Judy Patacsil is a professor of Filipino Studies and also is a licensed psychotherapist who leads Mental Health Services at Miramar College. Judy is a second generation Filipina American whose close ties with the community stems from her having grown up and studied here. In fact, her family represents many aspects of Filipino American history, from her father being a pensionado to her mother arriving as a war bride. Now, she serves as the National President of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) after being a founding member of the San Diego chapter and holding various leadership positions within the organization. FANHS’s missions is to promote understanding, education, enlightenment, appreciation and enrichment through the identification, gathering, preservation and dissemination of the history and culture of Filipino Americans in the United States.
This interview discusses the way that Filipino American experiences in San Diego has changed over time, and how role models and mentors have an affect on one’s quality of life and mental health. Additionally, we touch base on how FANHS has affected local communities and how community involvement is beneficial to an individual, as well as their society.
Judy and I met as a result of my community partnership with FANHS, a relationship cultivated by UC San Diego’s Race and Oral History in San Diego class. During this time, she has acted as my mentor, accidentally teaching me about impact of storytelling and its positive influences on individuals and their community. This interview was conducted at the Welcome Center of Miramar College. The interviewer, Marné Ramirez Amoguis, is a Filipina American, San Diego native, and student at UC San Diego, majoring in International Business with minors in Ethnic Studies and Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts. She joined the class because she felt as though Filipino American history in San Diego has been discounted.