occasionally we will visit oriental grocery stores, and buy little snacks that remind him of home. A perfect treat at the end of a long day is one of the candies we brought home from the Philippines.


In March of 2023, Sartell senior and McKinzie Cusipag and freshman Kaitlynn Cusipag met with many of their Filipino relatives. (Kinzie Cusipag)

One of my bigger regrets throughout the span of my life is not learning Tagalog when I was younger. Tagalog is one of the many languages spoken in the Philippines, and the language my family uses to communicate with each other. If my Dad isn’t teaching me basic phrases, there are a lot of apps and websites that are available to help.  Preply, Rosetta Stone, and Ling are my personal favorites, but google translate works in a pinch! By learning some more phrases and words, I feel more in touch with my culture. For this reason, this has been my favorite way to celebrate AAPI month.

AAPI month is from May 1st-31st. Make sure to tell all the Asian-Americans in your life that you appreciate them! 
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About the Contributor
Kinzie Cusipag
Kinzie Cusipag, Journalist
Grade: Senior Activities: Dance team Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, music, reading, and working at Hollister! Fav Drink Place: Starbucks Fav Food: Blueberry bagel with cream cheese