This LA-based news anchor celebrates Filipino heritage with her grandma on TV

Fil-Am reporter/anchor Irene Cruz honors her Filipino heritage by featuring her grandma in a segment on ABC7, a Los Angeles TV station where she works.

Filipino culture has long made its mark across the United States, with Filipino stores, restaurants, and heritage night celebrations popping up everywhere.

But for Filipino-American news anchor Irene Cruz, there is no better way to spotlight Philippine traditions than right on her own TV program, “Eyewitness News” aired on ABC7, a TV station in Los Angeles, California.

In an Instagram post, Irene shared a TV feature about her immigrant grandmother, their monthly family tradition, and, of course, mouth-watering Pinoy dishes.

“LUMPIA WITH GRANDMA: A short love letter to my grandmother, my family, and Filipino heritage. This was such a special piece to put together,” wrote Irene in her post.

In her feature, Irene introduced her 87-year-old grandmother, fondly called “Nanay.” She recounted how her grandma and five children migrated to Guam in 1979, eventually settling in the US in 1987.

Fast forward to 2024, Nanay now has seven grandkids, including Irene, all proud Filipino-Americans.

“We call her nanay, a Tagalog word for mother. It just stuck with the grandkids,” explained Irene. She mentioned that their family gathers once a month to spend time with their grandmother and the rest of the clan.

On the day of the shoot, the family enjoyed lumpia, pork barbecue, pancit, rice, leche flan, and ube halaya for dessert. After the meal, they gathered around to play bingo, her grandma’s favorite pastime, aside from watching World Wrestling Entertainment.

“Once a month, our family gets together to play bingo because it’s my grandma’s favorite game. We also make a lot of traditional Filipino food, including lumpia,” said Irene.

According to ABC7, Irene is a proud daughter of Filipino immigrants and comprehends Tagalog fluently. Since joining ABC7 in June 2022, she has become the weekend morning anchor and general assignment reporter for ABC7 Eyewitness News.

Irene’s feature is part of the network’s celebration of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.