Margery was kind enough to aslo unpack with us on Unpacking with BelaKharma. Listen to that interview for more on her heritage and culture.
It is Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States and to celebrate our Latina sisters, we’ve interviewed a handful of participants for our Hispanic Voices Series to provide a platform to share while we learn a bit more about their background, family life and well… heritage.
Welcome, Margery Samson Marcelino from Los Angeles, CA
Yes, Tagalog (Taga-ilog which means resident beside the river) is one of 8 dialects from 170 languages in our archipelago of 7,000 islands. Tagalog is the main dialect which is mixed with Spanish and the native indigenous tongue.
1977-my Papa & 1978 my Mama, brother & I
Yes, we have families in the Philippine Islands & Barcelona, Spain.
Yes, both my parents are still living.
We were under Martial Law under the former Dictator Ferdinand Marcos. My Mother worked for the Bank of Asia and used her connections with the Embassy to get us here to the USA. We had all of our papers in order.
The main story of my lineage is the story or the youngest revolutionary General of the Spanish/American War, My Great-Uncle General Gregorio del Pilar from my Mother’s side of the family. There’s a second movie made about him which releases this month called “GOYO“. He was half Spanish and fought against the colonization of the Spanish of 450 years in the Philippine Islands, thus the name which was named after their King Philippe of Spain. Because of our island’s archipelago of 7,000 islands, the Spanish roots are deeply embedded but rarely included when discussing the Latin influences mixed in with the indigenous roots of the Black Pygmies. I’d like to add that my Grandfather, my Mother’s father, Captain Alfredo del Pilar Samson, was in the US in the 20s for a few years as not only a Captain who served in the US Army but was also a secret agent, tailor, and boxer. He told me about this when I was 12. He was bed-ridden which was the last time I saw him before he returned to the essence when I was 15.
Yes, both. Family heirlooms are mainly pieces of jewelry and yes various recipes my grandmother had but I remixed into a more organic and healthier version.
Taglish (Tagalog & English)
Sometimes it was difficult because they didn’t understand the streets that my brother & I had to survive in the barrios of Los Angeles. I was blessed to have both parents with college degrees in business, and both came into the US as working professionals so, in that sense, my brother and I had a great start.
I decided to skip the traditional 18-year-old Debut. I wanted to save that money for college.
- I make sure we learn US History and World History.
- We attend all the various cultural festivals that my family has in our bloodline and connect the dots of the various different heritages.
My family & I support Paul Walker’s ROWW (Reach Out World Wide) who are the first responders to emergencies worldwide especially to places which no one will aide.
I normally have to say “I am Filipino/Spanish, born in Manila with a mother who is also Filipino/Spanish/Mestiza mixed with a father who is indigenous to the islands.”
I usually worry about division because just as there is an African Diaspora, I am not sure if that exists amongst my Latin family. Unity is Key.
I am most proud of my Bloodline, the part of my family, who were freedom fighters/revolutionaries, artists, & business folks who were for the people’s liberation.
My son & family (including friends who are like family since we all have extended family everywhere.)
First Hispanic woman that pops into your mind...Author – Julia de BurgosLegislator – Sonya SotomayorSinger – Celia CruzMusician – Linda RonstadtAthlete – Rebecca LoboPoet – Ariana BrownActress – Rita MorenoActivist – Dolores HuertaChef – Lorena GarciaTeacher – Rina JakubowiczMother – Maria Corazon Martinez Samson Marcelino (My own Mother)Sister – Mercedes MartinezDancer – Chita RiveraScientist – Sabrina Gonzalez-PasterskiDoctor – Dr. Helen Rodriguez-TriasComedienne – Shayla RiveraSocial Media InfluencerModel – Joan Smalls