Friday, July 22, 2022
HomeMortgageCelebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


Could is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time for recognizing their important contributions to the historical past, tradition, and achievements in the US. (Go right here to be taught extra.)

At APM, we wished to take this chance to be taught extra about our APM Household and what their historical past, tradition, and heritage means to them.

asian american and pacific islander heritage month

Kailani Jones, Advertising and marketing Administrator at American Pacific Mortgage

Kailani Jones had a protracted historical past of occasion expertise earlier than she began with APM as our advertising and marketing administrator. Kailani—whose title means “sea and heaven”—has ties to Hawaii rooted in her father’s facet of the household, all of whom had been born and raised there.


Kailani embraces her Hawaiian tradition by hula, a observe that was stripped from Hawaiians by colonization, was introduced again by King David Kalākaua as tribute, and is now how they impart their historical past.

Kailani likes to have a good time the Merrie Monarch competition in April, which incorporates a worldwide broadcasted competitors with hālaus—hula colleges—from everywhere in the island and mainland. Throughout this yr’s competition, Kailani’s cousins took half within the Ho’ike evening, a night of hula dancing and different inventive performances.

Hawaiian gatherings characteristic all various kinds of ono (scrumptious) meals, together with poi, laulau, lomi salmon, mac salad, kalua pork, and Spam musubi, an area favourite that her kids love. As soon as the feast is prepared, everybody gathers fingers to say a blessing.

Kailani believes a approach we will be taught from her tradition is thru the aloha spirit. This contains treating each other with love, respect, and compassion. She additionally feels strongly about treating the ‘āina (land), together with its Native folks, with respect. Hawaiians consider that what you give can also be what you obtain.

Kailani and her household greet each other by a honi, a kiss on the cheek. They like to hike, dive, surf, get pleasure from seaside days with the household, and most of all simply spend high quality time with each other.

Kailani now lives on the mainland in California and tries to deliver a little bit of house along with her by nonetheless talking pidgin, a mix of languages that was created in the course of the plantation period as a approach for all ethnicities to speak with each other by a single language. Pidgin continues to be used at present in Hawaii.

Her household additionally takes their sneakers off on the door, an indication of respect to the home-owner by protecting the house clear of outdoor germs and grime. Kailani’s household gatherings normally embody Hawaiian music and infrequently a ukulele, which usually results in dancing and much more enjoyable.

Kailani has additionally saved in contact along with her Hawaiian roots by “Mama,” her auntie, who was the closest particular person she needed to a grandmother after hers handed early on. Mama taught Kailani classes from an early age that she wouldn’t have discovered being raised on the mainland. A very powerful of these classes had been figuring out her roots and that household, loyalty, respect and compassion had been all the things she wanted in life.

Mama was the glue to Kailani’s household. The traditions she taught her stay inside herself and her kids at present.

Total, Kailani believes that ohana (household) is an important factor in regards to the Hawaiian tradition. That’s the rationale Hawaii is Hawaii.

Meena Na, Department Supervisor at Ingredient Mortgage

Born in Seattle, WA, Meena credit her mom, who immigrated to the US with Meena’s older sister (one month outdated on the time), for a lot of her understanding and appreciation of the Korean tradition. “My mother thought it was essential to keep up the heritage, the tradition, and the language, so she spent many, many hours combating with me to ensure I discovered easy methods to converse, learn, and write Korean.”


And whereas it takes a variety of effort, Meena is grateful for the chance to have a good time each cultures in her house. “For anyone who’s born and raised within the U.S., I feel we do spend an distinctive period of time, effort, power, and emphasis on making an attempt to maintain the traditions alive—and I’m making an attempt to do the identical for my women as nicely.”

With the assistance of her mom, Meena’s household celebrates each the American and Korean holidays, together with each American and Korean variations of Thanksgiving (Chuseok in Korea) and the New Yr. She notes one main similarity in celebrating holidays throughout each cultures: “You collect with your loved ones and spend the complete day making ready extra meals than any regular particular person may eat after which sit down collectively to share what was made. Chuseok means ‘Autumn Eve’ and is an enormous harvesting season in Korea as nicely.”

She additionally actually enjoys the Korean traditions that pertain to her younger kids, together with celebrating 100 days after beginning, in addition to an enormous first birthday celebration (Doljanchi). “I respect it far more now, as a mom, than I did as a baby and discover myself extra enthusiastic about celebrating and passing on our traditions.”

As a Korean American, Meena seems to be at her twin cultural upbringing as a luxurious. “I get to see the professionals and cons of each cultures and it helps me make total higher life selections for myself and my household.” In her skilled life, Meena attracts from the Korean tradition of servitude and laborious work, which she implements each day when delivering wonderful customer support and getting all of her shoppers to a easy closing.

Ian and Kimberly Cumugan, Off-Shore Workforce Administrator and Off-Shore Assistant Workforce Administrator

Born within the Philippines, married couple Ian and Kimberly Cumugun immigrated to the U.S. in 2010—the final of their household to make the transfer. Lately, they discovered themselves again within the Philippines figuring out of APM’s Manila workplace. With Kim as his second hand, Ian heads up the offshore groups in Manila, Philippines, and Sutherland, India, who accomplice with APM’s underwriting and post-close groups to evaluation paperwork for underwriting, conduct post-close audits, and extra.


Previous to taking the positions in Manila, Ian and Kimberly lived in Mountain View, CA, and labored on the APM capital markets workforce. When the chance got here up, they discovered it was an amazing match culturally and professionally, in order that they took a leap of religion and made the transfer. We talked with them about their Filipino tradition and the way it performs such an essential position of their lives at present.

Ian and Kim describe the Filipino tradition as festive, fun-loving, and hospitable. Massive gatherings with household and mates are widespread and revolve round meals. In keeping with Ian, “If you’re invited to a Filipino house, then prepare for a feast and prepare along with your favourite track since you’re going to should sing karaoke and there can be a number of dancing.”

Deep-rooted customs like “Pakikisama” (the concept that concord and unity is valued above all else) and “Bayanihan” (a customized that refers to working collectively as a neighborhood to attain a typical aim) imply that household, neighborhood, and social accountability are on the forefront of Filipino tradition. It’s widespread for neighbors and mates to be known as “uncles” and “aunties” due to the close-knit neighborhood.

Work ethic and schooling are additionally extremely valued within the Filipino tradition. Kim and Ian describe how highschool and school grad charges are excessive, even in slum areas, as a result of schooling is prioritized. It’s one thing they proceed to make use of of their day-to-day lives and try to go alongside to their groups. “We at all times say, attempt to grow to be a sponge on a regular basis. Life is a steady strategy of studying, so hold an open thoughts, be humble, and continue to learn. These are the issues that had been culturally embedded since we had been younger.”

Earlier than making the transfer, Ian and Kim made some extent to go to the Philippines yearly with their household to stay related with their roots. Whereas cities like Manilla are extra just like the U.S. with a really international tradition, they get pleasure from visiting their provinces the place conventional Filipino values are nonetheless on the forefront.

Malyna Phan, Department Supervisor at Large Valley Mortgage

Malyna Phan, Department Supervisor for Large Valley Mortgage in Elk Grove, CA, sat down to speak with us about what it means for her to be a Vietnamese American and the way she continues to have a good time her tradition along with her household.


One of many greatest methods she celebrates her tradition is by recognizing Tet, or Vietnamese New Yr. It’s extensively thought-about an important celebration in Vietnamese tradition and interprets to “Competition of the First Morning of the First Day,” which takes place on the primary day of the primary month of the Vietnamese calendar (round late January or early February). It’s celebrated by cooking particular vacation meals, giving “fortunate cash” to kids and the aged, and household time. Certainly one of her favourite methods to really feel related is with meals and conventional Vietnamese costume (Ao Dai) throughout celebrations.

Malyna credit her father for her servant chief angle. He was a servant chief in Vietnam earlier than the battle, and helped a lot of their mates, household, and neighborhood unite with their household from Vietnam by the sponsorship course of. “He inspired us to give attention to our lecturers, keep humble, and work laborious to make sure a brighter future.” Malyna says, “I’m proud to hold on his legacy to at all times love and honor my household and mates, and proceed his work as a servant chief.”

In her skilled life, Malyna has served on the board of the Better Sacramento Chapter of the Asian Actual Property Affiliation (AREAA) since 2017. Malyna is the present chapter president and makes use of her platform to advertise sustainable homeownership alternatives in Asian American communities, which marries her two passions of homeownership and supporting her AAPI neighborhood fantastically.

For those who’d wish to be taught extra about APM’s dedication to variety and inclusion, go right here to examine our mission and technique.




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