Born and raised in the Philippines, I grew up at the foothills of Mount Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna. I left tropical climes for the freezing winters of Ithaca, New York, as a graduate student, where I found refuge from the cold in the Cornell University library stacks. I moved to California for fieldwork, seeking warmer weather, but spent it instead in the chilly fog of Daly City, California. The result, at least, was a master’s and a doctorate, and the publication of my first two books, Displaying Filipinos: Photography and Colonialism in Early 20th-Century Philippines (University of the Philippines Press, 1995) and Pinoy Capital: The Filipino Nation in Daly City (Temple University Press, 2009).
After almost a decade of teaching Asian American Studies and Anthropology at San Francisco State University and other universities in the Bay Area, I’m now a former academic, managing IT projects for a living, and residing, once more, on a warmer island. My fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Tin House online, SmokeLong Quarterly, Joyland, Atticus Review, Entropy, and the anthology Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 7. I’m currently writing a crime novel set in Manila.