Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters
October is Filipino American History Month, and we at Intentionalist want to encourage you to #SpendLikeItMatters at the incredible Filipino-owned small businesses in the region.
Filipino American History Month was federally recognized in 2009 and brings awareness to the vital role Filipino people have in American history. Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the United States. The Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands, each with their own unique cuisine and culture, so the experience of Filipino Americans can be similarly varied and unique.
This month is not only about honoring the rich history of Filipino Americans but also celebrating the Filipino Americans making history today. Here are three Seattle-area eateries that are celebrating their Filipino history and heritage while building a legacy for themselves:
Family-owned Beacon Hill restaurants Baja Bistro and Kusina Filipina were known for more than just their delicious, authentic recipes. Their customers and neighbors were welcomed like family when they came to dine. That was partly why the loss of both restaurants was so painful. After a change in building ownership led to a rent hike, the Paraiso family closed Kusina in 2017, and Baja shuttered after 25 years in 2020 due to the pandemic. The closures also reflected the decades-long trend of displacement and gentrification in Seattle. With the support of the Beacon Business Alliance (BBA) and a community-minded developer, these two legacy restaurants are planning to reopen in the same neighborhood they were previously forced out of.
Baja and CheBogz — the latter is owned by Paraiso family sisters Trixia and Paula — are returning to Beacon Hill, splitting a storefront space in the new Colina Apartments.
“It’s almost kind of like a fairy-tale story for People of Color,” Trixia said when reflecting on moving the restaurant back to Beacon Hill. “You don’t really get this opportunity to have a landlord say, ‘We want you guys here so that we can keep this community as diverse as it was before.’”