The club Together Representing an Organization of Filipino Americans (TROPA) is great for learning about Filipino culture. Surprisingly, a lot of students with immigrant parents feel lost by not feeling connected to their roots and forgetting the importance of it, but TROPA members know the importance of learning and accepting their culture, and in doing so, they meet new people who are from their culture or who want to learn about it.
“Savory dish made with chopped parts of pork jowl, pork ears, pork belly, and some chicken liver served on a metal plate with egg to get that sizzling aspect to it and added with lemon and calamansi to add some extra tang/fruity flavor,” Divine Rose Pamolarco, a 22-year-old Design major, said while asking what Sisig, a Filipino dish, was.
In TROPA, they do a lot of activities and hold general meetings that focus on Filipino culture and embracing it while making friends and building a community. Ann Jenica Jose, a 20-year-old Urban Studies major and Vice President of the club, shared that this club is for Filipinos and those who enjoy the culture and want to learn more about it. Meeting people who have similar cultures can help one connect with their roots, with TROPA is a great example of this.
“I really did find myself wanting to find a community on campus, and so I thought what better way to do that than with people of a similar culture to me,” Jenica Jose said when asked why she joined TROPA. She has learned to embrace her roots, which is important for her, just like a lot of the members feel.
Hans Vidaure, a 22-year-old Computer Science major and President of TROPA, shared his experience at TROPA and how it has helped him grow as a person. “I, myself, am an introvert, but I get to feel comfortable with everyone in the club, which helps me bring out the best in me.”
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but it’s encouraged to grow as a person, and TROPA has made Vidaure and other members more outgoing, which builds social support. As he graduates this year, his hope is for this club to keep flourishing and educate more students about Filipino culture on campus. Jenica Jose and Vidaure agree that it brings great joy when a few members of the club who aren’t Filipinos just enjoy the culture.
Queens College has a lot of clubs that many students can join to build friendships and create a safe space. Joining a club is always a good idea because you develop friendships and learn soft skills, which provides a sense of community and is an excellent way to spend your free time.
As the semester ends, TROPA encourages students to join a club that will help them grow. Jenica Jose shared, “I think once you do get a chance to embrace your culture, it becomes a part of your identity, and it helps you and me to help you learn a little bit more about yourself.”