• Essays,  Notes on Adulting,  The Daily

    The Challenges of a Filipino Millennial Immigrant

    Healing. The word has become a kind of joke meant for the small stuff. A cheeky answer to questions ranging from how your weekend trip went, or how you found the beyond meat burger to be. I joke about it too, I thank my friends for my week spent in Toronto and how healing it’s been. But looking back, I did mean it more sincerely than I thought. I didn’t realize that I was actually hurting emotionally and mentally because of my move back to Vancouver. Up until I went to counselling I had been struggling with these emotions on my own and trying to work it out. My counsellor…

  • Essays,  The Daily,  Writer's Cafe


    Hello, it’s been a week since I came back from a two-week stay in the Philippines. My skin is red and raw from sun burn, and the sleeping hours are still skewed. There are many thoughts that have been running through my head ever since I got back. I realized that that trip was a happy goodbye. I was assured that I always had a home and friends who treasured and loved me just because. But it was time to stop looking back and pining for a life I had already left. In the words of my good friend Kristel,”Be yourself! Immerse yourself!” It’s always been my problem, elsewhere was…

  • Essays,  Notes on Adulting,  Writer's Cafe

    Growing Up Good

    On my recent trip back to my hometown I found my diary from when I was seventeen years old, in it I wrote “My boyfriend is a chauvinist. I need to get a new one.” I burst out laughing when I read that, truly my higher self knew what she was talking about. I wished I had ended it shortly after, as I constantly question why I still dated that person for the next seven years. But now I’m also thanking and honouring myself for getting out of it. I have come a long way from that relationship and have learned many lessons in the process. International Women’s Day reminded…

  • Essays,  Writer's Cafe

    I am Brown and Both

    I understand that it was made in jest- that I could not be considered Mindanaoan or even Filipino because I left the Philippines. The thing is I still want to answer those statements, because I got a lot of flak even before I left. Why would you leave? Don’t you love the Philippines? You’re forsaking the country. You’re a traitor. Hmm, I wonder- the heroes we have hailed before us also left the motherland. I wouldn’t equate myself to being a hero but you get the drift. My being Canadian is an added layer to my identity- it does not eliminate my birth, my childhood, my life experiences in this country…

  • Essays,  Writer's Cafe

    Crooked, Beautiful Things

    I used to dream of capturing beautiful things when I was a kid. I think that was one of the main reasons why I wanted to be a filmmaker before I even knew what it was called. I wanted to capture the sunlight on someone’s hair or the flowers on a pretty white house’s windowsill. But growing up I realized that beauty wasn’t enough, I wanted the energy, the feelings that radiated from those images. I wanted images that had a life of its own, that had stories to tell. And this is what I realized while I waded through teenage insecurities, adolescent angst and adulthood – life won’t always…

  • Essays,  Writer's Cafe

    A Thanksgiving for All Seasons

    Along with the coming of autumn, I feel like being reborn. After a slow, and painful death, the past four years seem long gone and I am shedding the remnants of my past . The starting over is always a struggle – one I often forget while living through the daily drudgery. Even sans Turkey dinner and cranberry sauce, I still have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful to know that there are kinder men, kinder than the men who cry  and tell you they love you then betray you the moment your plane takes off. I am thankful that I have finally allowed myself the opportunity…

  • Essays,  Notes on Adulting

    Into the Cocoon

    Baby Steps. I always seem to find myself from ground zero everywhere I go. People always say it’s a good thing. Marissa Meyers was quoted saying: “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”  But it doesn’t really feel good when you’re the one being pushed against the wall, does it? There is something depressing about being at the bottom and wanting to get to the top without knowing how. When I was in…

  • Essays,  Writer's Cafe

    Do Not Pour Oil on Water

    I am water. I flow freely and take the form of anything that tries to shape me. I seep through little cracks and holes and go as far as the currents take me. He is oil. And although he can take any form he wants, he is closed off from anything outside his element. Water cannot permeate through him. But through anything else, water can. And so, maybe this is how we are. We live amiably, side by side. We touch but never intertwine.