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NY/NJ on Super Bowl Mode – Fil-Am Seahawks Player Doug Baldwin Talks About His Filipino Roots

Posted by FAN Admin in Connections, Home, News on 02 3rd, 2014

NY/NJ on Super Bowl Mode – Fil-Am Seahawks Player Doug Baldwin Talks About His Filipino Roots

NY/NJ on Super Bowl Mode – Fil-Am Seahawks Player Doug Baldwin  Talks About His Filipino Roots
By Momar Visaya
Published: February 1, 2014 | No Comments

NEWARK – Doug Baldwin barreled into the collective consciousness of Filipinos with one single act: he entered the CenturyLink Field in Seattle proudly carrying the flag of the Philippines to raise awareness to the recent natural disaster that devastated most of eastern Visayas, a place which his beloved grandmother Pica used to call home.

“My grandmother, she’s Filipino. She’s from the Visayan islands of Tacloban. When the typhoon hit, her family was impacted. Everybody’s safe now. I talked to her before the Vikings game and she was just very distraught about everything going on and I wanted to do something to lift her spirits and lift the spirits of the Philippines in general  so I thought carrying the (Philippine) flag would be a nice gesture,” Baldwin told us Tuesday, Jan. 28 at the Media Day for Super Bowl XLVIII held at the Prudential Center.

He’s never been to the Philippines but if and when he does, it will be with his lola.

“My grandmother told me I can’t go until we can go together,” he quipped.

Baldwin—for a good hour or so—responded to questions from media around the world. Questions ranged from his team’s preparations for the Super Bowl to how he was liking New York so far to his pre-game rituals to his days at Stanford.

We were able to squeeze in questions about his Filipino blood, and growing up in a part-Filipino household.

One of the things he mentioned doing prior to Sunday’s big game is his carbo-loading and we jokingly asked if lumpia – a big favorite of his – is part of his diet during this time.

“It’s good, it’s good,” he said smiling “but it’s fried.”

He added though that during off days, lumpia and other Filipino dishes are fair game.

“My grandmother prepares lumpia every time she visits us in Seattle. I cook it on off days,” Baldwin added.

On his Twitter account, where Baldwin gives his followers a peak into his personal life, he shares photos, anecdotes and bible verses.

For his post on New Year’s Eve, he posted a photo which showed him rolling and frying lumpia with his mom. He captioned it – “Turnt up and rollin up… Lumpia that is. S/O to Angry Momma Baldwin in the back. That’s where I get it from #NYE2014”

It is also through Twitter where he engages with his fans and followers and responds to their questions. One follower asked him where he eats in Seattle, and Baldwin replied with “I cook… duh. You saw the lumpia!”

Baldwin was referring to a previous tweet he posted a frying pan with four golden brown lumpia being fried, and used this caption “I know my Filipino peeps know what’s up.”

“My grandma made the lumpia when she was here. So she froze them for me so I can take them out and cook them every once in a while,” Baldwin told “Every time she comes here, she wraps some up for me so I can have it whenever I want to.”

On the day that typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines (November 7 in the US), he tweeted “Prayers up for the Philippines. Faith that that the family we will be ok.” In the days that followed after the devastation, he posted links and posters that announced fund-raising efforts in the Seattle area for those devastated by the typhoon, including one from his team, Seattle Seahawks.

Then on November 17, Doug Baldwin stepped onto the field at CenturyLink Field in Seattle carrying a Philippine flag.

“Have faith and everything’s going to work out. It’s a devastating situation but out of every devastating situation, something great can come out of it so just have faith and keep pushing forward,” he said when asked about his message to Haiyan survivors back home who are still struggling to get back on their feet.

Asked how it was growing up with a half- Filipino mom, Baldwin said, “She’s half and half, she exposed me to all the traditions from both my Filipino side and my African American side. It was my grandmother more so who told me more about the traditions and culture (of the Philippines).”

‘Doug Baldwin: Pinoy heart’

In an essay written by Seahawks guest columnist Steve Kelley and posted on the Seahawks website, he traced the Filipino blood running through Baldwin’s veins.

