Thank you to all who inquired and expressed interest in the Manuel G. Flores Prize Fund for our PAWA Pinay Lit and Writing Workshop. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Jonathan Grace and Maria Vallarta.
Jonathan Grace "My name is Jonathan Grace but I am called Orchid. Living in the United States (Berkeley, CA) allows me the freedom to reassign meaning to Filipino words. I identify as 'Bakla' - and this refers not only to my gender presentation but also my positionality in life at this moment. Transforming, shifting of self, and my inward journey to find wholeness so that I may be complete and able to access all the gifts I have to offer to my Kapwa. ... I want to carve out a space for the Bakla in the context of Pinay and Babaylan discussions. I want to remind my kababayans that Bakla were able to achieve the status of Babaylans assigned female at birth."
Maria Vallarta is a writer-activist-scholar from Los Angeles, CA. She is a former editor of Maganda Magazine and a current member of Anakbayan Los Angeles. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She blogs at sampaguitagirl.wordpress.com. “Although I will be a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies this fall, my research interests revolve around literature, specifically Filipina/American literature. I seek to interrogate Pinay gender and sexuality in the context of literary works, to explore and solidify Pinay feminisms, and meld my research with my own creative writing.”