Interview - Pat "Pinky" Catalla-Buscaino

Pat Lindsay (“Pinky”) Catalla-Buscaino was born in 1984, in Los Angeles, California, where her parents first met. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood with many of her relatives, she was able to simultaneously celebrate Filipino culture and forge strong bonds with family. Although it was expensive, her parents emphasized education and enrolled her in private Catholic school from pre-K through high school. Pinky was a strong student and explored religion, leadership, and musical performance during high school. Additionally, from a young age, influenced by the model minority myth, she had decided she wanted to become a medical doctor. So, in college, she majored in biology and prepared for the pre-med track. However, over the course of college, Pinky gradually leaned more into her interest in combining Filipino culture with community organization and outreach and discovered that this was her true passion.

After graduating from college, Pinky worked as an administrator and briefly as a pastry chef in Houston before deciding to pursue higher education. For around a decade, she worked as a college recruiter and rose up the ranks to become a manager. She then obtained her master’s degree and doctorate degree, basing her research around Filipino American culture, identity, and history. Pinky first entered the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), Houston chapter, in 2015, and was appointed President in 2020. The goal of FANHS is to preserve and raise awareness about Filipino culture and experiences, through publishing books, speaking with members of the community, and maintaining archival works. Pinky traces her interest in family history and Filipino history back to time spent with her paternal grandmother, whom she was very close to. Outside of FANHS, Pinky has participated in various Filipinx and API organizations and programs and continues to be passionate about helping young people navigate their own paths and interests. She also loves to take walks outdoors, cook, watch Netflix, and journal.

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