Baldwin’s Lola Pica married his grandfather Junius, who was stationed in the Philippines, and moved to Gulf Breeze, Florida. She kept her native country’s heritage and customs alive by teaching them to her daughter Cindy and then passing them along to her grandson Doug.

The essay asserted that Pica made the Philippines important to Baldwin. “Much of the foundation for his success came from his time, learning about the country from his grandmother,” Kelley wrote.

“She had a hard life,” Baldwin said before leaving on a short bye-week vacation (“I might go to Hawaii. I’ve never been there.”). “She didn’t have a whole lot, growing up in the Philippines. She’s a very intelligent woman, but she wasn’t able to go to school because her family could only afford to pay for her sister to get an education.”

Kelley also found a commonality among the diverse set of players that comprise the Seahawks—that these players had one or more strong family members as role models—mothers, fathers, brothers or sisters—that preached to them the value of perseverance. They were toughened by their environment, but they were given the tools to use that toughness in the right ways.

“When Baldwin’s grandmother would tell Doug about her life growing up, the times she had to do without, she wasn’t self-pitying. She taught him to overcome. When football scholarship offers didn’t come in daily stacks of mail, his mother and grandmother encouraged him to make the most of the opportunities he was given, not dwell on the schools that didn’t want him,” Kelley wrote further.

“They told me about how their lives had been and how they got through those times,” Baldwin said. “They taught me my values growing up.”

Through perseverance and hard work, Baldwin was able to earn a scholarship to Stanford, where he eventually majored in science, technology and society.

In his junior year, he faced a major crossroad. He wasn’t playing as much football as he would have wanted and he realized that school was even harder than the sport.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to play football anymore,” he said. “I was struggling with football and I was struggling with school. I asked my mother if I could come home and find a way to finish my education without playing football.”

His mom, Cindy told him she couldn’t afford to pay for his education. She encouraged Doug to go back to Stanford, to show the same kind of courage and mental toughness his grandmother had when she was growing up. He was told, “Control what you can control and leave the rest up to God.”

It was a lesson that Doug Baldwin carries up to this date.

During this week’s media interviews, one scribe asked if he was ready to play in an extremely cold weather and how this could affect their game.

I distinctly remember his response: “The weather is not within our control, what we can control is the way we have prepared for this battle. We’re ready.”

(NYNJ January 31, 2014 LifeEASTyle Magazine pg.2)

– See more at:

October is Filipino American History Month

Posted by lecrowder in Back To Our Roots, Connections, Home, News on 10 1st, 2013

For the past three years the Mayor of NYC, Mr. Bloomberg has signed a proclamation to officially name October as Filipino American Heritage Month (FAHM) in NYC.

As we say farewell to October let us continue to find ways to celebrate our Filipino heritage and culture every day!


Filipino Heritage Camp/August 1-4/Golden Colorado “A is for Adobo-The Philippines from A to Z”

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Connections, Events, Home on 05 1st, 2013

August 1st -4th, 2013 in Golden, CO

2013 Directors: Sarah Parino & Maeline Barnstable

What does Filipino Heritage Camp mean to you?

“I Love Camp” – FHC 2nd Grade Camper

“This is my Favorite Camp” – FHC 5th Grade Camper

“I don’t want Camp to end” – FHC 7th Grade Camper

“It’s worth so much to see our girls grow with confidence – giving them the tools to cope with adoption/race issues we don’t fully understand. They look forward to seeing their long lasting friends every year.” – FHC Parent

“I did not realize how much camp would help me as a Parent too!” – FHC Parent


The Filipino Heritage Camp is one of a handful of camps around the country designed especially for families with children adopted from the Philippines. Committed to exploring both the cultural and the adoption aspects of growing as an adoptive family, it is one of ten camps facilitated by the highly respected Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, Inc. FHC 2013 is going to be a great year as we return to Golden, Colorado, which proved to be so much fun and such a great venue for camp last year. FHC will again be planning an optional “Family Fun Day” for folks who would like an extra no frills day. Our incredible Filipino community volunteers will return with us to cook delicious food, entertain, teach, and interact as counselors and adult role models with our kids.

This year’s camp theme is “A is for Adobo-The Philippines from A to Z”.  We plan to have a grand time, exploring the culture, people and land of the Philippines, including Filipino-American culture today, especially with our friends in the Filipino community.

We will return to the American Mountaineering Center, in Golden, Colorado, which was a lovely meeting space for FHC 2012.  There were plenty of outdoor activities available in the foothills of the Rockies.  Lodging will be available for those traveling to Colorado from a distance. We will also be spending time at the Filipino American Community of Colorado’s wonderful cultural center, which is about 15 minutes away.

Planning for our 2013 camp is underway, so watch this site, check your email inbox, and follow us on Facebook for updates as workshops and activities are solidified.   Some of the highlights for 2013:

  • Again this year, we will be providing programming specifically designed for our adult adoptee community.
  • Opening Ceremony will be on Thursday evening after a potluck dinner where we can renew old friendships and welcome new faces.
  • Friday afternoon and evening we will include some free time in the schedule for your family to explore Golden, CO.  There are many opportunities for swimming, hiking, shopping, and dining, all within walking distance of our hotel and meeting space.
  • Our Saturday evening Dinner and Dance Party will be held at the Filipino American Community of Colorado’s Cultural Center, where we will spend some relaxing time with our wonderful community volunteers.

As always, we will explore the unique gifts and challenges that come with our mostly transracial adoptive families. We realize that as your children grow, they will be dealing with issues faced by any child of color, no matter their country of birth. At our camp, they are with a sea of families who are like theirs, and with children who are in the majority for a few days. Though we enthusiastically celebrate their birth country, we also celebrate adoption as a culture of its own. The similarities of being with other families “just like theirs” is what really bonds the children and their families so immediately at our camps.

We hope to see you at camp in August. For further information, please contact us, or visit our Facebook page.

Sept. 15: Noodles Fundraiser for Heritage Camps!!

Posted by lecrowder in Connections, Events, Home on 08 27th, 2012

For all you Colorado folk who have been touched by adoption do support Heritage Camp for Adoptive Families fundraiser!!! See details below!!

SAVE THE DATE! September 15th Noodles Fundraiser for Heritage Camps!

Contact your friends and neighbors, and download this invitation to a fun dinner at Noodles (locations around the state) to benefit Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families! It’ll be a a fun Saturday night dinner out with the kids, and with all of your friends too!

DOWNLOAD THE INVITE HERE, then print it out! You must have it with you at Noodles on the 15th for HCAF to receive the benefit!

Thank you and mark your calendars NOW

Parenting As Adoptees

Posted by lecrowder in Connections, Home, Our Stories on 08 17th, 2012

Dear friends, family, colleagues, and members of the adoption community:

We (Adam Chau and Kevin Ost-Vollmers) are excited to announce that the anthology Parenting As Adoptees is now available at Amazon as an e-book ( The following well respected adoptees are contributors:

Dr. Bert Ballard, Susan Branco Alvarado, Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter and her daughter Courtney Cooper-Lewter, Lorial Crowder, Shannon Gibney, Astrid Dabbeni, Mark Hagland, Dr. Hei Kyong Kim, JaeRan Kim, Jennifer Lauck, Mary Mason, Robert O’Connor, John Raible, and Sandy White Hawk.

Through fourteen chapters, the authors of Parenting As Adoptees give readers a glimpse into a pivotal phase in life that touches the experiences of many domestic and international adoptees – that of parenting. The authors intertwine their personal narratives and professional experiences, and the results of their efforts are powerful, insightful, and potentially groundbreaking. As Melanie Chung-Sherman, LCSW, LCPAA, PLLC, notes:

“Rarely has the experience of parenting as an adopted person been laid to bear so candidly and vividly. The authors provide a provocative, touching and, at times visceral and unyielding, invitation into their lives as they unearth and piece together the magnitude of parenting when it is interwoven with their adoption narrative. It is a prolific piece that encapsulates the rawness that adoption can bring from unknown histories, abandonment, grief, and identity reconciliation which ultimately reveals the power of resiliency and self-determination as a universal hallmark in parenting.”

Moreover, despite its topical focus, the book will resonate with individuals within and outside of the adoption community who are not parents. “Parenting As Adoptees,” writes Dr. Indigo Willing, “contributes and sits strongly alongside books by non-adoptees that look at issues to do with ‘the family’, race, ethnicity and migration. As such, this book should appeal to a broad audience interested in these various fields of inquiry.”

Parenting As Adoptees can be downloaded onto your computer, Kindle, and Kindle app supporting tablet/phone (such as iPads, iPhones, Droids, etc.) by going to this link:

In a few weeks, the book will be available at Barnes & Nobles for the Nook. Additionally, this fall we will be publishing a limited edition hardcopy to coincide with a book signing event in Minnesota. Please visit the Parenting As Adoptees website ( for more information. Additional reviews and excerpts from the book can be found there. And to receive regular updates, please “like” the book’s Facebook page:

Thank you for your time. We hope that you check out Parenting As Adoptees, and we would greatly appreciate it if you would share it with other individuals/groups whom you believe would find it of interest.

With warm regards,

Kevin Ost-Vollmers, Land of Gazillion Adoptees

Adam Chau, CQT Media And Publishing


Kevin Ost-Vollmers
C: 612.382.8568

Help the Korean Unwed Mothers Families’ Association (KUMFA) Raise $7,000

Posted by FAN Admin in Connections, Events, Home on 10 12th, 2011

Please support our fellow adult adoptee, blogger and friend Kevin Ost-Vollmers/Land of Gazillion Adoptees, and his partners who are making a big push to raise money for the Korean Unwed Mothers Families’ Association (KUMFA)!

Help the Korean Unwed Mothers Families’ Association (KUMFA) Raise $7,000

October 12, 2011


I think about my mother everyday.  Her memory is always with me.  In many ways, she and unwed women like her are the reason why Land of Gazillion Adoptees exists.  Because of this, I fully support the Korean Unwed Mothers Families’ Association (KUMFA) efforts to raise $7,000 for its facility HEATER, which provides care for Korean mothers who keep their children.  Please read on for additional details, “like” the “Fundraiser Page for the Korean Unwed Mothers Families’ Association (KUMFA)”, and consider making a financial contribution today.

Thank you in advance — KOV

Some Facts About Unwed Mothers in Korea

  • Contrary to public perception, 3 in 4 unwed mothers are aged 25 and over and have completed high school or spent some time in college. Their children comprise a mere 1-2 percent of South Korea’s annual live births.
  • Maternity facilities operated by adoption agencies have a 37% child-rearing rate compared to 82% for non-agency run facilities. Because most maternity facilities receive government subsidies and are therefore semi-private, they have the authority to refuse or to discontinue services to mothers who are deemed “too troublesome.”
  • Although 89% of Korea’s children who are placed for adoption come from unwed mothers, more and more unwed mothers are choosing to rear their children according to recent studies.


Image from the New York Times.

The mothers and volunteers of the Korean Unwed Mothers Families’ Association (KUMFA) need your support to raise $7,000 to keep HEATER open.  Please consider sending a monetary gift at the $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 level.

The mothers, volunteers, and friends involved with KUMFA, the efforts of which was featured in the New York Times a few years ago, advocate for the rights of unwed pregnant women, unwed mothers and their children in Korea. KUMFA’s goal is to enable Korean women to have sufficient resources and support to keep their babies if they choose, and thrive in Korean society, rather than feel compelled to place their children for adoption.

As a part of its efforts, KUMFA opened HEATER, a facility that provides care for mothers who keep their children. Each year the facility houses and feeds 24 mothers and their children. Two mothers and their children stay at HEATER for two months at a time. It is a unique place in that, unlike other facilities in Korea, HEATER accepts mothers who are older and/or have children. Some of the children need medical attention.

The mothers, volunteers, and friends of KUMFA need your support to keep HEATER open in 2012. The operating costs for HEATER is $7,000, which covers rent, utilities, food and supplies. KUMFA currently doesn’t have $7,000 in its 2012 budget and so HEATER may have to close its doors if the mothers, volunteers, and friends of the organization are not able to raise the money.

