The Obligatory Intro

I

am not big on writing about myself. Not because I don’t have much to say, mind you. But because my dad thinks that if I write too much, you’ll end up stalking me, finding me, and eventually killing me. I sure hope not.

I’m the eldest from a brood of four headstrong sisters; I was born on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer, on the longest day of the year. We lived in Project 8, in Quezon City, Philippines – a small country archipelago of over 7.1K islands located in Southeast Asia slightly larger than the state of Arizona. I was fondly dubbed “Sugar”, thanks to my grand-aunt Flora, who was more than happy to have a baby girl around in a houseful of my male cousins. Imagine the pressure of living up to that nickname. I don’t know if I can be described sweet. Maybe bittersweet, like dark chocolate. Addictive, if you’re into that sort of thing.

We migrated to the United States when I was really young and I attended a Roman Catholic private school in Astoria, Queens, NY, where our school color was dark maroon. During the warm months, the girls wore skirts but in the winter we were allowed to wear pants. Our principal was Sister Josephine and we had a few nun teachers as well. We were right next door to a church and often you could find priests walking our halls. They were always cheery and kind, always easy to talk to – I remember Father Tony and Father Frank the most.

s often is the case with young children, I assimilated quite well with the Western World. Maybe a little too well. And so towards high school, my parents thought it would be a great idea if I went back to my motherland to learn more about my culture. Horrible idea, I thought. Everything Filipino was foreign to me at that point. During one of our high school assemblies, I remember looking down from a balcony and into a sea of black hair. It was eerie to find everyone having the same hair color. The money was also confusing and looked like Monopoly money to me. My mother also would tell me not to speak in public. She was scared people would hear my American accent and kidnap me.

No doubt between then and now, I grew up, and met all kinds of people, and went to different places, and did amazing and sometimes not-so-amazing things; and yes, I continue to live, each and every single day breathing in and out, of course.

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