Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I started the book project, Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults in 2007. It took about a year to collect the stories, after which I submitted the manuscript to my Philippine publisher. I thought the publisher and I had an oral agreement that I would retain US publishing rights. Since Growing Up Filipino I was published by PALH in the US, I wanted this sequel to be published in the US as well. After hanging on to the manuscript for 9 months, the Philippine publisher said they wanted all publishing rights after all, not just Philippine rights. I withdrew my work and decided PALH would go ahead and do the US publication. It was now late 2008.

A friend offered to design the cover and book (for a fee), but unfortunately her husband passed away in early 2009. Understandably, the book project was hung up for months. It wasn't until August before attention was given Growing Up Filipino II. The inside pages and cover were completed this October. I had to continuously proof the work because mistakes were constantly being picked up - lines disappeared in the cover for instance. A contributor's name was misspelled on the cover, and in the last minute I had to resend cover files to the printer, and when you make corrections late in the game, you pay to have those mistakes corrected. The delay also means the book misses out on mainstream reviews because you have to send galleys 3-4 months before the book is released. The scheduling for Growing Up Filipino II has been so messed up, I'll be relieved if the book comes out at all, much less dream of mainstream reviews for the book (as GUFI received).

It's been truly a long haul, but the files are with a US printer and I am hoping the book will be out by mid-December. Wow - three years! It's taken three years to complete this book.

This experience prompted me to take an InDesign class so I can handle some production work myself, if I ever take on another book project. It's difficult to be dependent on other people. Even though you pay them, their priorities may not be your priorities.

Getting past all of that and looking forward, here's information about this wonderful collection. The cover is beautiful; the contributors great. The short stories are really quite good and I hope the book will be as successful as Growing Up Filipino I.


Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults is the second volume of the Growing Up Filipino series by PALH. In this collection of 27 short stories, Filipino and Filipino American writers explore the universal challenges and experiences of Filipino teens after the historic events of 9/11. The modern demands do not hinder Filipino youth from dealing with the universal concerns of growing up: family, friends, love, home, budding sexuality, leaving home. The delightful stories are written by well known as well as emerging writers. While the target audience of this fine anthology is young adults, the stories can be enjoyed by adult readers as well. There is a scarcity of Filipino American literature and this book is a welcome addition.


Dean Francis Alfar, Katrina Ramos Atienza, Maria Victoria Beltran, M.G. Bertulfo, Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Amalia B. Bueno, Max Gutierrez, Leslieann Hobayan, Jaime An Lim, Paulino Lim Jr., Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor, Dolores de Manuel, Rashaan Alexis Meneses, Veronica Montes, Charlson Ong, Marily Ysip Orosa, Kannika Claudine D. Peña, Oscar Peñaranda, Edgar Poma, Tony Robles, Brian Ascalon Roley, Jonathan Jimena Siason, Aileen Suzara, Geronimo G. Tagatac, Marianne Villanueva

This collection of twenty-eight stories--of growing up Filipino in the Philippines, in the United States, in Canada--presents adolescents grappling, with some confusion and anxiety, about their place as affected by social and cultural mobility that separate and also enclose them. These are stories of discoveries about the young self at the brink of adulthood; of longing for a once-comfortable past, of fears arising from present economic hardships which threaten the future; of loneliness in family gatherings and in school, of racism, single parenthood…These are impeccable stories in range of subject matter and modes of narration: part of the story of the Philippines and wherever Filipinos live; part of the world's story.
Linda Ty-Casper, Novelist

Every story in this collection authentically captures the interdependence of society-at-large and some individual's growth, within extended families, both natural and ritual.
Leonard Casper
Professor Emeritus, American Studies
Boston College.

When read collectively, these stories become an embodiment of the Philippine mosaic, to highlight the fluidity of Filipino/American identity.
Rocio G. Davis
Associate Professor of American Literatures
University of Navarre

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