Please consider offering your support to keep HEATER open by donating at the $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 level. Giving is easy. You can PayPal your gift to KUMFA’s e-mail ( or PayPal your gift to KUMFA/HEATER volunteer Shannon Heit’s e-mail (

The mothers, volunteers, and friends of KUMFA are very thankful for your consideration, and hope that you’ll join them as partners in their efforts to sustain and improve HEATER so that they can best serve Korean mothers and children.

Questions? Please contact the following individuals:

Shannon Heit, KUMFA Volunteer,
Dr. Jennifer Kwon Dobbs,
Kevin Ost-Vollmers/Land of Gazillion Adoptees,

October 25-mid November – Our own TiyaDK exhibit at Library of Congress, DC

Posted by lecrowder in Connections, Events, FAN Announcements, Home on 10 4th, 2011

Hi Everyone!  Please attend my art exhibit and showcase at the Library of Congress.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: OCTOBER 25, 2011 (The Art Collection will start at 2pm Oct. 25th, up until mid-November). Please be sure you go to the Jefferson Building – Asian Division Reading Room.

The Library of Congress (LOC) has reached out to me and asked me to be part of a panel discussion on identity issues that arise as adoptees enter their teenage and adult years.  They’ve also asked me to do a “Tiya DK Art Collection,” on adoption, which will include 6-8 new original paintings, numerous drawings and original sketches from when I first started painting as a child. In addition, they requested me to present some writing samples from my manuscript.


Please note, seats are limited to LOC staff and their guests at the panel discussion. However, my art collection will be open to the public (at 2pm). As a request…the LOC would like me to get an idea of how many people from my guest list will be attending the first day of the art opening and also get an approximate head count of who may attend the month-long art show.


This is a very exciting opportunity and I’m honored to be part of this special event. I look forward to sharing my world with you. Please RSVP and for those who plan on attending, please don’t forget to sign the guestbook when you’re there so I know who stopped by! Through up the time the art work will be showcasing, I will be at the LOC each weekend (late morning until mid afternoon to greet all my guests and clients).

Thank you in advance for all your support.  You can visit me at and

Blog: Transracialeyes – Because of course race and culture matter

Posted by FAN Admin in Connections, Home, Our Stories on 09 21st, 2011

The Transracialeyes Eyes blog is run by a diverse group of international/transracial adoptees. The discussions are honest and examine the less comfortable issues that are not often not given a platform. The topics are meant to be challenging and thought provoking so be ready to cringe, breathe a sigh of relief and even shocked.

One of the newest guest bloggers is our own James Beni Wilson who also has his own blog called Pathos of Asian Adoptees. Congratulations!



  • What we do

    This site is provided as a resource for those exploring the ideas of transracial and/or international adoption.


    Readers can submit a question for consideration and adoptees of color will provide insightful comments.


    We’ve decided to not make it a discussion board because we donate our time and have lives to lead, but will be happy to share our perspectives.


  • If you’re a transracial adoptee who would like to contribute

    you can contact us here.


    We ask that posts and comments be substantive and that you make a commitment to be involved and contribute regularly. We are interested in a diverse range of adoptee opinions.


  • If you’d like to submit a question

    you can contact us here.


    Please allow several days for contributors to find time to address your questions and check back often!


  • If you’d like to comment

    Please post at the General Comments page.

    Our Comment Policy:

    Given the power differential between dominant adopter culture and the adoptee, we attempt at Transracial Eyes to even this playing field. Mimicry of this discourse by adoptees can therefore be seen as compradorist, Uncle-Tomist, and/or kowtowing, and we wish to call this out. We aim to achieve a truly equal dialectic, and our response to such feedback will reflect this goal.


    Comments which attack one’s feelings or opinions, or which directly or indirectly judge or belittle contributors will not be tolerated.


  • If you’d like to send us a SHOUT OUT

    We all like to know our work is valued, so if you’d like to drop us a supportive line, please feel free to visit our Guest Registry page, where comments are open to the general public. We’d love to hear from you and to know our efforts are not wasted. Thanks!

