Raqeul Calara is a student organizer currently majoring in Social Welfare at UC Berkeley. She is the SHADOW Coordinator for Pilipinx Academic Student Services (PASS) and is also one of this year’s Pilipinx Cultural Night co-producers. This last summer, she traveled to the Philippines with Kabataan Alliance for a community immersion trip where she visited striking workers, fisherfolk communities, indigenous Aeta groups, and activist organizations. In this episode, she reflects on the significance of this trip—being only the 2nd time she’s been in the Philippines—and the various takeaways she’s gotten from the experience. She explores the implications of the striking NutriAsia workers, the importance and relevance of activism, and the shifts this trip has had on her future trajectory as both a student and community organizer. There’s also a lot of reflections about growing up as a Filipina in the United States, the initial distancing from her culture, and the rediscovery and acceptance of identity while in college.
3 Pieces of Advice
1. Be comfortable with change.
2. Don’t hate the identity you were given.
3. Don’t be scared. Invite change instead of straying away from it.