Skip to main content


Good mother, good academic?

I wrote this four years ago. The struggle remains the same, so yes, publish. And god, I so want to be over this dilemma.

2016. Yesterday I was proofreading my manuscript at home when the Little Big Boss came over crying. I had to put my pen down and console her. She didn't want to leave my lap so we compromised. We put her play doh on the table and I tried to work while she played. It went smoothly -- for about five minutes! Haha!
The Artist in Residence is familiar with this scene. Starting when she was eight years old, she had to come along with me to academic conferences. She'd stay in her chair reading, or drawing and writing in her notebooks. People praised her and commented on how she was remarkably well-behaved. I had no idea just how remarkable her ability to sit still and focus was, until the Little Big Boss came along. With this one, sitting together quietly for a stretch of time is a much bigger challenge. The things that kept the Artist content at conferences were…
Recent posts

Book Review: Heirloom Recipes of the Cordillera

Partaking, Taking Part*

I was asked to speak today about body language and indigenous expressions, but I can’t talk about dance and I can’t talk about tattoos. My friend, Irene Bawer-Bimuyag dances and weaves so beautifully, she takes away words. She has a traditional Kalinga tattoo on her arm and it is rightfully hers. She is Lubuagan-born.

I can’t talk about performance or performativity. When my friend, Dumay Solinggay takes the stage she brings all her ancestors with her. She is Cervantes-born.
I can’t “speak in tongues” --much less read or write in indigenous languages. My friend, Chatelyne Wansi walks for hours to visit kailian, to sit with them, convince them, and guide them in writing about themselves in their own language. She publishes their writings in a magazine entirely in Kankanaey, and refuses to translate their work into English. She is Kibungan-born.

I wish they could have been here in my place. I wish you could meet them.
But I’m going to take a side step around body languages and I’m goin…

Forest Fires, Complicity, and Helplessness