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A1C Edwin Faith Bagalso shares her Filipino culture with others

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Dequan Simmons

Culture is more than just a person’s past, but for one Team Scott Airman, it's something she has worked hard to weave into every fabric of her life.

Airman 1st Class Edwin Faith Bagalso, Air Mobility Command Headquarters A4 executive support administrator, demonstrates her commitment to Filipino heritage at every opportunity.

She does this by taking proactive steps to educate herself and advocate for Filipino culture, using language, cuisine, and volunteerism to merge cultures.

At about 8 years old, Bag also visited the Philippines and became inspired to learn more about her family’s history. She took the initiative to teach herself Tagalog and Bisaya, the native languages of the Philippines.

“They wanted me to grow up speaking perfect English so I wouldn’t have to struggle in America as they did," said Bagalso, referring to the difficulties her parents faced for having accents. Her parents decided to only teach her English rather than their native language. “I taught myself Tagalog and Bisaya by heavily immersing myself in Filipino shows, music, and conversations between my family members.”

When Bagalso arrived at Scott, her mentors informed her about the Language-Enabled Airman Program.

“I’m so grateful the Air Force has opportunities like this,” said Bagalso. “I can feed my passion, which enables me to learn and educate myself about my heritage as well as find different ways to serve our country that give my family a better life.”

She took and passed the Defense Language Proficiency Test, which assesses the ability to speak a language in real-life situations. The LEAP program assists Airmen in learning foreign languages and understanding different cultures to break down language and cultural barriers within the Department of Defense.

For her extensive volunteering efforts, Bagalso was recognized and awarded the HQ AMC Volunteer of the Year Award. One notable achievement was a food event she conducted as the secretary of her unit’s booster club. They handcrafted and sold 258 lumpia, a type of spring roll popular in the Philippines, along with 129 boxes of Filipino-style spaghetti and many other foods. She also represented her unit and culture while attending the 2023 Air Force Sergeants Association Summit in Dallas, Texas. The ASFA Summit allows Airmen, veterans, and their families to receive education and professional development opportunities.

“It’s important for me to share my Filipino culture because it’s what makes me the person I am today,” said Bagalso. “I am proud to be a Filipino American.”

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