Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — There are now over four million Filipinos in the United States of America. According to the data from the American Community Survey, Filipino-Americans are the third largest Asian subgroup, next to Chinese-Americans and Indian-Americans.
However, the increasing number of Filipino-Americans does not necessarily equate to bigger civic participation and representation. This is the gap that Sari-Sari General Store, a new community of creatives in New York City, attempts to fill.
“We started Sari-Sari because I felt that there was no community here in the creative industry especially for Filipinos,” says photographer Marielle Sales. “We were all spread out and all of my friends never really talk about being Filipino.” She adds, “I just wanted to bring everyone together, connect, and share their stories and give people with talent a platform, and have this visibility and representation for the Filipino community.”
Entrepreneur Mal Tayag also says that through creating Sari-Sari, she feels as though she doesn’t have to be a certain type of Filipino. “I can just be who I am and that doesn't have to be a declaration for that.”
Sari-Sari has staged pop-up and discussions, released a zine called “Kapwa,” and sold tote bags — all of which aim at fostering the creativity and togetherness of the Filipino community in America.
Get to know Sari-Sari more in the video below: