I remember growing up in a small town in Indiana just beginning to understand the world around me and slowly realizing my skin color as other kids would point it out to me. I would watch how much my dad would compliment my Mama as the most beautiful woman in the world and I locked away each compliment in my heart as truth. One day the reality of racism gripped me as a child across the street magnified my skin tone. Broken, I ran for my strength in my Mama's arms and was quickly re-established in my identity with pride beaming from every cell of my being.
She said as she looked into my eyes, "Did you know women all around the world pay to have skin color like yours?" Since that day I never shook from that strength.
I had always been enamored by the beauty, confidence and strength of Filipina. There was a deep sense of wanting to know where it all comes from and how I wished I had books like the ones I to create.
In 2020 I decided I would commit to research, writing and illustrating the book, "A Powerful Pinay!" for children.
As I continue to refine this chapter of work in The Filipino Project I would love to connect more with my Filipino community. How was your childhood? Did you have a similar experience?