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San Francisco, CA, 94131-0928

A space to encourage writing of Filipino American literature and the arts




Philippine American Writers and Artists blog for lit/arts events, reviews, news, and opportunities.

Filtering by Category: Books and Publications

Please Consider Sponsoring Janice Lobo Sapigao's microchips for millions (Fall 2016 Release)


Dear friends and community, PAWA is proud to be publishing Janice Lobo Sapigao's full-length debut collection, microchips for millions, which will be released this fall 2016.

Here are poems from this powerful and important collection:

the assembly line

my mother is a fab operator

four days a week
ma gets up at four a.m.
boils hot water in a kettle
showers before it screams
ready for coffee
watches the news as she
pulls on her clothes –

jeans and a simple tee
enough to soak up
twelve-hour sweat resting in
orthopedic shoes that
amplify the need for
health benefits & overtime

ma is always on the frontline
of the silicon valley’s shadow
one of thousands of women
whose nimble fingers and
silenced grumbling spin
microchips for millions
powering laptops and
cell phones that she herself
does not find intuitive enough to use

at the end of every day
she watches the filipino channel
her swollen feet elevated
on the living room couch –
a luxury she buys herself
and her family

in my environmental racism class
professor pellow showed a map
of my neighborhood in san jose, ca:
there were red dots next to the
mcdonald’s grumma worked at,
near my elementary school, one
above the block of ma’s workplace

he said the dots indicated toxic waste sites, said immigrant women were on the front line of exploitation

ma says she’s a fab operator

i know she’s an assembly line worker

the union


my mother’s boss
was fired today
after nineteen years
with the company,
they cited failure
to meet deadlines
and production goals

…and ma doesn’t know
what they’re talking about

because they’ve worked over time
and they’ve scheduled
less workers

and ma asked,
if i were her
would i fight?

…and ma always fights.


her boss told them not to
that speaking out was
risking their jobs
that human resources
doesn’t like questions


the silicon valley is largely anti-union
the long hours,
hiring practices,
and runaway jobs
would be unjust
under labor laws.

my mother sees patterns,
says the new CEO is from intel,
that he hires anyone
who’s worked there.
ma jokes that even her workplace
has intel inside.
ma and her co-workers
come together to raise funds
print flyers and
meet secretly
to throw

their former boss
a pizza party.

Janice Lobo Sapigao is a daughter of Filipina/o immigrants.  Her first book, microchips for millions, critiques the Silicon Valley and its exploitation of immigrant women workers (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. 2016). Her second book, like a solid to a shadow, about fatherlessness, grieving, and family lineages is forthcoming from Timeless, Infinite Light. She is author of the chapbook toxic city (tinder tender press, 2015). She is a VONA/Voices Fellow and was awarded a Manuel G. Flores Prize, PAWA Scholarship to the Kundiman Poetry Retreat. The Associate Editor of TAYO Literary Magazine, and a co-founder of Sunday Jump, an open mic in Los Angeles’s Historic Filipinotown; her work has also been published in numerous publications including Jacket2, The Volta,, and Action, Yes! as well anthologies such as Talking Back and Looking Forward: Poetry and Prose for Social Justice in Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) and Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2014). She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from CalArts, and she has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies with Honors from UC San Diego. She teaches English at San José City College and Skyline College. Janice loves playing with stuffed animals, runs races occasionally, and frequents local, small mom + pop coffee shops. If you want, you can learn more at

We are asking for community support, in the form of sponsorship for this title! As you may know, publishing is a costly endeavor, and so anything you are able to contribute will be much appreciated! 

100% of proceeds will go towards production of Janice Lobo Sapigao's first full length book. You will be acknowledged on the publication's Acknowledgments page. 

Maraming salamat po!


Need some gifting ideas? How about some Filipino American authored books?


To Love as Aswang by Barbara Jane Reyes


PAWA is pleased to announce the publication of To Love as Aswang, by Barbara Jane Reyes.

Book Description: The Philippine aswang is a mythic, monstrous creature which has, since colonial times, been associated with female transgression, scapegoating, and social shaming, known in Tagalog as hiya. In the 21st century, and in diaspora, she manages to endure. Barbara Jane Reyes‘s To Love as Aswang, the poet and a circle of Filipino American women grapple with what it means to live as a Filipina, or Pinay, in a world that has silenced, dehumanized, and broken the Pinay body. These are poems of Pinay tragedy and perseverance, of reappropriating monstrosity and hiya, sung in polyphony and hissed with forked tongues.

To Love as Aswang is award-winning Pinay poet Barbara Jane Reyes's fourth full-length poetry collection, and it is available for course adoption. Please contact us at if you are interested in teaching this title.

To Love as Aswang: Songs, Fragments, and Found Objects

Poems by Barbara Jane Reyes

5.5 x 8 | 83 pages

Paperback Original

ISBN 978-0-9763316-8-1


Number of copies + Postage:
Add To Cart

#AllPinayEverything: Elieen Tabios


Are you interested in reading Pinay Lit, but you don't know where to start? Here is our first recommendation: the very prolific Eileen R. Tabios. Below are some links to reviews of her works.

Reviews of THE THORN ROSARY by Joi Barrios at, and by Aileen Ibardaloza at

Aileen Ibardaloza reviews THE AWAKENING at OurOwnVoice:


Steven Hom reviews NOTA BENE EISWEIN, SILK EGG and FOOTNOTES TO ALGEBRA at Asian American Literature Fans:

Nicholas Manning reviews THE LIGHT SANG AS IT LEFT YOUR EYES at Cordite:  Fred Muratori also reviews it for American Book Review:

Thomas Fink reviews SILENCES: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF LOSS at Otoliths:

Anny Ballardini reviews I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH, FOR MY BELOVED at Jacket:


06/23/2013: Bruce Reyes-Chow, But I Don't See You As Asian in SF



From Bruce Reyes-Chow:

You are invited to the official release and signing event for Bruce's newest book, "But I Don't See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race." Held at the coffee house where most of the writing occurred, get some coffee, buy a book and see the signs of relief on the faces of his family and friends.

Stop by any time during the two hour timeframe. There is not much gathering room at Philz Coffee Noe Valley and there will be no formal program*, but since a majority of the book was written fueled by Philz coffee, it seems only appropriate to officially release the book at this great San Francisco business.

Books will be available at the event, but you can also purchase a print copy on Amazon. There are also electronic versions for your Nook or Kindle and if you were a Kickstarter supporter, I can have yours waiting.


Thank you in advance and please do feel free to share this invitation with others who might be interested in attending the event or reading the book.

Peace - Bruce

*There may be door prizes awarded, there is a nice park across the street where folks can hang out and there are plenty of great eateries in the area for folks to visit before or after stopping by the signing.


Publication: Manila Noir



Launched with the summer ’04 award-winning best-seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the geographical area of the book.

Original stories by Lourd De Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay Jr., Eric Gamalinda, Jessica Hagedorn, Angelo Lacuesta, R. Zamora Linmark, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Marianne Villanueva, and Lysley Tenorio.

One of the most populous cities in the world, Manila provides the ideal, torrid setting for noir. It’s where the rich rub shoulders with the poor, where five-star hotels coexist with informal settlements, where religious zeal coexists with superstition, where “hospitality” might be another word for prostitution, where politics is often synonymous with celebrity and corruption, where violence is nothing out of the ordinary and pretty much anything can be had for a price.

From the Introduction by Jessica Hagedorn:

“Manila is not for the faint of heart. Built on water and reclaimed land, it’s an intense, congested, teeming megalopolis, the vital core of an urban network of sixteen cities and one municipality collectively known as Metro Manila. Population: over ten million and growing by the minute. Climate: tropical. Which means hot, humid, prone to torrential monsoon rains of biblical proportions.

I think of Manila as the ultimate femme fatale. Complicated and mysterious, with a tainted, painful past. She’s been invaded, plundered, raped, and pillaged, colonized for four hundred years by Spain and fifty years by the US, bombed and pretty much decimated by Japanese and American forces during an epic, month-long battle in 1945.

Yet somehow, and with no thanks to the corrupt politicians, the crime syndicates, and the indifferent rich who rule the roost, Manila bounces back. The people’s ability to endure, adapt, and forgive never ceases to amaze, whether it’s about rebuilding from the latest round of catastrophic flooding, or rebuilding from the ashes of a horrific world war, or the ashes of the brutal, twenty-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos . . .

Many years have passed since the end of the Marcos dictatorship. People are free to write and say what they want, yet nothing is different. The poor are still poor, the rich are still rich, and overseas workers toil in faraway places like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Germany, and Finland. Glaring inequities are a source of dark humor to many Filipinos, but really just another day in the life . . .

Writers from the Americas and Europe are known for a certain style of noir fiction, but the rest of the world approaches the crime story from a culturally unique perspective. In Manila Noir we find that the genre is flexible enough to incorporate flamboyant emotion and the supernatural, along with the usual elements noir fans have come to expect: moody atmospherics, terse dialogue, sudden violence, mordant humor, a fatalist vision.”

To listen to a radio interview with editor Jessica Hagedorn on The Blood-Jet Writing Hour, please click here.


E-Publication: Pinay Poets at The Bakery


filipinas and american soldier [Archival photo from University of Wisconsin]

Poetas y Diwatas, guest edited by Barbara Jane Reyes. Featuring  Joi Barrios, Arlene Biala, Sasha Pimentel Chacon, Rachelle Cruz, Luisa A. Igloria, Karen Llagas, Melissa Roxas, Melissa Sipin, Eileen Tabios, and Jean Vengua

Before I ever had a name for it, I was already engaged in the work of centering Pinay narratives and voices. For the past two decades, I have thought of my poetry as doing just that; I am a Pinay poet and my speakers and/or personae are Pinays thinking about their own lives, telling their own stories. I always thought it was that simple.

But I am frequently asked whether writing about Pinay-ness has limited me.

Being Pinay is a fact of who I am. I was birthed by a Pinay, and raised by Pinays. Pinays have given me my value system. My Pinay-ness is the filter through which the world views and handles me, cross references me against what they (think they) know about people in the world who look like me.

Read more here.

12/01/2012: Book Launching of My Bay Kitchen: Memories of My Homeland


my_bay_kitchen Arkipelago The Filipino Bookstore invites you to the official book launch of:

My Bay Kitchen: Memories of My Homeland, Travels and More... by Rene M. Astudillo

On Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 3:00pm Bayanihan Community Center 1010 Mission St. (& 6th) San Francisco, CA 94103

A San Francisco Bay Area author’s collection of his favorite recipes learned from his Filipino mother’s kitchen, picked up from his world travel, and developed from his association with other food enthusiasts. With each pictured recipe comes a personal story, a pinch of trivia and a dash of humor — all meant to engage the reader in some exciting kitchen talk or dinner conversation. Come in for the stories. Stay for the recipes.


“Taking you from Filipino favorites like pancit and chicken adobo to Indonesian nasi goreng (fried rice) and Vietnamese claypot catfish, Rene Astudillo’s “My Bay Kitchen” offers a delightfully warm account of the delicious international adventures at his stove. The recipes will entice — along with the travel tales with which he garnishes each dish. Do not read this on an empty stomach.”

–Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Author of “A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family.“


“With mouth-watering recipes from Thailand, Spain, Bahamas, Hawaii, Philippines, and elsewhere, this around-the-world cookbook reminds us of the endless pair of cooking with remembering journeys and loved ones.”

–R. Zamora Linmark, Author of “Rolling the R’s,” “Leche,” and “Drive-By Vigils.”


Paperback | Full Color | 80 Pages, 6″ x 9 ” | $21.95 | The Perfect Holiday Gift!

Please rsvp ( and reserve your seat as space is limited.

For more information on the event please call us at (415) 553-8185

Light refreshments will be provided

For more information about Rene M. Astudillo and his works please visit:

Publication: Dawac and Other Memoir-Narratives by Beatriz Tilan Tabios



DAWAC and Other Memoir-Narratives by Beatriz Tilan Tabios

ISBN No. 978-0-9826493-5-0 Release Date: Fall-Winter 2012 Available for $12.50 through Meritage Press ( and Available for $14.50 through

Meritage Press is delighted to release a first book by an author just shy of her 83rd birthday: DAWAC and Other Memoir-Narratives by Beatriz Tilan Tabios. DAWAC presents Mrs. Tabios' childhood memories of Babaylans (indigenous Filipino healers) as well as surviving the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II.

DAWAC describes many incidents that would be lost today without the book's existence. They also make history come alive, as only the testimony of someone who lived through the experience (versus a historian's or academic's account) can accomplish. An example is a section that describes how she and her family ran to the forests to hide whenever the Japanese army approached their town. As it turned out, it was during those times of hiding when she ended up being introduced to Greek poets, because Homer's Iliad was a "little" book light enough to carry as she fled.

Beatriz Tilan Tabios received her B.A. with English as her major from the Silliman University in Dumaguete, Philippines. She developed her love for poetry as a sixth-grader reading Homer, William Shakespeare, John Keats, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge while trying to survive World War II. She would further develop her appreciation for literature as a college student instructed by poet Edith Tiempo, the first woman to receive the title of National Artist for Literature in the Philippines. Critic and fictionist Dr. Edilberto Tiempo, then the head of Silliman University’s English Department, encouraged Mrs. Tabios to continue her study of English and American literature. As a result, Mrs. Tabios wrote her Master of Arts thesis, one of the earliest investigations, regarding Filipino literature, of “(The Use of) Local Color in Short Stories in English.” Later, Mrs. Tabios taught English literature at Dagupan College (now University of Pangasinan) and University of Baguio, before becoming a teacher at Brent School, a boarding school initially built for children from U.S.-American military, missionary and gold-mining families stationed in the Far East.

Advance Words on DAWAC include, from award-winning critic and writer Albert B. Casuga:

I found Beatriz Tilan Tabios’ memoir to be in the classical style of story-telling, worthy of her training under Edilberto and Edith Tiempo. I read “Dawac” and liked the characterization of Apo Kattim, particularly the use of an Igolot extract that was the colloquial dialect in the sanctuaries of Baguling, La Union, where my family evacuated and were sheltered by the bagos (Ilocano-Igolot-Pangasinense mix) during the Japanese mop-up operation before Americans and Filipino guerrillas liberated the Northern provinces and the Cordilleras. I still speak a smattering of the Igolot of Apo Kattim, which I picked up as toddler during our refuge in Baguling’s mountains. Mrs. Tabios’ use of the dialect makes for an authentic character as memorable as those mang-ngagas or herbolarios. I, too, was "cured" by an Apo Anong when I was a little boy—he brushed some leaves all over my fevered body (according to my mother) to trap the "evil spirit" inside an egg; after praying to rid the spell that "punished" me, he threw the egg into some banana grove in my grandmother's orchard (my mother swears to God the egg did not break!). The next day found me running around with my rambunctious cousins as I’d been "cured" of the malady. I learned these from mother's own memoir.  —Albert B. Casuga, author of A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems

For more information: