Let's rewind a bit... my name is Kenny, one of the founders of Sarap Now, and I was born and raised in LA to Filipino immigrants. From their perspective, in order to assimilate better into American culture, I was never taught Tagalog (or Ilocano, their preferred dialect) growing up.
I also grew up in a city with only a handful of Filipinos around me. I had a very limited understanding of my Filipino identity, but music in the late 90's/early 00's allowed me to feel more connected to my culture. I saw other browns making amazing music and it gave me a sense of belonging. It was inspiring to listen to music made by Filipino-American artists, and consequentially, it sparked a deep curiosity within me.
Entering college, I was voracious in my pursuit to learn more about my culture and my identity. I was ecstatic to be surrounded by so many Filipinos. I joined the Filipino club and I took Asian-American studies. I wanted to absorb as much culture and history as possible.
Fast forward to today, and my curiosity and desire to learn more is still a big motivating factor. And I still get ecstatic to be surrounded by Filipinos through Sarap Now. I thank those artists in the 90's for that spark of inspiration.
tl;dr Filipino-American music artists in the late 90s / 00s served as an inspiration to a brown teen who wanted to learn more about his cultural identity.