This past Saturday, September 26th, I was honored to join the reading event for local Filipino-American writers who are in the anthology Beyond Lumpia, Pansit and Seven Manangs Wild by the FANHS (Filipino American National Historical Society) East Bay Chapter. I, and the audience, were treated to touching stories and poems by Mel Vera Cruz, Jean Vengua, Monica Valerio, Carlos Zialcita, Lisa Suguitan Melnick, an Juanita Tamayo Lott. While I was not in the anthology, I was invited to read a short excerpt from my novel, A Village in the Fields.
After the readings, everyone was treated to lumpia and pansit, a fitting meal for a stellar afternoon of Filipino-American tales. My college roommate from UC Davis, Susan Rusconi accompanied me, and we enjoyed learning more about my culture through stories about the balikbayan boxes, social boxes at the community dances, grandma’s house, multicultural jazz, and “brown brothers” from the 1960s.