I’m currently writing a book of short stories about the Filipino-American experience.

My family and I moved to California when I was 9. I grew up in the Bay Area, never really thinking much about where I came from, except when I was being unjustly punished or simply oppressed by my strict Filipino — and Catholic — parents. The Asian-American courses I took in college were an eye-opener, and awakened my interest in the issues Filipino-Americans face every day. Among the books that stood out during that time: Jessica Hagedorn’s “Dogeaters” and Patricia Justiniani McReynolds’ “Almost Americans: A Quest for Dignity.” Since then, I’ve enjoyed other books by Filipino-Americans such as “When the Elephants Dance” by Tess Uriza Holthe, and “The Oracles: My Filipino Grandparents in America” by my friend and former colleague, Pati Navalta Poblete.

I, too, have something to say about being Filipino in America, and I’m working hard on a book that I hope will someday appear on someone else’s list much like the one I share above.

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