Student group celebrates Filipino culture at ASU

August 27, 2019

This year, the Philippine American Student Association is celebrating its 25th anniversary of sharing and celebrating Filipino culture at ASU. 

Thera Manuel, a junior studying computer science and the second officer of PASA, found a community of people she really connected with through the Philippine American Student Association. 

“Growing up here in Arizona, I couldn’t find a community where I could fit in as a Filipino. The Philippine American Student Association was an opportunity for me to finally find a community and get to learn more about my culture along with befriending others like me.”

Being a part of the Philippine American Student Association has also inspired Manuel to become more active and aware of issues that impact her and her culture. 

A student in ASU's PASA club tables at CultureFest

Alyssa Romero representing PASA at the 2019 CultureFest

“Being a part of PASA has given me another family in ASU that helped me immensely during my first year as a student and inspired me to become more involved with issues related to the Filipino/Filipino-American community. PASA has also inspired me to reach out to others like me who also seek a Filipino community to belong in.”

Shalina Baysan, a junior at ASU, is majoring in filmmaking practices and minoring in business. Baysan is also the first officer for the Philippine American Student Association and has learned and developed many new skills during her time in PASA. 

“Some things that I have developed are leadership, communication and organization. Being an e-board member has let me become a better leader and also enhanced my interpersonal skills with fellow members. I plan to take these skills into other groups and jobs in the future.”

In the fall of every year, PASA participates in the Friendship Games, an annual gathering of all the PASA clubs from around the west coast, held at California State University, Fullerton. PASA also hosts Sino Tayo, an annual talent show for ASU’s Filipino community during April, ASU’s Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This year, PASA also plans on tabling and performing at International Night.

“We are currently working with the Phoenix Suns and other Filipino organizations in the valley to try and hopefully plan a Filipino Heritage Night set up for one of their games,”Baysan said.

In their 25 years at ASU, around 1,000 members have kept in contact with PASA, approximately 100 of those being current students. Around 50 or 60 members come to every meeting. 

During the school year, the Philippine American Student Association meets on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in room 148 at Sun Devil Hall. All ASU students who are currently enrolled in classes can become members of PASA.