RLo: Could you tell us about your Filipino heritage?
Vanessa: I’m half-Filipino. My mother is Filipina. She comes from Cebu and Manila. Her maiden surname is Cojuangco.
RLo: Oh, did you know that the Cojuangcos are a prominent, rich and influential family in the Philippines? One of them, Tonyboy Cojuangco, owns a TV station and used to own a telephone company (PLDT).
Vanessa: Really? Is that so?
RLo: Have you been to the Philippines?
Vanessa: No; not yet. But I hope to go there someday with my family.
RLo: Were you brought up the Filipino way or the American way?
Vanessa: A little bit of both. I have rice with every meal.
RLo: How much of the Filipino custom and tradition do you know?
Vanessa: Not much. I’ve learned a few things here and there. The most that I got from Filipino culture is through food.
RLo: Zac, I understand that like Vanessa, you have your own Philippine connection, right?
Zac: My dad has been to the Philippines several times — for fun. He’s an engineer. We have several Filipino friends. My dad told me that Filipinos are a very musical people. One day, I will go to the Philippines — for fun.