In the United States, Filipinos are the second largest Asian minority group after the Chinese. Filipinos have almost perfectly assimilated to American culture due to their colonization by both the Spanish and United States. In the Philippines, citizens speak English, have served for the US in WWII, and even have many American influenced restaurants and businesses. In the States, Filipinos have little to no cultural representation. They may be one of the largest minority groups, but are very under represented in culinary, business, and entertainment industries.
Nicole Ponseca states “When you’re colonized so many times you begin to think maybe your food can’t translate. Now, that story is changing.” Ponseca is an owner of a Filipino restaurant in New York City. She is battling the under representation of Philippine cuisine by serving and popularizing traditional dishes such as adobo and balut. She even dedicates special evenings at her restaurant to traditional Filipino dining, kamayan, where food is served family style on large banana leaves and eaten by hand.
Ponseca’s efforts to popularize Philippine culture and bring it to the popular eye is one of many efforts to spread her culture. Through her work she is diminishing the shame and fear that many Filipino-Americans have about sharing their cuisine.