Jo Koy’s ‘Easter Sunday’ puts Filipinos front and center
Today, Filipinos make up more than 4 million of the country’s more than 23 million Asian population, according to the US Census. Filipino culture and history have gained prominence in recent years, largely due to decades-long activism by Filipinos.
This year, a 30-foot-tall walkway arch was unveiled in Los Angeles’ historic Philippinotown and a street in New York’s Queens was co-named Little Manila Avenue. A newly built park in San Jose was named Delano Manongs Park for Filipino American farm workers who worked alongside Cesar Chavez to organize the Delano grape strike between 1965 and 1970.
Easter Sunday comes during “this truly incredible moment in Asian American history and Filipino American history, where political, social and economic capital came together,” said Eric Pido, professor of Asian American studies at the University of State of San Francisco with training in the Philippines. /o American Studies. He predicts that younger generations will raise the profile of Filipinos in the coming years.
“I think Filipino Americans are no longer shy about taking a representative role in American politics, which will bring up all kinds of interesting things about Filipino American culture that a lot of people just don’t think about,” Pido said.
Last month, Koy and Cheng attended a screening of Easter Sunday in the town of Daly. Among the attendees was the Pixar director turn red, Domee Shi. This animated film, about a Chinese-Canadian teenager and her family, was a hit after its March release on Disney+. But a white film critic called the animated feature exhausting and relatable only for Shi’s Chinese family and friends. The review was later fired on accusations of racism.
The idea that stories that focus on Asian characters and cultures are too specific to be appealing is simply outdated, Koy said.
“The relationship between a mother and her son is the same regardless of ethnicity,” Koy said. “I hate ignoramuses who don’t move forward…There are a lot of people living in this country who need to be heard and it’s time to hear it.”