“Given the political climate, talking deeply about race and identity is important” (USA)

As is true for many immigrants, Paola Mardo saw moving to America as a dream. She had already been all over the globe, to boot;  Mardo was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in Manila and Kuala Lumpur before she turned 15. Upon that age, this Filipino-American joined her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. Situations were more complicated than she had hoped. … Continue reading “Given the political climate, talking deeply about race and identity is important” (USA)

“It is a tremendous balancing act to create a work of art that takes on real events without being exploitative” (USA)

For visual artist Chico Quizon, an unwitting introduction to the arts came in the form of penmanship lessons. This was at the Conception Parish School in Manila, and part of its curriculum was teaching students proper handwriting technique. “I was given a workbook to practice, but I just drew all over it,” recalls Quizon. “I have been drawing ever since.” A Quezon City native, Quizon … Continue reading “It is a tremendous balancing act to create a work of art that takes on real events without being exploitative” (USA)

“Even as a permanent resident, I always go back to my roots, how I was brought up” (Canada)

It was 2010, and Jourdan Rosell was planning out a family vacation. He had just graduated  with a degree in Technical Theatre at the De La Salle College. He simply wanted to bond with one of his three sisters in Singapore. Eventually, when Rosell’s savings began to run out, he threw all caution to the wind. Rosell, now a theater production manager in Canada, figured … Continue reading “Even as a permanent resident, I always go back to my roots, how I was brought up” (Canada)

“Why not be a part of a bigger change in the world?” (USA)

When 17 year-old Lauren Macasiljig filed into the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California with fellow members of the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley last September, she thought she was just going to enjoy performances by music idols Beyonce and Jay-Z. But during the concert, DJ Khalid announced that she was chosen as a recipient of a scholarship to fund her college tuition—something … Continue reading “Why not be a part of a bigger change in the world?” (USA)

“I am the poster child for someone who failed, but still made it” (USA)

Josie Trinidad, a Filipino animator, has been living out a dream. Trinidad, who resides in the US, joined the Walt Disney Animation Studios as a story apprentice. This was in 2004; after completing a training period, she was promoted to story artist. Since then, she has worked on The Princess and the Frog (2009), Tangled (2010), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), and the Academy Award-winning Zootopia (2016). … Continue reading “I am the poster child for someone who failed, but still made it” (USA)

Fast Facts: Melissa Reese

Last Sunday, veteran rock group Guns N’ Roses ripped through a roaring setlist, performing for over 40,000 fans at the Philippine Arena. The band performed as part of their ongoing “Not in this Lifetime… Tour.” Formed in 1985, the band was propelled to fame by hits like “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Paradise City,” and  “November Rain.” In 1987, their album Appetite for Destruction topped the … Continue reading Fast Facts: Melissa Reese

“We want audiences to take away a feeling of hope, that there are people out their doing the groundwork” (USA)

Aureen Almario was 10 years old when she and her 7-year-old sister Andrea came to San Francisco. This was back in the 1991 when their family settled in the Bay Area. The sisters have been living, acting, and writing California since. “Identity will always be in constant process and progress,” Aureen recalls. “Growing up, there was definitely a conscious effort to try to fit in, … Continue reading “We want audiences to take away a feeling of hope, that there are people out their doing the groundwork” (USA)

Fast Facts: Gina Ortiz-Jones

Despite an all but decided election, this Filipina-American will see her bid for the United States Representative all the way through—victory or defeat aside. An Iraq War veteran, Gina Ortiz Jones was the U.S. Democratic Party’s nominee for Representative in Texas’ 23rd congressional district. The former intelligence officer joined a “wave” of candidates coming from various backgrounds, including LGBTQA individuals and military veterans. As of … Continue reading Fast Facts: Gina Ortiz-Jones

“I felt an excitement of the unknown at finally fulfilling my dream” (UAE)

With over 23,000 subscribers on YouTube, beauty blogger Ria Tapodoc has viewers in rapt attention with every upload. As she tries an assortment of beauty products, Tapodoc provides valuable assistance to women of all colors and skin tones. As a Filipina based in Dubai, she looks to trailblazing women—among them Rihanna and Charlotte Tilbury—as she carves out a path of her own. Tapodoc’s was a … Continue reading “I felt an excitement of the unknown at finally fulfilling my dream” (UAE)

“Pantay pantay kayo rito… Hindi ba natin kaya ‘yung ganitong klaseng governance?” (Hong Kong)

“Being a resident of Hong Kong, sometimes you (begin) comparing your own country to it,” says artist Renato Habulan. “’Yung efficiency, governance. Can you imagine lahat ng gamot ibibigay sayo, hindi namimili. Pantay pantay kayo rito, makikita mo mga Indian, Gurkhas, mga Middle Eastern. Inisip ko, hindi ba natin kaya yung ganitong klaseng governance?” As a visual artist, Renato Habulan does not hem and haw … Continue reading “Pantay pantay kayo rito… Hindi ba natin kaya ‘yung ganitong klaseng governance?” (Hong Kong)