Sarah Jordan, 12, was excited to twirl her traditional Filipino dress during a cultural performance Saturday at the 10th annual Barrio Fiesta at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.
“I want them to know where I came from,” said Sarah’s mother, Rola Jordan, a native of the Philippines. “This is their first time to dance the cultural dance.”
Although Jordan’s five children are only half Filipino, she said it’s important for them to learn about both sides of their culture.
“We went to the Philippines in 2010, and that was their first time, and they were thrilled to see my country,” she said. “They love it. I even talk to them in my language at home.”
She was glad her children took interest in the fiesta, hosted by Cultura Filipiniana. It featured traditional songs, dance and food. The organization’s president, Lily Cruz, moved to the U.S. when she was 15 and was excited to celebrate and share her culture with others.
“Our group is open,” she said. “We have Americans that join and they love it.”
Sarah Bey, a Shoemaker High School senior, was voted queen of the event and has been dancing since she was in third grade.
Even though she’s never been to the Philippines, she was thankful for the opportunity to learn about her family-oriented culture through the local community of Filipinos and has grown to appreciate her ancestry.
“If you don’t know where you come from, it’s just like you don’t know who you are as a person,” she said. “It’s really cool to find out how different you are from other people.”
Sarah Jordan’s dad, Paul, is not Filipino but appreciated the close-knit nature of the culture, which he compared to the family values America had 50 years ago.
His son, Simon, 13, danced during the fiesta as a way to learn more about his culture.
“I want to be a real Filipino,” he said.