Slice of Life Spotlight Series – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Edition

Marc as a baby in his grandfather’s cart (left) and Marc now (right), recently at Death Valley National Park.

As part of the journey to build a ‘Culture of Connection’ that is more equitable, inclusive and where everyone feels like they belong, Pizza Hut is kicking off its “Slice of Life” employee spotlight series. This new series will highlight fellow Team Members’ unique backgrounds, life experiences, different cultures, and the interesting journey they’ve taken to get to Pizza Hut.

In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we sat down with Marc DelaCruz, software engineer – Digital, to discuss his heritage, how he stays connected to his culture and how his heritage has shaped who he is today.

Tell us about yourself – where are you and your family from?
“I was born in the Philippines, a tropical archipelago in Southeast Asia. I grew up at a suburb of Manila and came to the U.S. when I was a teenager. My mother came to the U.S. as a teacher, and she petitioned our family to immigrate to the U.S. with her.”

How do you stay connected to your culture here in America?
“I have family that live in the area, so they’re all I need to feel a cultural connection.”

What is your favorite food from your country of origin?
“Lately, I’ve been eating too much sisig (a fried pork dish).”

What myth would you like to debunk about your culture?
“There are many countries in Asia and not everyone is familiar with each country’s traditions, culture, or history. As we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I encourage everyone to learn about Asian and Pacific Islander cultures – especially the lesser-known ones like the Philippines.”

How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?
“My family wasn’t affluent when I was growing up and my parents were even poorer in their childhood. My father came from a region where the people are known for being frugal. Because of these factors, frugality played a role in some life choices. Also, because of these factors, my parents made education a priority for their children, knowing that having a degree would help create career opportunities. These factors made a significant impact on where I am today.”

What are three words you would use to describe your culture?
“My three words would be:

  • Amalgam: The culture itself is a melding of the indigenous and foreign cultures from its rich history.
  • Unique: This fusion has created a uniqueness that sets the Philippines apart from the rest of the world.
  • Vibrant: There is amazing food, music, dances and decorations during various festivals and occasions. The country also has a vibrant music, cinema and television industry.”

What is one unique thing about your culture that most people may not know or one thing you’d like people to know most?
“Most people don’t know that there are actually different cultural/regional groups in the Philippines, each with their own delicacies, languages, traditions and inclinations.”

What about your nationality makes you most proud?
“Many Filipinos work across the globe to provide for their families, and some endure hardships while doing so, but they still work tirelessly to set their families up for success. It’s their strength and resilience that makes me proud to be Filipino.”

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