Not going to lie, this Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian Heritage Month has been off to a really rough start. From our faith in humanity continuously being shattered by people who want to take some of our rights away, to some sad news happening in my personal life, it’s harder than usual for me to multi-task as of late.
Despite the circumstances at this time, I still wanted to take a moment, while we’re still fairly early in the month, to hype up who I am within the Asian American community and some of what I’ve been creating as of late.
So for those who don’t know, I am third generation Filipino American and mixed-race Filipino American. I was brought up in a white household, and so I came to terms with both my Filipino and mixed identities primarily on my own. I don’t identify in fractions, I really don’t like the “What are you?” question, and I disregard being referred to as an “undercover Asian” when Asian Americans are far from a monolith. I am just one example of such.
I’ve always been a writer, but I am now approaching ten years of taking the craft more seriously. I am an author, blogger, playwright, and screenwriter, and as of late, I’ve been broadening my horizons on the kind of writing I do, the stories I tell, and even how I apply my writing skills in different ways, in other projects.
I’ve touched on all of these projects on my blog, as they’ve all manifested over the course of a month. What I’m doing here now is reminding you what they are and encourage you to check them out and share them with your networks, especially this month.
“Not in Kansas” is a one-act play I wrote that was produced for Rainy Day Artistic Collective back in March. In my first stint at historical fiction, it tells the story of two female PhD students from the Philippines who experience a rude awakening to racism in the Jim Crow South, while on a trip to New Orleans. The director, Cailin Chang, has since made it available to watch on YouTube:
In my first venture into both comics and as a creative consultant is a spinoff comic in the “Lumpia” franchise, “Jemini;” a take on the antagonist of “Lumpia with a Vengeance” on who she is and how she came to be. After debuting at WonderCon last month, that comic is now available for purchase here.
In a step forward in doing comics writing, I collaborated with REALSOUL (formerly known as This Asian American Life) on a web comic exploring my 20-year journey with writing and keeping journals. The accompanying essay can be viewed here.
There has been a lot going on, as well as a few more things in the works. While I can’t really talk about them at this time, I will say that you will be hearing about one of them in more detail next month.
In the meantime, aside from checking out and sharing these projects I’ve worked on (among others), this is a friendly reminder that I do have a Ko-fi page, and to quote Dino-Ray Ramos:
I’m also Asian, so… you can figure out the rest from here.
Make the most of this month, despite the circumstances. And even once May has passed, just remember that we don’t stop telling our stories, and for everyone else, you don’t stop learning. We’re here, we’ve been here for a long time, and we’re not going anywhere.