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Mixed Race Couples Voice Unity in Culture and Love
By Grace Aguinaldo-Limbag Nall


The trend in mixed race relationships throughout America has increased over the years according to the latest census. Technology has brought cultural awareness of other countries to our fingertips leading to more opportunities to bridge the gap between cultures.


According to the Pew Research Center, San Diego-Carlsbad, CA is among the Top 10 Metro areas where intermarried newlyweds are most common.


Here is a glimpse into the lives of three inter-racial marriages.


Merril and Alex – High School Sweethearts

Merril and Alex Linoner first met in high school. They are now in their 30s and have been married for five years. Merril is Filipino and Alex is half Japanese, half German. They were both born and raised in San Diego and graduated from San Diego State University.


Since they knew each other in high school, it was easier for their parents to accept their interracial relationship.


“My parents were happy and supportive of my decision to marry Alex,” said Merril. “We also had been together for eight years when we decided to get married so think it was almost expected that we would eventually take the next step in our relationship.”


In Alex’s case, his parents, too, were happy with his decision once they saw that Merril “took good care of (me),” he said.


When it comes to disputes, Merril feels that she makes “certain decisions based on my culture and how I was raised,” and this could result in confusion. Alex agreed with Merril that “a lot of explanation and understanding” is needed for resolving issues.


Merril said that both families embraced their multi-cultural unit and spend time teaching their children about their culture, “and so I think our children are growing up to be well-rounded individuals.”


Their two children, ages 1 and 4, are still young, but Merril said they will “ensure that they embrace their race and ethnicity through education and passing along family traditions.” They both plan on teaching “them to be respectful towards everyone, regardless of their race/ethnicity” and encourage them to learn about other cultures.

Myrna and Chris Psillas – The Rice Dispenser

Myrna and Chris Psillas are in their 60s and have been married for 36 years. They have four adult children and five grandchildren. Myrna finished her nursing degree in Manila but worked a majority of her time in the United States. She is a retired Registered Nurse. Whereas Chris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism broadcasting and is now a retired United States Marine veteran.


“I grew up in Olongopo (Philippines) with my family, my mom and dad,” said Myrna. “I came from a big family. Four sisters and five brothers.”


Chris said that he grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “My father’s parents were from Greece,” said Chris. “My mother’s parents were rednecks from Oklahoma and so in growing up, we’ve always had a multicultural sort of background.”


They met over the phone when Myrna was 25 years old and was studying nursing in college. “One of our friends gave my phone number to him,” said Myrna.


“But they didn’t bother to tell Myrna that they had given it to me,” said Chris, who was a United States marine stationed on sea duty at Subic Bay, Philippines, at the time.


One thing led to another, and Myrna and Chris eventually met in person.


“She was obviously pretty…friendly and very shy,” said Chris. “She took a little bit of time to warm up for me trying to talk to her and I thought it was a cute thing.”


The warmth they felt was mutual. Myrna found Chris funny, a good conversationalist and “he looked well-educated, very kind, and a very gentle man.”


When they decided to get married, they were both agreed that their finances. “Like any couple starting off, we weren’t sure we had enough money to do it,” said Chris. They both found work, Chris in the military and Myrna as a registered nurse.


“As it turned out, we always had money,” said Chris. “The kids always had what they needed and what they wanted most of the time.”


Chris’ military career took the family to Japan, Korea, and finally settling in the United States.


However, Chris didn’t meet Myrna’s large family all at once. It took close to 10 years before he managed to see all of them in one place. “Her family was scattered. Some in the United States. Some in the Philippines, and some working overseas elsewhere.”


Myrna and Chris enrolled their four children in American schools. Their youngest daughter attended a bilingual elementary school and is fluent in English and Spanish.


For Myrna what knit the family together was “being patient with each other,” which helped build on the love and respect they shared.


Chris recalled a time when they were newlyweds. “One of our wedding gifts was a rice dispenser,” said Chris. “I looked at it and said, “Who the hell could ever eat that much rice?”


Myrna laughed as Chris was telling the story because she says they eat rice most of the time.


“We’ve had that same dispenser for 25 years. I’ve never had a 50-pound (bag of) rice til I got married.”


As they talk amongst each other, you can see how 36 years of being married has kept their relationship strong by celebrating each other’s cultures.


“With Chris, he doesn’t say no when I cook something,” said Myrna. “He always tastes it first before he says he doesn’t like it… Most of the food I make for the family, he eats anyway.”


