All posts by AnneMarie

Why I Stay in New York

I’m back! This post took me over a month to have the courage to publish. I struggled to be gentle, tender and loving to myself as I wrote this as I’m baring the current status of my soul to you, lovely readers, so please, be gentle. 

I unintentionally took a break from my #2017Project during the month of April. March had been full as I curated daily content for the Reclaiming #WalangHiya digital platform. When April came, I didn’t do a great job of setting aside intentional writing time. That, and a lot happened.

Winter, Lent and Easter came and went. I gave up alcohol for Lent. I spent time confronting myself through daily reflection. I decided to enter a committed monogamous relationship. I worked every weekend. I went to Atlanta for the first time and for my first work conference. I started job searching, got an offer, accepted another offer, put my two weeks in and worked my last day last week. In the midst of all this, I experienced intense anxiety and a few mental breakdowns. At one point, I started to tell my friends that I was ready to return to the West Coast. Now, I’m starting to wrap my head around the fact that I am staying longer in New York than I initially expected.

While I was discerning over whether to stay in New York or go home, my good friend and beloved editor, Mary paused me to mull over the following: 1) when life gets difficult, I have a habit of saying I’m going to return to the West Coast, and 2) something seems to keep me here in New York. It doesn’t seem or feel like I’m ready to leave simply because I’m saying I want to move back to the West Coast during a period of desolation.

And despite my anxiety, stress and frustration at the time, I knew Mary was right. Continue reading

Confessions of an Asian Sorority Girl


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect the official stance of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated and solely represent the personal views, opinions, and frustrations of the author.

Some people may read this as airing dirty laundry but this is me breaking silence because when there is injustice, keeping silence is more shameful than breaking silence. Asian and non-Asian alike, my sisters and I need to be reminded that our letters were created to help us stand out and stand together.

This past Thursday was the 22nd anniversary of the founding of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated. On March 9, 1995 at Binghamton University, seven strong women of various Asian backgrounds officially formed the sorority in response to the lack of Asian representation on their campus. Kappa today is active in 27 schools with a membership of 3,189 sisters and counting, and an average GPA of 3.3 among our actives.

But no one asks about our founding history, why we wear red, white, and heather grey, or what our minimum active GPA is. Nah, it’s always about hazing. So, LET ME TELL YOU about the HAZING it took to earn these letters… Continue reading

Womxn Who Exude #WalangHiya

Middle photo from Kathara’s Facebook

Given the quick turnaround on the #WalangHiya project, the first few days of March have yet to be assigned to anyone. So to kick off some of the unique narratives coming up, I’m dedicating this post to uplift the work of Filipinx womxn that live with walang hiya because honestly, they don’t get enough coverage and we don’t get enough exposure.  Continue reading

Accessing Resiliency Through Collective Care // Walang Hiya Platform Launch

Since the election of Donald Trump, I’ve gone in cycles of lows and highs, of feeling replenished and feeling depleted. Even before the election, life in New York was feeling sh*tty and I was constantly searching for ways to replenish myself in the midst of a lot of heaviness. Time and time again, I come to the conclusion that life is just a series of moments of overcoming obstacles, sprinkled with moments of pure joy.

I know this cyclical process of overcoming as resiliency.

When asked what I’m proud of as a Filipinx American, our resiliency is at the top of my list. My grandparents, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins — all of us, we exude a resiliency that is difficult to put into words. We’ve learned how to survive and how to persevere. What’s most challenging about resiliency is learning how to grow. Because with growth, comes discomfort. Continue reading

The Challenge of Living with #WalangHiya

As much as my parents like to deny it, I am who I am because of them. The home they created for the three of us were my initial grounds for socialization, the space that sparked my faith, spurred my love for music and the outdoors, and where I developed my conflict coping mechanisms.

I always aim to publish my weekly blog posts over the weekend or Monday at the latest — but as you may (or may not) have noticed, this week’s post is late. I planned to write about my parents’ immigration narratives — a feeble attempt to articulate the historical and personal factors that contributed to their decisions to forfeit the lives they knew in the Philippines, sprinkled with quotable remarks made when the stories were passed orally to me and painted over with a broad historical lens. Continue reading