Origins

I recognized the shape of the island immediately, a rugged, horn-like protrusion emerging from sea. Lush vegetation nourished by rich volcanic soil made it a green brighter than the turquoise shallows caressing its beaches. The sky, the soothing pale blue of daylight, was clear enough to see broad plateaus and dark canyons beneath the shifting…Read more Origins

The Face of the Future

“You are the face of the future.” An acquaintance once said this to me when we first met. He uttered it emphatically, as if it was a wondrous revelation. It felt like an enormous compliment. “Thank you, so are you!” I replied. Of all the statements about my multiracial “mixed” features, indeed of all the…Read more The Face of the Future

The Unimaginable

As the year draws to a close, it seems only natural to review the most memorable events of the past 365 days. Politically, culturally, ideologically, it has been quite a roller coaster. Many of us have continuously found ourselves in surreal places this year—places we never could have imagined, back when the future was just…Read more The Unimaginable

The Mirror of Hate

“What are you?” I get asked this question all the time, wherever I go. “What are you?” I grew so tired of hearing it that I once answered on a whim: “Guess.” The man who had asked me proceeded to list off all the Asian nationalities he knew of: “Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Mongolian…”…Read more The Mirror of Hate

May Superiority Give Way

I read an incredibly heart-wrenching story in the Atlantic yesterday about the life of a modern-day slave, Eudocia Tomas Pulido. The front-page article was written by, of all people, the son of the family who “owned” her, Alex Tizon. (I have included the link to the article here.) Eudocia or Lola, as she was called…Read more May Superiority Give Way

Inspiration for a Permanent Tourist: Pico Iyer

Growing up in the US, I often found myself caught between two worlds: my somewhat traditional Filipino upbringing and the dominant American culture of my teachers and peers. Later, after traveling the world and relocating to Germany as an adult, I felt even more conflicted in terms of cultural and national identity. What am I? An American?…Read more Inspiration for a Permanent Tourist: Pico Iyer