Chris claims to make “pretty good” Filipino food. “Yeah, Chris is a good cook,” said Myrna. “In fact, he is the one doing most of the cooking nowadays.”


They like to plan a culturally rich menu for every holiday: Greek food on New Year’s Eve; a mix of steak, Pancit and rice on Christmas; and American on Thanksgiving.


Myrna is Catholic and Chris is Greek Orthodox, and they both attend different churches, but make it a special occasion to attend each other’s churches for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.


As a mixed race couple, both Chris and Myrna’s advice is to focus on finding joy, and “not focus on the difference,” but instead celebrating the differences, said Chris. “Every culture has something to offer that’s fun and engaging and certainly every culture has some kind of food to share. And, if you focus on those sort of things, I think you’re a much happier person.”

Marissa Bañez and J.B. – Raising a Child of the World

“I’m the ninth out of 10 children. I was born in Baguio City, Philippines, and my family came to the U.S. and settled in Los Angeles when I was nine in 1969,” said Marissa Bañez, who is also a published children’s book author. She says that her first book, “Hope and Fortune” is a modern-day fairytale, featuring multicultural, multiracial, and multigenerational fairies of different shapes and sizes who give practical life advice to a child who has lost her way.


Marissa graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of Law (now known as UC College of the Law, San Francisco). Currently, she works for a large international firm, focusing on products liability litigation.


Marissa met her husband while shopping for books at a Manhattan bookstore.
“He was born in a wealthy family in pre-Castro Cuba,” said Marissa. He attended the University of Miami, graduating with an undergraduate degree in marine biology, followed by an MBA.


“I was already 40 by the time we decided to get married,” said Marissa. “I had a great education and stable career by then. So, it wasn’t as if I was acting recklessly in deciding to marry.”


There was really no opposition to their marriage, said Marissa. “I have a very diverse family, with six of my nine siblings marrying non-Filipinos. My current and former siblings-in-law are/were Norwegian, Germanic, African-American, Creole, Costa Rican, and Anglo-American.”


She and her husband have a 23-year-old daughter.


“My child doesn’t worry about or have any problems with her mixed race,” said Marissa. It helps that almost all her cousins are mixed ethnicity. Marissa said she raised her to be “a citizen of the world” and expressly exposed her to different cultures and races from a young age so she has friends of many different backgrounds (racially, culturally, and socio-economically). Although she will proudly proclaim that she is Filipina-Cuban, she looks White and can seamlessly move in and out of various groups.











Mga Bagong Animated na Video na Nagpapakita ng mga Pamamaraan ng Interbensyon ng Bystander

Ang mga Maaaring Gawin ng mga Pangkaraniwang Tao para Labanan ang Pagtaas ng mga Insidenteng Bunsod ng Pagkamuhi

Ayon sa pananaliksik, 75% ng mga tao ang nag-ulat na sila’y gumagawa ng interbensyon pagkatapos makatanggap ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander

Mayo 31, 2022 (New York, NY) — Ang AARP, Right To Be (dating Hollaback!), at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC ay nagtulungan ngayong Buwan ng Pamana ng Mga Asian American, Katutubo ng Hawaii, at Taga-Isla Pasipiko para makabuo ng serye ng mga animated na video para ipakita ang mga pamamaraan ng interbensyon ng bystander (paano tukuyin ang panliligalig at ligtas na gumawa ng interbensyon) sa mas malawak na saklaw ng madla. Ipinapakita ng bagong data na 75% ng mga taong nakasaksi ng panliligalig ay nag-ulat na nagawa nilang gumawa ng interbensyon pagkatapos nilang dumalo sa pagsasanay ng Right To Be.


Sa nakalipas na dalawang taon, naging biktima ang Asian Americans ng mga kasuklam-suklam na pag-atake at pasalitang pananakit. Sa kasamaang-palad, lalo lamang lumaki ang pangangailangan para sa pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander. Iniulat ng FBI na ang mga insidente ng krimeng bunsod ng pagkamuhi na inudyukan ng pagkiling laban sa mga Asyano noong 2020, kumpara sa 2019, ay tumaas ng 76%. Ipinapakita ng “5Ds ng Bystander Intervention,” ang animated video ng Right To Be, ang mga magagawang hakbang para tugunan ang iba’t ibang anyo ng panliligalig. 

“Nang nagsimulang makita ng Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC (Advancing Justice – AAJC) ang pagtaas ng pagkamuhi at panliligalig laban sa Asian Americans sa simula ng pandemyang COVID-19, nagawa naming makipagtulungan sa Right To Be para iakma ang kanilang pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander para tugunan ang poot at panliligalig laban sa mga Asyano,” sabi ni Marita Etcubañez, Senior Director ng Mga Estratehikong Inisyatiba ng Advancing Justice – AAJC. “Mula nang inilunsad ang aming serye ng pagsasanay noong Abril 2020, nakipag-ugnayan at nakapagbigay na ng pagsasanay ang Right To Be at Advancing Justice – AAJC sa higit sa 120,000 tao.”

Ang pamamaraan ng Right To Be ay binubuo ng limang paraan ng interbensyon ng bystander. Inilalarawan ng bawat animation ang isa sa limang paraan, na binuo at sinubukan sa nakaraang dekada ng Right To Be sa pamamagitan ng mga sesyon ng pagsasanay nito na nakatulong sa daan-daang libong Amerikano na matutuhan kung paano sagutin ang tanong na, “Ano ang dapat kong gawin?” 

“Makakasaksi tayo ng panliligalig sa iba’t ibang anyo, mula sa mga palihim na negatibong pagkilos dahil sa lahi (racial micro-aggression) sa araw-araw na buhay hanggang sa lantarang diskriminasyon sa kasarian sa lugar ng trabaho. Kadalasang gusto nating hindi lumala ang sitwasyon, pero hindi natin alam kung paano,” sabi ni Emily May, Co-Founder at Executive Director ng Right To Be. “Ipinapakita ng animated na serye kung paano pinakamahusay na pangasiwaan ang mga pagkakataon ng panliligalig bilang isang bystander. Layunin nating gawing mga kaalayado ang mga bystander!”

Tulad ng sitwasyon para sa maraming taong may kulay, nakakaramdam ang Asian Americans na hindi sila ligtas at nabubuhay sila nang may takot. Nasiyahan ang mga katuwang na makita ang pagbuhos ng suporta, dahil mahigit sandaang libong tao na ang nag-sign up para sa mga sesyon ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander, pero ngayon, sa pamamagitan ng mga bagong videong ito, sabik ang mga katuwang na organisasyon na makipag-ugnayan sa higit pang tao sa pamamagitan ng paraang ito.

“Sa pag-uulat ko tungkol sa pagkamuhi laban sa mga Asyano at mga pag-atake laban sa mga komunidad ng Black, Latina/o/x, at LGBTQIA+ sa nakaraang sampung taon, nakita ko kung paano ginugusto ng mga bystander na tumulong, pero hindi sila sigurado kung paano,” sabi ni Richard Lui, isang tagapag-ulat sa NBC News/MSNBC na nagboluntaryong idirekta ang serye sa ngalan ng Asian American Journalists Association. “Mas malaki higit kailanman ang pangangailangang mabigyan ng kakayahan ang mga tao na ligtas na gumawa ng interbensyon at bawasan ang kasidhian ng sitwasyon.”

Ang limang video ay batay sa mga 5D na estratehiya sa interbensyon ng bystander na binuo ng Right To Be: 

●    Distract (Paggambala): Paggawa ng gambala para mabawasan ang kasidhian ng sitwasyon;
●    Delegate (Pag-delegate): Paghanap ng ibang taong makakatulong;
●    Document (Pagdokumento): Pagdokumento ng insidente at pagkatapos pagbigay ng          dokumentasyon sa taong dumanas ng panliligalig;
●    Delay (Pag-antala): Pangumusta sa taong nakaranas ng panliligalig;
●    Direct (Pagdirekta): Pagtakda ng hangganan sa taong nanliligalig at pagkatapos  paglipat ng atensyon sa taong dumaranas ng panliligalig.

“Sa pamamagitan ng mga animated na videong ito, nilayon naming maipakita ang iba’t ibang uri ng tao at lugar, para makita ng mga manonood ang kanilang mga sarili sa mga bystander na nakikitang gumagawa ng interbensyon,” sabi ni Alex Lo, na gumawa ng serye.

Ang pangkat ay aktibong nasa mga talakayan para maipakita ang mga animated na videong ito sa mga sinehan ng AMC sa buong bansa kasama sa mga ipinapakita bago magsimula ang pelikula at sa mga plataporma ng Comcast NBCUniversal bilang mga anunsiyo hinggil sa pampublikong serbisyo. 


Pinamunuan ng animator na beterano sa industriya na si Davy Liu (Beauty and the Beast at Mulan ng Disney, at higit pa) ang pangkat ng tatlong animator, at sinulat ng pinararangalang kompositor na si Zev Burrows ang orihinal na score para sa seryeng may limang bahagi. Ang mga karakter sa serye ay kumakatawan sa bawat malaking pangkat etniko (Asyano, Black, Latinx, Katutubo, at puting Amerikano) at rehiyon ng bansa (Hilaga, Timog, Silangan, Kanluran, at Isla Pasipiko). Ibinibigay ang mga videong ito sa Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, pati na rin sa Ingles at Espanyol.


“Ang pagbibigay ng mga kritikal na mga materyales sa pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander sa angkop na wika ay makakatulong lalo na sa ating mga nakatatanda at taong nagsasalita ng limitadong Ingles na nalalantad sa panganib,” dagdag ni Daphne Kwok, VP ng Pagkakaiba-iba, Katarungan at Pagsasama sa AARP.

Noong unang bahagi ng nakaraang taon, isang maikling paglalarawan ng mga 5D ang lumabas sa isang anunsiyo hinggil sa pampublikong serbisyo na ginawa katuwang ang Advancing Justice - LA na isinalaysay ng aktor na si Ken Jeong at na-animate ng pinararangalang ilustrador na si James Yang. Ang mga bagong videong ito, pati na ang PSA, ay mahahalagang bahagi ng mas pinalaking pakikipagtulungan at pagkakaugnay ng Right To Be at Asian Americans Advancing Justice sa buong bansa para palawakin ang saklaw ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander.

Para sa higit pang impormasyon, kasama ang kung paano magparehistro para sa mga libreng pampublikong sesyon ng pagsasanay sa interbensyon ng bystander, na pinamumunuan ng Right To Be at Advancing Justice – AAJC, tingnan ang




Kick It California is here to help Californians quit smoking -- and improve their mental and physical health 
By Mark Hedin, Ethnic Media Services 


California is once again emerging as a leader in the fight against Big Tobacco with the California Smokers’ Helpline, renamed Kick It California — the state’s official effort to help people stop smoking.

Through Kick It California, anyone who wants to quit tobacco use – whether it’s cigarette smoking, vaping, chewing or anything else – will find an array of resources available for free on the program’s new, mobile-friendly website, Other ways to get started on the path to better health include texting “Quit Smoking” to the number 66819 or calling 1-800-300-8086. The program offers services in English and Spanish, including coaching, and in some cases providing nicotine patches, gum or lozenges at no charge. 
Kick It California has helped more than one million Californians kick the habit. We’re here to help you take that first step toward being tobacco free — and we encourage you to check out our website for free guides and quit plans, or speak with one of our quit coaches to make a personalized quit plan that will work for you,” said Emily Aughinbaugh, Kick It California program director.

Now more than ever, it’s important for Californians to prioritize their mental health. More than half of the smokers who called California’s Quitline reported a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, drug/alcohol abuse or schizophrenia, and two-thirds faced more than one condition.


Notably, more than 70% of all smokers in this study tried to quit, regardless of mental health status. The high rate at which the sampled smokers sought help quitting indicates that counseling, like the services offered by Kick It California, can provide an “excellent opportunity toward improving smokers’ quality of life.”


Quitting smoking is a process that often takes several attempts to succeed. But, it’s well worth the effort, both for one’s physical and mental health.


Quitting smoking at any age is beneficial as it reduces the risk of premature death from chronic diseases and improves overall health. Over time, you lower your risk of heart disease, poor reproductive health outcomes and 12 types of cancer, including lung, liver and bladder. Within the first 24 hours of quitting, nicotine levels in the blood drops to zero. By the second week, circulation has improved and your lungs are starting to work better. Did you know that quitting can add as much as 10 years to your life expectancy?


In addition to spurring physical improvements, quitting tobacco use can reduce anxiety and stress — and even lead to improved mood and quality of life.

Kick It California is there to help Californians kick the habit of smoking, not only to support their physical well-being, but also their mental health.

“Every step forward counts. Start 2022 tobacco free!” Aughinbaugh of Kick It California urged.
























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