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Philippines, well-represented in the Super Bowl

by Bryan Gadingan

THE Philippines was highly represented at the recently concluded Super Bowl, with numerous Filipino-American natives in attendance at the championship game of the National Football League (NFL) of the United States.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have been popular topics among Fil-Ams, as with the family of Kansas City Chiefs rookie wide receiver Nikko Remigio, who earned his first Super Bowl.

Remigio was born on November 4, 1999, to a Filipino father and a half-black, half-white mother. Growing up, he felt odd and experienced discrimination as he was both Asian and Black American in a white community.

Having a mixed-race identity presented difficulties for the young star: “It’s like you’re too Black for the white kids, and too white for the Black kids. And then, you’re not really Filipino because you’re only half,” he explained in an interview with Berkeley News.

Looking back, Remigio realized that he was learning how to deal with adversity and “keep pushing through tough situations, knowing how to react in times of struggle and hardship.”

Photo Courtesy: Berkeley News

The 5-foot-9 wide receiver has an inspirational backstory. He received 20 Division I offers in college but went undrafted by the NFL.

He had been on the Chiefs’ reserve/injured list since August 2023, and he was allowed to make his formal debut during that game. The 24-year-old is the first Filipino player to win a Super Bowl championship since Jordan Norwood.

“I really admire the morals they instilled in me,” he went on to say. “They were always there if we were really struggling, but gave us the space to navigate challenges by ourselves in order to fully learn what we’re capable of, and who we are.”

Meanwhile, another person of Filipino descent was H.E.R, actual name Gabi Wilson, a Fil-Am artist who played at the halftime performance hosted by famed singer Usher.

The 26-year-old singer grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, a really varied and lifestyle-friendly environment. She is half Filipino and half black, with her mother being the basis of her Filipino heritage.

It was a night for them to respect their roots and be proud of their own lineage, despite growing up in a foreign environment. This is also a proud moment for Filipinos, as these personalities are building a name for themselves at the pinnacle of their respective careers.

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