My FASA Story | Christian Carmen

Growing up I had no intention for change, I was always comfortable.

I mean I had all of the necessities needed to live, why change?

That was the problem, I was afraid of change.


[FASA’s First General Meeting, Spoken Word, 2016]

Inevitably it happened, my dad cheated on my mom and my world turned upside down. We had to sell our house that we had for 12 years, budget our savings so we can have food on the table, and our relationship as a family shifted downhill.

My brother barely came home, my sister shut herself in her room, and lastly my mom would cry herself to sleep every night. I was only 12 years old when this happened and I didn’t know what to do but to hate. I started skipping school and soon I saw my grades starting to decline.

To be transparent, I felt like I had nothing to contribute to this world, so why change that mindset?

There it is, “change” again.

I started to learn how to not fear change, but be the change I want to see today. I believe I can change my destiny, my dreams, and make them a reality.

For the next couple months I started to see changes.

My brother decided to stay home and apologized to our family, saying that he just wanted to run away from his problems and to distract himself. As for my sister, she began gaining her confidence again and started to converse with the family. Lastly, my mom realized how important we are to her and was able to adapt to our financial crisis. Overall, I was happy to see where we had started and the amount of adversaries that we pushed through.


[My family and I!]

This is why Alpas is so important to me. It reminds me of obstacles that I faced throughout my life and how I was able to get passed through them. It reminds me of my purpose to keep on fighting until this day, which is that I want to break free from grudges that I had set on my father, but to break loose and understand that I have a purpose on this earth.

Alpas means: To become free, to break loose. And I am a testimony of that.


My FASA Story | Ann Samson


[Me with terrible bangs, Age ~5 ish?, San Diego, CA]

To be honest, I was suppose to go first in this whole “My FASA Story” series, but I thought my story would be too much for first impressions. It might be too much for people to swallow.

Too much.

What does it mean to be too much?

Well — ever since I was little with terrible bangs, I always thought of myself to be too much. I’d ask too many questions, I’d sing too much in public, I’d get in to too much trouble with my Kuya. But as a 5 year old, you don’t immediately see yourself as being “too much” – you’re just having a good time being you.


[My amazing mom and my sometimes cool Kuya]

I knew that I was too much at an early age when I was often silenced. I wasn’t the only one silenced. Kuya and mom were also silenced.

Naturally, growing up in this environment made me feel like a burden. It was best to be quiet. It was best to stop asking questions. It was best to stop being “too much”.

So that 5 year old girl with terrible bangs who was completely and proudly herself?…She was forgotten for the rest of her life till her sophomore year of college.

I met this little girl during my second Sayaw performance. I remember her coming into our dressing room and was like, “Hey guys!! I learned how to break dance!!” She was 3 years old.



Seeing her dance around all over the place with no care in the world, being herself, and speaking her mind – made me wish I was like her. She would ask us countless questions of our Sayaw costumes, our props, and our dances. She reminded me of myself when I was little. It felt like I was looking into the past. That night after meeting her, I promised myself I would try to be that girl who dared to ask a lot of questions. Funny, huh? A 19 year old wanting to be a 3 year old?

Amazing things have happened to me after meeting that girl. She always has been on the back of my mind moving forward. I’ve become more aware of my community: how freely my community speaks up when they see injustice and how sometimes our voices are forcefully silenced.


[Martin Luther King Jr. March – Jan 2016 – Downtown Seattle]

I remember feeling so empowered when I was with FASA, MIC, and PSA to stand up for our protected seats during that ASUW Senate meeting. I remember the first time I spoke up for something bigger than myself. I remember the first time I spoke up to violence on campus and finally the  violence at home. I remember the first time I felt truly, genuinely, out-of-my-mind, happy.


[My favorite dance, Sayaw sa Bangko (Super version!) – Pista Sa Nayon 2016]

To this day, I still have to train myself to NOT believe I am a burden to the world. I still have to train myself to believe that my experiences and feelings are valid. And this is why the word alpas resonated with me so much. The word itself is a verb. It’s an action: to break free, to break loose. It’s an ongoing process.

I’m not free yet and I don’t have all of the answers.

I’m still learning. And I can’t wait to learn with all of you.


Find out more about Ann and her position here!

What’s your FASA story? #alpas

My FASA Story | Bryttnii Cariaso

“The Spirit of an Islander” was the title of my UW admissions essay –  a tale of a heroine who knew her place in the world. But her story was written by a wandering spirit with a wavering heart, with “where are you from?” being such a difficult question.


In 2014, the year I graduated high school, my father was given PCS (Permanent change of station) orders for the family to move to Fort Bliss, Texas. By then, it was my second year in Washington state. My parents encouraged me to wait for college and move with the family.


[ Summer 2012 – fam bam in Idaho during our road trip to our next base: JBLM, Washington! ]

Instead, I wanted to escape this path – this cycle – of moving and moving and starting over and over again. I knew that if I stayed with my family, I would only be holding myself back from opportunities. If I am ever going to find my place in this world, I need to challenge myself and grow as an individual.


This small town girl has never lived in such a big city up until now. It was also hard for me not having my parents or sister nearby. I was stranded in a sea of busy streets and crowded halls. How can I be an adult when I feel like a lost child in search of a home?




Five years of my childhood were spent in Oahu. This is where I grew up with hula as a traditional art. Dancing hula was my way of convincing myself that Hawai’i was a place in my heart to call home, and hula brothers and sisters were people in my life to call family.



[ March 2006 – me and my sister, Venus, before a performance at the Mililani Town Center ]

Hula is what strengthens my Hawaiian roots. I don’t have Hawaiian blood, but I don’t question my dance lessons and appreciation for Hawaiian culture in my life. Through traditional dance, I learned how to feel comfortable in  celebrating a culture I wanted to love.




“Are you Filipina?” There were times when I didn’t like to answer this question either. My mom is “half” and my dad is “full”. Because of insecurity, I wasn’t comfortable back then to talk about having Filipina blood. I would ask myself, “do I have a right to talk about my roots when I don’t even know what they mean to me?”



[ October, 2014 – my first meeting was FASA’s 2nd general meeting (pictured center, with a hair flower) ]


By the start of college, I had such a deep appreciation for dancing in my life, I knew it needed to be in my UW experience. I wanted to love Filipino culture the way I loved Hawaiian culture. So through this understanding, I turned my attention to FASA’s dance troupe, “Sayaw”.


[ April 25, 2015 – Performing (pictured right) with Sayaw at FilNight: “Finding my Pin@y” ]

I promise you, in all my life of dancing anything, I have never felt so confident about my place in this world until I stood proud and beaming in a Maria Clara dress at the end of Sayaw’s performance at my first Filipino Night. That 20-minute set was the first time I ever felt I had every right to be celebrating Filipino culture alongside other Filipino Americans.




I have been blessed since my first year of college to find another family now dear to my heart. I am thankful for FASA being in my life and helping me understand and take pride in my Filipina roots. My desire to be in my position as Sayaw Coordinator is so I can support Sayaw and ensure that its name and its mission are recognized for keeping the Philippine traditions alive for college students and giving wandering spirits like me a sense of home in the greater Seattle area.


14642630_1809486922603288_758953842_n[ April 9, 2016 – “Sayaw is…” Showcase. Like an Umbrella Girl to her princess, I am honored to be the Sayaw Coordinator for her dance troupe <3 ]

Find more about Bryttnii and her position here!

What your FASA story? #alpas

My FASA Story | Catherina Ed

HELLO friends! Here’s a little about me and my experience with FASA.

When I first arrived at the UW I was ecstatic, confident, and ready to take the school by storm that freshmen year.

And wow.. I can’t believe how fast it took for that mindset to change.

I graduated as Valedictorian and did pretty well in high school, so naturally, I thought I was set for college. (I’m cringing right now as I’m typing this to be honest but I’m sure many can relate!)

11391288_1632613726955239_9152532449873826427_nBUT, after taking my first midterms, receiving my first “average” and receiving a “below average” grade, I saw the earth crumble beneath my feet and I was absolutely devastated. It may seem like an exaggeration, which it was, but that’s how I felt. I lost my confidence halfway through Autumn quarter  and when winter break came along, I contemplated about transferring schools. At that point, I didn’t even believe in myself anymore. But…I hated the thought of giving up.


I joined FASA because my sister, who goes to Gonzaga, was a part of their FASU and she told me all about the fun and friends she made. I didn’t really connect with anyone that Autumn, but Winter quarter I wanted to try! It was a brand new start. It was a brand new year. And as cheesy as it sounds, it was a brand new me. I WANTED to change myself. When FASA retreat came along, I signed up immediately. I wanted to meet and get closer to new people. I tried REALLY hard to lose the anxiety I had over being judged and I just tried to be myself and have a good time. I wanted to break free from my comfort zone to show people the real me. Loud (*cough cough* obnoxious), competitive (shown through Uno), and I don’t know, nice I guess?



12513540_954861791246658_5476916096088962511_o(me being forced to present a new FASA idea for a FASA retreat workshop. LOL)

I had an epiphany during retreat.I needed to stop holding back.

I needed to just go for it and do me. So I did and I actually made friends who make my college experience worthwhile and help me gain my confidence back. They are now my support, my encouragement, and my motivation in this overwhelming school. I wouldn’t have found them without FASA. Not only that, but through the cultural, political, and historical corners, Sayaw, and through cultural commonalities amongst friends, I finally understood the importance of our culture and how it strengthens my relationships with the new friends I had made. I learned to love and appreciate it.


(SOME of the friends I’ve made through FASA aka “the FASA Frosh Squad”…)

So now here I am, the activities chair for the Filipino American Student Association at the UW. Someone as socially awkward as me, to have been able to run for a position that is a part of the social pillar, really shows how FASA has helped me grow. It allowed me to break free from my old timid, nervous, self conscious self to a person willing to put myself out there to improve and work to better my wavering social skills, while allowing me to help others find the friends and family they’re looking for at the UW also.  And honestly, I’m so excited for this new school year.


(Me and my predecessor, Adrian DelaCruz!)

Find out more about Catherina and her position here.

What’s your FASA story? #alpas

Welcome to the new school year!

Hello, FASA fam! Since school began yesterday, we’d like to officially welcome you to the 2015-2016 school year! We hope that this school year treats you well, and remember, we’re here for you whenever you need us.

In case you missed us during the RSO fair, here’s a flyer of all our upcoming events this month! We hope to see you there. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to receive more updates on our events as they approach!

October Flyer

October is Filipino American History Month!


9/25 | New Member Social

New to the UW? Come meet fellow Filipino American students at our New Member Social on Thursday Sept. 25 in the Ethnic Cultural Center Unity Suite (First Floor). The ECC is our “Home away from home” and is behind Lander and Alder Halls on Brooklyn and 40th St NE.

Who doesn’t love free ice cream?

new social flyer

Website currently under construction

Hello! Welcome to the website for the Filipino American Student Association at UW. This website hasn’t been used much lately so we’re in the process of making things brand new! In the mean time, check out our social media pages.

Twitter @FASAsaUW

Instagram @FASAsaUW


All Day Game Day 2013


FASA Sa UW Presents:



GAME ON. Take a break from your studies and come out to the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center for a day of relaxation and fundraising with FASA sa UW and our annual overload of gaming! We’ll have all of your favorites such as COD and Brawl, as well as Tetris……and our first ever League of Legends Tournament! Take part in the LoL or any other game’s tournament to win prizes, or just hang out and play! Come show your skills, while supporting our High School & Middle School mentorship program, @Project F.A.M.I.L.Y!

$3 General Entry
$2 For Each Tournament Entry

FASA x PISC Presents: API Film Festival

In collaboration with PISC, FASA sa UW Presents: The API Film Festival Collabo Film Fest Red 2

The Film Festival is an opportunity for students, editors, producers, directors, and actors to showcase their videograph skills to the public. It will be an open forum type of event where film will be showcased accordingly. FASA sa UW will be accepting submissions to be showcased during the event.


– Submit your shorts to (must be 3-10 minutes in length)
– Submissions will first be screened by FASA sa UW
– Attendees will vote on the winning and film at the event
– Prizes will be awarded!!!


All organizations participating will each be screening their own selected film


Date – May 2nd, 2013
Time – 5pm to 7pm
Location – Native/Chicano Room

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