by Aliah Mae Alzona
Continuing AAPI month, this week we are highlighting Aliah’s Filipino heritage as she shares her experiences of comfort and love.
Like most Asian-American households, a simple “I love you” never comes in words but rather comes in gestures. My mom bakes and cooks for me as a sign of her love, care and comfort. My favorite dish she makes is a hearty filipino breakfast - a meal with tocino (sweet fried pork) + sinangag (garlic fried rice) + itlog (fried eggs), hence the name tocilog! This meal never fails to remind me of my beautiful filipino heritage and heartwarming childhood memories, which I will absolutely cherish forever.
My favorite tagalog word has always been kilig - a feeling that can’t fully be described in English ~ it’s like saying you have butterflies in your stomach. The closest words would probably be “thrilled” or “excited” but there is truly no explanation or feeling like kilig, which is the beauty of the word. Whether it be from watching a romantic film, spending time with someone I love or even the simplest gestures, feeling kilig makes me smile from inside out. The moments when I feel kilig are moments where I feel truly happy and loved.