Actor Vanessa Hudgens and her Filipino immigrant mother recently opened up about her upbringing in the United States.
During a press conference in Manila on Friday promoting her upcoming travel documentary, the Salinas, California-born “High School Musical” star shared her experience growing up as a Filipino American.
“I was definitely raised very American,” Hudgens, 34, began. “Except for all the rice and the adobo and pancit,” she added with laughter.
Pointing out the prominent “family aspect” of Filipino culture, Hudgens revealed, “I’ve always been so close to my mom and my sister. We kind of roll as a pack all the time, and that’s definitely something that comes from my heritage.”
Realizing that much of herself was “innately Filipino,” Hudgens explained that her recent motivations to visit the Philippines were related to her own visions for the future.
“I’m 30 now. I’m thinking about raising a family and I want to be able to know my heritage so that I can bring that forth. So that my kids can know their backgrounds. They can know more about their own blood,” she said.
Her motivations are similar to how her mother, Gina Guangco-Hudgens
, explained she raised her own children as a single parent.
Not to forget who they are. To be true to themselves because that’s the only way they can be living examples to other people and kindness is always, always number one in my vocabulary and just to put restriction on little things and clinging on things that don’t matter. Because at the end of the day, family is so important.
It’s a really intimate look at my experience being in the Philippines for the first time. Really discovering this beautiful land and the wonderful people and just really getting in touch with the piece of myself that has always been there, but I’ve never known intimately.
Reflecting on her “eye-opening” experience in the new but familiar country, Hudgens expressed an early excitement to return.
“I feel like the time that I have spent here has been so incredible and so special,” she stated. “But I need more time. The country is so big. It has so much to offer.”