Celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

“My family and I are from Quezon City in the Philippines, and we lived with my paternal grandparents for a few years until we moved to the U.S. I was very young when we moved away so I don’t remember much about the Philippines, but my parents have tried to instill Filipino culture in our lives through food, language, and certain customs.”

– Bea Magno, Development Accountant

“On December 10, 1996, I was born in Olympia, WA, to Frances Garrido Limtiaco and Robert Arthur Soldier. My mother, Frances, is a native CHamoru. She was born and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam/Guahan, an unincorporated territory and colony of the US, after being colonized by Spain and Japan. My father, Robert Soldier, is of Filipino and White heritage. Robert’s mother, my grandmother, immigrated to the US after marrying Robert’s father, my grandfather. My grandfather was a resident of Kansas who was stationed in the Philippines during WWII.

I have an older brother James who was born in Guahan/Guam and currently resides in Florida. Though born in WA, I spent several of my younger years growing up on Guahan/Guam surrounded by his large extended family and returned to the island again as a young adult after graduating from college. Guahan is located in the Western Pacific in Micronesia and is known for its complex colonial history and resilient people. The foundation of CHamoru culture is inafa’maolek which describes the concept of restoring harmony and espouses traditional values such as respect for elders, humility, and reciprocity. My parents and I are among the 604,000 Asian Americans and 70,000 Pacific Islanders in WA State, representing a diverse range of cultures, languages, religions, and immigration patterns.”

-John Robert Limtiaco-Soldier, Project Engineer