My short non-fiction story, “Shaking Earth,” and non-fiction essay, “Friscopinos & the Native Immigrant,” are now published in Endangered Species, Enduring Values: An Anthology of San Francisco Area Writers & Artists of Color, curated by Shizue Seigel.
It’s a blessing to be included in this collection of San Francisco heart and soul, full of stories that happen at the intersections of family and race and culture in our alleys and in our homes. It is with great pride that I present two pieces close to my heart in this book, sitting among poems by the mighty Tony Robles, our sharp editor Shizue Seigel, and artwork by the San Francisco legend, the late great Rene Yanez.
The book launch took place at the San Francisco Main Library on April 8th, where I read a short excerpt from “Friscopinos & the Native Immigrant,” and showcased Ro3lay’s “Kiss the Sky” music video. Publishing this specific essay in a book dedicated to the spirit of San Francisco was particularly special— because the essay itself was a component of the experience of the Native Immigrant album. Moving beyond an album review, I strived to take on the task of documenting the growth of the artists and impacts of their art in their hometown. In our hometown. I get that feeling from the album— that there’s something sacred about San Francisco that belongs to all of us.
It was also special to share my mother’s 1989 earthquake story in this collection, as one of my most heartwarming moments with her was a request to “let the world know [she] was here.” Her story of the earthquake, among her many other stories, was never written down prior to “Shaking Earth.” I am reminded that not all storytelling happens with an audience on a platform, or from page to reader, or even in the same tongue that it was experienced. Through this process of oral storytelling with my mother, not only did I have the opportunity to share space, I learned about my family’s survival in San Francisco, and did this as an “ABC” (American Born Chinese), in Toisanese— a language that I cannot read or write. This means a great deal to me, because as a great majority of my work and identity is tied to Filipino American communities, the process of writing “Shaking Earth” through my mother’s eyes was a heartfelt effort to hold onto my Chinese American heritage and culture.
I’m especially thankful to have shared this moment among great San Francisco writers and artists, and my friends who have been supportive of my endeavors since day one. Thank you for the love.
The anthology is now available at local San Francisco bookstores:
To order a copy of the book online, please visit: http://www.peasepress.com/endangeredspecies
Endangered Species, Enduring Values is a guide to the real San Francisco—a sampling of the seldom-heard 58% of the population that brings color and diversity to the city in every sense of the word. Writers and artists of color remain under-represented and underpublished even in the most diverse and progressive city in the country.
More than 150 pieces of prose, poetry and artwork by over 70 creatives of color with roots in Native America, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Europe. Contributors include established and emerging writers, poets, artists, physicians, educators, poets, performers, and activists for unions, LGBT, mental health, housing and more.
Supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission.
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Other publications include:
May 2012. “Dahil Sa’yo: Because of You.” Print article. Philippine Fiesta Newspaper. Sacramento, CA. Issue: May 14 June 11, 2012. Vol 10, No. 13.
May 2013. “Legacy of the I-Hotel.” Print article. Philippine Fiesta Newspaper. Sacramento, CA. Issue: May 21 June 21, 2013. Vol 11, No. 12.