Hi Ms. Brainard and PALH,
My name is Kris Anne Alcantara, a final-year Media and Communications (Journalism) student at Sydney University and a Manila-born Filipina raised in Australia and America. I have recently completed a six-week internship working at The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the leading broadsheet paper in the Philippines, after winning a journalism scholarship sponsored by Myer and the Australia-Korea Foundation, during which I had numerous articles published, including a front-page article with a picture of my mother and I, on the EDSA 1 Revolution ( http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view_article.php?article_id=120808 ).
The reason I am writing is because I recently received a copy of 'Growing Up Filipino' while on my trip to the Philippines. After finishing the entire book in one (long) sitting, I want to salute you, PALH, Susan Montepio and the PAWWA, for compiling such wonderful Filipino youth literature and having it published. This makes me so proud to be a young Filipina, and a writer. You mentioned in the preface the scarcity of Filipino-American (and Australian, I might add) literature and Filipino young-adult books, and how you grew up reading Nancy Drew and novels with Anglo-Saxon protagonists. While I also enjoyed these books, I craved for Filipina and Filipino heroes and heroines, role models that I could relate to, that looked like me and shared my cultural values and background. By having these young, talented authors published, you provide a great springboard for more writers (like me), as well as inspire young Filipinos to get their work out there.
I long to see more Filipino writers on bookshelves all over the world; we need more journalists, newscasters, global media figures and novelists. I firmly believe Filipinos are some of the most talented and driven people in the world; so many of us possess not only passion but such strong work ethic - we simply need more avenues to express ourselves, more role models to emulate. So thank you for 'Growing Up Filipino.'
I also write to offer my services and writing skills if needed. I have had extensive experience writing fiction and non-fiction (journalistic) pieces, as well as opinion. I recently completed a guest editorial for The Philippine Times newspaper (Australia) in Dec 2007, and am in the process of completing a feature comparing Filipino and Australian youth culture for the paper. I am also currently a feature writer for Star Central magazine (leading lifestyle and entertainment magazine for Australian-Filipinos). Furthermore, my opinion article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Feb 9 2008, 'Final Piece of a Puzzle,' has now been circulated via email and blog sites to Filipinos all over the globe
I have many short stories lying around, based on experiences I have had as a young Filoz/Am growing up and my experience of coming "back home" to the Philippines in my adulthood. If you are planning to publish another anthology, I would love to contribute some of my work.
Again, I thank you for 'Growing Up Filipino' and 'Fiction by Filipinos in America,' they provide young writers like me with inspiration and hope, and most importantly - people to look up to.
Krisanne Alcantara | Communications Specialist
The University of Sydney