Hi friends and family,
I’m incredibly humbled and excited to share that my first short story, Lechón, was published today in the The Margins, the digital magazine run by the Asian American Writer’s Workshop (AAWW)! Lechón is based on the summer I spent in my family’s province in the Philippines and looks at the emotional complexity of coming home to yourself and the places you come from.
For me, visiting my mother’s hometown at the age of nine was a deeply transformative experience. At that time, I had not been back to the Philippines since we evacuated during Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption when I was a baby. I learned so much more about my mother’s culture and hometown during that summer. It was eye-opening, to say the least, having to do without things I had taken for granted, luxuries like electricity and running water. It was also my first real exposure to issues such as colorism, classism, extreme poverty, and fat-shaming. This story manifests how ostracized I felt at the time from both the local villagers and my own relatives. Of competing messages of being of their culture and not of their culture at the same time.
Sadly, many children of immigrants go through similar experiences that have led them to question their own sense of identity and belonging. For me, writing has been helpful in my ongoing journey to process, heal, and ultimately work to break the cycle of internalized and intergenerational trauma.
Thank you to all who read my initial draft and gave me encouragement. A HUGE shoutout to my love, Mark, who likes to edit my work, even though it makes him uncomfortable.
Story Link: https://aaww.org/lechon/