Filipino Heritage Night with the Mets – Sept 13th!

Posted by lecrowder in Connections, Events, Home on 07 25th, 2011


Group Tickets

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 @ 7:10 p.m.
vs. Washington Nationals

Filipino Night

Join the New York Mets in the celebration of the second annual Filipino Heritage Night at Citi Field! Share Filipino Pride with your friends and family in our Filipino Heritage Night seated section. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Bantay Bata Foundation. The Filipino community is always one of the largest and loudest to come out to the ballpark all season, so bring the whole family and get in on the fun!

  • Sit together with family and friends in designated Promenade Reserved Infield Seats.
  • Enjoy a pre-game program of Filipino Entertainment.
  • Each person will receive a Mets Lanyard and Ticket Holder with advance purchase.

Group Tickets FILIPINO HERITAGE NIGHT Tuesday, September 13, 2011 @ 7:10 p.m. vs. Washington Nationals Filipino Night

Join the New York Mets in the celebration of the second annual Filipino Heritage Night at Citi Field! Share Filipino Pride with your friends and family in our Filipino Heritage Night seated section. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Bantay Bata Foundation.

The Filipino community is always one of the largest and loudest to come out to the ballpark all season, so bring the whole family and get in on the fun!

* Sit together with family and friends in designated Promenade Reserved Infield Seats.

* Enjoy a pre-game program of Filipino Entertainment.

* Each person will receive a Mets Lanyard and Ticket Holder with advance purchase.

ABS-CBN: Oliver Tolentino designs US singer’s costumes

Posted by lecrowder in Connections, Home on 04 26th, 2011

Oliver Tolentino designs US singer’s costumes

HOLLYWOOD, California – Filipino Hollywood designer Oliver Tolentino has been commissioned by Cee Lo Green, one of America’s most popular artists, to make his costumes for a big new music video.

Green is famous for his hit song “Forget You“.

For the singer’s next music video, millions of Cee Lo Green’s fans will get to see Filipino design up close as the popular singer picked Tolentino to do his costumes.

Tolentino created two designs: one is a robin egg blue suit embellished with embroidery and Swarovski crystals. It features a “furry” overcoat made of Philippine raw silk cocoon from Aklan.

The other is a bright red suit embellished with gold embroidery, beads, and Swarovski crystals. It features a Liberace-inspired cape of peacock fabric and gold embroidery.

”Yung turquoise jacket is made from raw silk cocoon. So makikita niyo sa video, angat na angat. Para siyang fur pero it’s not,” said Tolentino.

The costumes, though designed in Hollywood, were sewn and embroidered in the Philippines using Filipino materials.

“Everything he will be wearing were all made in the Philippines. Out of this world. Matutuwa talaga ang manonood.

“Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa mga mananahi ko tsaka embellishers at cutters ko sa Philippines kasi they made the outfit very well,” the designer added.

Green is known for being the male version of Lady Gaga because of his outlandish outfits, such as the one he wore in his duet with Gwyneth Paltrow at the recent Grammy awards.

He is also one of the judges in the new singing contest on TV, “The Voice,” where he is joined by Christina Aguilera, whom Tolentino met when he went to take Green’s measurements.

Tolentino was in Las Vegas to attend to Green’s costumes for the shooting of the music video of “I Want You,” Green’s new song.

The designer also created several dresses for the “princess” in the video, model Ivey Mansel.

“Ang sarap gumawa ng video kasi magagawa mo ang gusto mo especially with Cee Lo na sabi, ‘Gawin mong mas outrageous. Mas okay sa akin ‘yan,'” Tolentino said.

The designer added he had to make sure the costumes fit really well even if the singer moves around a lot.

“With an artist like Cee Lo, he does a lot of movement so I made sure na tamang-tama ang fit.”

Green’s stylist was the one who talked to Tolentino about the project, proof of the continuing success of the Filipino designer in Hollywood.

“Sila ang nag-approach kasi there are only a few people who can do these outrageous costumes. Tsaka ang motif nila ay Liberace so kailangan talaga ng very detailed embellishments sa costumes ni Cee Lo,” Tolentino said. — Report from Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau