Renowrites blog!

Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

In the Country

I'm in the middle of reading Mia Alvar's "In the Country", a collection of nine short stories with a distinct Filipino perspective. One story is of a Filipino teacher in an Arab country. Another is of a white girl living in Manila. So far, I've found each story holding on to an unwritten fundamental authenticity that readers of all backgrounds would enjoy reading.

I applaud books like these. We need more storytellers, more writers to highlight the Filipino hues that make up the world's colors. Too many times, many Filipino writers and filmmakers have unintentional flaws in their storytelling. Some make the Filipino viewpoint an afterthought for the sake of satisfying a mainstream audience. Others make their stories have too many Filipino inside jokes and forget the important non-Filipino readers. It wasn't until I read Melissa De la Cruz's "Something In Between" did I finally read a novel that showcased the credible balance of a Fil-Am protagonist making their way n the world. Now with In The Country, I find another author working on this balance.

This gives me hope that Filipino American storytelling is evolving and morphing into a credible genre. We need to support books like these to prove to publishers there is an interested audience. I sure hope there is an interested audience. We need more successful Filipino writers, more impactful stories with Filipino protagonists.

Which has me biting my tongue about my writing. If all goes well, an announcement soon. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Filed under: Filipino American, Writing, , , , , ,

Filipinos in San Francisco

Arcadia Publishing just released “Filipinos in San Francisco,” a book that chronicles the Filipino influence on the city of San Francisco as part of their Images of America Series. This book was written by the Pin@y Educational Partnerships and Manilatown Heritage Foundation, and is mostly a photo journal that traces the history of Filipinos in San Francisco.

This release follows on the heels of other West Coast releases “Filipinos in San Diego” (August 2010), “Filipinos in the East Bay” ( Jun 23 2008), “Filipinos in Stockton” (2008), “Filipinos in Hollywood” (Feb 2008), and “Filipinos in Vallejo” (2005).

I highly recommend these books for young Filipino Americans ages 10 – 18 years old who are just realizing the Filipino influence in America. I’m so happy Filipinos are being included by Arcadia Publishing as a relevant immigrant community worth investing in. Now if we can get Hollywood to agree? So many Filipino stories that aren’t getting any love…can we have another film we can hang our hats on besides The Debut?

Anyway, support the book release and pick up a copy here!

Filed under: Writing, , , ,

Congratulations San Francisco Giants!

Before I go into how awesome the San Francisco Giants are for winning it all this year, let me make it clear: I am a diehard Atlanta Braves fan.

I blame WTBS airing all 162 Braves games when I was a kid playing Little League. Dale Murphy, Glenn Hubbard, Gene Garber were my heroes and later on, the 1990’s Braves: Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Greg Olsen, Mark Lemke, Dave Justice, Ron Gant, Javy Lopez…the list goes on.

But what the San Francisco Giants did this year was impressive — even if they beat my Braves in the NLDS. And if anyone is wondering, I cried (to myself commuting to work) when the Braves lost this year, but I was a proud Braves fan for how they overcame injury after injury to get into the playoffs. But they did lose to the eventual World Champs.

As a Bay Area resident, the SF Giants World Series Championship brought me to tears thinking how much my friends and family have been waiting for this since 1954. I was a firsthand witness to the 2002 loss, and I remember watching them in the 1989 Series. All great Giants teams that fell a little short. Even though I don’t claim them as my team, I felt the disappointment of people around me.

But 2010 is the year of the Giants.

This makes the Filipino community so proud. You see, a large majority of the Giants fanbase are of Filipino ethnicity and the Filipino American community is closely tied to the Giants organization. The Giants recognize this fanbase by having a Pilipino Heritage Night every year at the ballpark! What other baseball organization has that? In my opinion, the San Francisco Giants have the largest Filipino fanbase of any other baseball team in America, closely followed by the L.A. Dodgers, San Diego Padres and NY Yankees.

Filipinos are especially proud of Tim Lincecum, a mestizo (half Filipino). We are a people historically overlooked and many Filipinos feel connected to this guy because…well…he’s one of us. He’s not that big, and baseball experts are amazed at how his small frame can muster up a 95 mph fastball.

In my opinion, his Filipino blood has something to do with Lincecum’s motor. Speaking for myself, his motor is similar to many Filipinos I know who seem to never get tired playing sports.

I saw a lot of people of all ethnicities celebrating at the Giants Parade today. When I see a Filipino fan in the crowd, I can’t help but get a little emotional — the Giants mean so much to not only the Bay Area, but to the Filipino and Asian American community.

To all the Filipino Giants fans and Giants fans in general — this is a Braves fan extremely happy for all of you!!

I’m a Braves fan for life — but I’m proud Bay Area resident today.

Filed under: baseball, , , , , , , ,