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Who are we? Puerto Ricans? Colombians? Mexicans? We simply Americans of Latino descent, made one community by this American experience we all share. Our Editor & Publisher discusses his personal case.

[OP-ED]: I am “PhillyRican”

This is the way I explained this to a dear Puerto Rican friend.

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May 27th, 2022

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This is the way I explained this to a dear Puerto Rican friend. 

According to the nomenclature that has been known in Philadelphia since I came here for the first time 25 years ago, in order to be  “PhillyRican,” you must become some sort of a hybrid of old-fashioned Philadelphian mixed with very particular traits from the Caribbean culture represented by people born in the island of Puerto Rico, or descendants of those who were.

“PhillyRican,” in summary, is a person that thinks, feels, and sometimes acts as those people from the Tropics who headed up in the direction of the North pole and became in the process this kind of toughened up human beings that can survive both in the extreme heat and also in the extreme cold.

I could argue I have further credentials to claim the connection with the Taino race, the name of the indigenous people of Puerto Rico and some other island in the Caribbean.

My last name for example, comes straight from the linguistics that existed in America way before Europeans arrived here.

"Guaracao," as a matter of fact, is a native Caribbean name as much as Guaynabo, Guánica, or Guayama, nice names of municipalities in Puerto Rico.

"Guaracao," as a matter of fact, is a native Caribbean name as much as Guaynabo, Guánica, or Guayama, nice names of municipalities in Puerto Rico.

But if you go to Panama, you will find,  “Guararé,” a colorful town where the famous festival takes place, not to mention  “Guantánamo Bay,” that tip of land in Cuba where the U.S. still has a military base. There is also a "Guane" in Cuba, as there is a "Guane" in Colombia, which is also the name of the native American community my family, and my family name, comes from.

There weren't national boundaries to divide us then, as there must not be any now that the American experience, here in the English-speaking side of the continent, brought us back together and melted us again into a single community here in the States, where the cultural symbiosis caused by migration across borders goes on unabated.

When AL DÍA started, the project “#PRIDEUndefeated, 100 Years of the Puerto Rican Diaspora,” recently, a dear Puerto Rican friend called me questioning why AL DÍA was taking on such a journalistic enterprise— seemingly because we did not know enough about the subject matter. 

I am who I am, but that’s not the main point of this column.

The main point is the human paradox of how quickly we forget history and how hard it is for us to remember it to guide better our present.

Please support “#PRIDEUndefeated, 100 Years of the Puerto Rican Diaspora" by clicking here, if you think this is a worthwhile project.

We will be personally grateful you do!

 
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