Stephanie Dofitas: Acknowledging Privilege

Stephanie was born in Buffalo, New York but came back to the Philippines when she was four. Since then, she has hopped back and forth between the Philippines and the U.S.A., where she spent a large part of her formative years. While away, Stephanie recalls telling her Mom that she wanted to go “home”. Her…

Musings: The makings of a “true” Filipino

After walking through the streets of Old Manila in a pair of worn-out tsinelas, it becomes clear why tourists call the Philippines the “Melting Pot” of Southeast Asia.  From the intricately crafted arches of Binondo’s Chinatown to the Spanish war-time forts at Intramuros and the century-old churches of Quiapo, it seems that Filipino culture is…

Reflections: On “Home”

Earlier this week, my mom reminded me to pack my suitcase for our trip to the Philippines. This is the first time our family will go to the Philippines in five years, and my mom is very excited. “Remember,” she said, “We’re going home soon.” Her words made me pause. My mom has been an…

Bernard Badion: Sharing Experiences Through Film

There is a lot of talk these days about diversity in Hollywood and the rest of the film industry. The hashtag #oscarssowhite, for instance, encouraged many fans and industry workers to discuss the lack of diversity in film. Filipino-American filmmaker Bernard Badion recognizes this and “can pretty much count” the other Filipinos who worked around…

Reflections: On Untangling Narratives

Like any outlet worth its salt, the “About” section of this blog has stated its mission to “collect stories of struggle, triumph, fear and joy of Filipinos all over the world.” So I will begin with a disclaimer: I am not a BalikBayani like the people highlighted in this blog so far. I wasn’t born…

Anthony Garciano: On Dignified Poverty

More than twenty years ago in Camotes—an island wrapped by calm, beautiful waters off the coast of Cebu—Anthony Garciano was born in a chicken coop behind his grandmother’s house. It was the norm in his small community for a child to be born amongst the family’s prized hens. Anthony was the second of what would…

Robert Siy: Tackling the ‘Carmageddon’

While most of us consider Manila traffic as a source of stress, headaches and impending doom, Robert Siy sees the city’s congested highways and backed up roads as an intricate puzzle waiting to be solved. “Having grown up in Manila, I am a child of the smoke and electricity and concrete and congestion,” Rob says….

The Damarillos: Catalyzing the Philippines of the Future

Pam and Winston Damarillo’s love story begins, fittingly, with a bit of entrepreneurial problem-solving. “I still remember what she looked like when I first saw her,” says Winston, “and I knew I wanted to be with her. The question was how.” They were freshmen in Manila at the time. A natural organizer, Winston pitched and organized…

Musings: Acknowledging our fears and insecurities on returning home

As with anything, owning a public blog is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is ridiculously liberating to publish anything and write anything. On the other, the need to be politically correct and mindful of who might be on the other side of the screen restricts any true journalistic freedom. Most times, censorship wins…

Henry Motte-Munoz: On Culture, Education, and the Spirit of Bayanihan

  Like a true multi-tasker, Henry Motte-Munoz was walking through the bustling streets of Makati on his way to another meeting when he hopped on a call with me last week. When I asked why he was walking, he answered that he “refused to take taxis” and would rather battle through Makati traffic to get…

Evan Chen: Finding Pockets of Excellence

For most Filipinos who go to colleges abroad, the big question that looms come senior year is: “Should I go back to the Philippines to work or should I stay in the U.S.?” For Evan Chen, who graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, the answer was always clear. “I…

Mark Daniel Chan: Stuck in the Middle

This post was written by Mark Daniel Chan. Life has been difficult ever since I accepted the Filipino Scholarship from the International School Manila when I was in the summer of my 5th grade going into the 6th.  First of all, let me clarify. I am forever grateful for that scholarship and all the people…