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
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
FROM KRIS ANNE ALCANTARA OF SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of 9 books, including When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, Vigan and Other Stories, and Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose. She edited four books, co-edited six books, and co-authored a novel, Angelica's Daughters. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized. Cecilia has received many awards, including a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District, and the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants from the USIS. She has lectured and performed at UCLA, USC, University of Connecticut, University of the Philippines, PEN, Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and many others. She teaches creative writing at the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension.