Migrations/Borders: Personal Narratives

Hair, In Two Parts

I. When I was in elementary school, I sometimes wore my hair in two braids Parted down the middle, behind my bangs Fastened at the bottom by those old school hair bands with the plastic colored balls. Do you remember those? My maternal grandmother, whom we called Nanay, lived with us. She brushed and braided... Continue Reading →

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The School Lunch Counter (Counternarrative)

(Photo source: my late mother, who liked to send me random photos of Filipino-ness) This is my response to the counternarrative of Asian adults embracing their food and complicated food memories. Which has rather become the centered narrative of love, family, resistance, acceptance, pride.   For me, it is also the bitter taste of assimilation... Continue Reading →


(Photo of toddler Gabi, yelling her head off on a carousel, ready to take on the world.)When I was pregnant, my partner Eric and I crafted a music mix of diverse tunes and created CDs to give to our friends who came to our baby shower.  We get a baby bathtub, you get a CD... Continue Reading →

It’s Pronounced “Deh-BOO”

I was 16 years old. The summer of 1990, between sophomore and junior year in high school. My parents convinced me to do it. I really didn’t want to. I thought it was petty and bourgeois, and I would have rather spent my summer doing something else. Like drinking beers, smoking cigarettes, and going on... Continue Reading →

Counter Counternarratives

As the moderator of the “Counternarratives of Women of Color in Academia” event, I introduced myself as a second-generation Filipina-American. This was the first thing I said about who I was, Before I even talked about my position in the academy, my intellectual and community interests, And blah blah blah. Identity. Salience. What really matters... Continue Reading →

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