A little More About Me...

I was born on an Air Force base in Turkey.  My mom is Filipina, my dad American.  We moved to the Philippines when I was 3 and left for the States when I was 6.  Even though my time in the Philippines was short, it impacted my life & gave me the cultural roots as to who I am.  I remember going off base every weekend to visit my family in the barrio.  My cousins would take me to the sari-sari store, we'd run around my Apu's (apu = grandmother in Kapampangan) farm barefoot, swim with the carabao & eat sugar cane fresh off the fields.  I was lucky to have my Apu live with us on & off while growing up in the States.  She couldn't read or write, she didn't speak English but her love is what my soul always understood.


When we moved to the States and my dad retired from the military, we landed in Central Virginia.  In the 80's.  Talk about culture shock!  But as any resilient & adaptable child, life goes on. There were no Filipino or Asian markets within a 2 hours drive from where we lived.  My mom did the best should could with what she had to keep her culture & food in the house.  I definitely grew up with the best blend of both worlds.  Holiday dinners & special events were filled with traditional American meals, always a pot of rice, side of lumpia & leche flan for dessert!

Fast forward a couple more years...

By the time I was in high school, I realized I was a little different from the majority of the population in Central Virginia.  I remember being teased for being different but that's something we all went through, right?  Middle school was the first time I had ever heard that my mom 'sounds funny'.  I once walked up to a table of friends right when they were saying my 'house stinks'.  Thankfully, my parents always taught me to be unapologetically proud of who I am and where I came from.  High school was much better.  I grew into my camatis arong (tomato nose in Kapampangan), as my mom likes to say and confidence finally kicked in.  I never felt like Virginia was for me, the town just wasn't big enough for me.  At 22, I packed my bags and headed West.
After a few years in San Diego, a quick stint in Mississippi & back to San Diego again, I finally made my way up the freeway to Los Angeles.  Originally, I wanted to take on the Voice Over world.  Being told you're 'too fat & too ethnic' when you're 22 by a Casting Director can really dampen ones dreams.  Then again, that was back in the mid 2000's.  When I moved up to LA, it was the same time my parody music video was making it's rounds on the internet.  Suddenly, there were people reaching out saying they wanted to see more.  I created a Facebook page that became my platform to share memes & videos about what it's like to grow up Filipino American.  That path has allowed me to continue creating content for the community, be in a couple of short films, to now writing my own feature film & producing content for others.  I'm so thankful for how this World has done a complete 360' and what I was put down for is now what is holding me up & allowing me to have a voice.