May is recognized as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States, where the entire duration of the month is devoted in recognizing the history, culture, and achievements of people from the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. While this annual, month-long celebration has been going on for a couple of decades now, I think it’s fair to say that this year’s will really be one of the first ones where people outside the communities are actually paying attention and learning about the history, in light of the hate crimes that have been happening for over a year now. I’m always going to be dismayed that it took a massacre for the general public to start paying attention to what has been happening, but the positive is that at least they’re finally paying attention. We’ve been here for a long time and we’re not going anywhere.
May is understandably going to be a busy month for me; filled with film festivals, Indiegogo campaigns, as well as writing I somehow need to squeeze in. That’s why I wanted to take today and this opportunity to re-introduce myself and what I do, for those who are coming across this for the first time and for those who need a refresher.
I’m a third generation Filipino American and a mixed-race Filipino American too. I’m the author of two novels, A Moment’s Worth and An Absolute Mind. I’ve been working on a new novel for over two years now. I’m a blogger and interviewer for sites such as The Nerds of Color and Hapa Mag (soon to be called Mixed Asian Media). I’m a playwright who has had work produced by different theatre companies from all over the West Coast, both in person and virtually. I’m an up-and-coming screenwriter whose work has placed as quarterfinalists and semifinalists in competitions held by ScreenCraft and Your Script Produced! I’ve written two short films that have been produced: “Breath of Writing” and a new one that will be officially announced later this month (although if you’ve been paying close attention, you already know).
I’ve been writing my whole life, but it’s really within the past nine years that I’ve begun taking it up a notch and started taking it much more seriously. While I’m not where I want to be, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. All and any support is appreciated. You can show that by buying, reading, and reviewing my books, share any writing of mine that I post online with your friends and family, donate to my Ko-fi page, and if my new short film gets into any of the film festivals it has been submitted to, buy a ticket and show up for it. Show your support, don’t just tell it.
Even though this month is dedicated to my community, don’t let your support for us be confined to just this month or when another community member gets hurt or killed in a hate crime. Let this be ongoing. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again: We’ve been here for a long time, but the general public is finally starting to pay attention – and it’s about time!
Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month everyone!
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