Filipino American rapper and singer Saweetie visited the Philippines to headline the FIBA World Cup Draw in Manila.
On Saturday, Saweetie performed several hit songs, including “Best Friend,” “My Type” and “Icy Girl,” at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Thank you for the love Manilaaa. Mahal Kita [I love you],” she wrote in a recent Instagram post.
At a press conference last week, the 29-year-old proudly spoke about incorporating her Filipino heritage into her music career.
The Filipino culture is in my DNA. It’s my roots. I’m proud of where I am from, who I am. And my mom and her brothers and sisters and my lolo and lola, they’re all immigrants so I was raised in a real, traditional Filipino household.
I think it’s important that we represent that, especially in an industry where we don’t see that many Filipinos. I love showing pride in my heritage, especially my mom and her family, because they brought me to where I am today.
As the Grammy-nominated rapper has proudly boasted her Filipino roots through her fashion and music videos in the past, she also noted that her upcoming album has a special surprise for her Filipino fans.
Saweetie, whose birth name is Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper, was born to a Filipino Chinese mother and an African American father.
Although the rapper admitted to struggling with coming from a mixed-race family as a child, she is now thankful for her background.
I think that as I get older, I get to reflect. It taught me that no two groups are the same, but you have to respect the morals and values of two cultures. It was a big advantage for me. It didn’t limit how I viewed the world. So, I’m really grateful to have experienced two cultures that are important to me.
Saweetie has previously visited other places in the Philippines, such as Boracay, Cebu and Palawan, with her mother.
She told reporters that she planned on visiting Palawan again over the past weekend.
“My mom took me there 10 years ago. I’m really excited to see what has changed,” she said, according to PhilStar.
Saweetie also revealed her plan to buy a condo in Manila. Although she is not sure when that will happen, she said, “I just want to make sure I have a home here.”
She noted having experienced Filipino solidarity in the form of warmth and hospitality in every place she has visited.
“Every time I travel to a city, there’s always a Filipino tita (auntie) or nanay (mother) who cooks me pancit and brings it to my show, and be like, “I know you’re Filipino, we love you out here,” she shared.
The singer also expressed love for her favorite Filipino foods, including sinigang, adobo and pancit.
“The thing that I was looking forward to the most was the food,” Saweetie said during her recent press conference. “I always tell people that if I were to pick one food that I will eat for the rest of my life, it’s Filipino food.”
When asked about her advice to upcoming Filipino artists, Saweetie noted the importance of embracing their Filipino culture.
I feel like sometimes, when Filipinos come to America, they have to embrace American culture. But what makes us so special, where we come from. I love that my mom taught me some of the core values when I was a little girl and that stayed with me.
I think that we should all be proud of where we came from because if it wasn’t the homeland we’re not going to be what we are today and that’s what makes us unique.
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