Babaylan Contributors

Gina Apostol grew up in Tacloban, Leyte. She earned a BA from the University of the Philippines and an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her first novel, Bibliolepsy, was published by the University of the Philippines Press and her stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Taipan (Manila), and The Evening Paper (Manila) and in the anthologies Catfish Arriving in Little Schools (Manila) and Flippin’: Filipinos on America (New York). She was the Writing Fellow at the Exeter School in Connecticut and now teaches at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Paz Marques Benitez (1894-1983) edited the first anthology of Philippine short stories in English, Filipino Love Stories, and the first Philippine literary magazine in English, Women’s Home Journal.  She taught English literature at the University of the Philippines.

Merlinda Bobis has published novels, short stories, plays, and poems.  Her play, Rita’s Lullaby, won the prestigious international award, Prix Italia, for radio ficti; previously, it had won the Australian Writers’ Guild Award and the Ian Reed Radio Drama Prize. Her collection of poems, Summer Was A Fast Train Without Terminals, was shortlisted for “The Age” Poetry Book Award. She has also received the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award and the Cultural Centre of the Philippines Gawad Award for her poetry in Filipino and English, as well as the Pamana ng Pilipino Presidential Award for her professional achievements overseas. She lectures in creative writing at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Lilledeshan Bose was born in Baguio City on April 23, 1977. She grew up in Manila where she survived the requisite Catholic school girl education at St Scholastica’s College. She then majored in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Her works have appeared in the Free Press, Philippine Graphic, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and The Best of Youngblood.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the author and editor of nine books, including the novel When the Rainbow Goddess Wept; two short story collections: Woman with Horns and Other Stories and Acapulco at Sunset and Other Stories; a collection of essays: Philippine Woman in America; and the editor of the anthologies: Fiction by Filipinos in America and Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America. She is the recipient of a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction and she teaches Creative Writing at the UCLA Extension Writing Program.

Caroline Cheng is earning her MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. After pursuing an executive’s career in Wall Street for many years, she decided to drop the money chase and attend to the writing urges she had bubbling within her soul. A story of hers was published in the fiction anthology Best of the Fiction Workshops. She lives in Manhattan with her husband from Paris.

M. Evelina Galang (b. 1961) is the author of Her Wild American Self, a collection of short fiction from Coffee House Press.  She has been widely published and her collection’s title story has been short-listed by both Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize.  Her awards include the John Gardner Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Colorado State University Graduate Diversity Educational Fellowship, a Lannan Fellowship, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.  She has recently joined the creative writing faculty of Iowa State University.   She is at work on her novel, What is Tribe, screenplay, Dalaga, Screaming Monkeys, an anthology of Asian American Art and Literature, and a book of essays called Lolas’ House.

Jessica Hagedorn (b. 1949) is the author of two novels: Dogeaters, which was nominated for a National Book Award and The Gangster of Love ; a prose and poetry collection Danger and Beauty; and the editor of a fiction anthology Charlie Chan is Dead. She lives in New York City.

Luba Halicki-Hoffman was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in Oak Park, IL.  Her mother was born and grew up in Iloilo, Philippines.  Her father was born in the Ukraine and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She received a BA in Spanish language and literature from the University of Illinois-Chicagoand an MFA from the Writing program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Susan S. Lara was born in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan in the Philippines. She has won several Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Fiction and is the current President of the Philippine Literary Arts Council. Her  published book of short fiction is entitled Letting Go. She lives in Manila with her son, Lev.

Reine Arcache Melvin was born in Manila to a Filipino-American family. She attended university in the United States, traveled through India and Europe, and now lives in Paris with her two daughters. She is the author of a collection of short stories A Normal Life.

Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo (b 1944) is the Director of the Creative Writing Center of the University of the Philippines. She is the author of many books including: Ballad of a Lost Season , Tales for a Rainy Night, Where Only the Moon Rages, To Catch a Falling Star, and a novel Recuerdo.

Tara F.T. Sering is an M.A. Creative Writing student in the University of   the Philippines in Diliman. She was a fellow of the 26th U.P. National Writers Workshop in Baguio, and her stories have seen print in several newspapers and magazines.

Michelle M.C. Skinner (b. 1965) grew up in Olongapo City, Philippines. She now lives in Hawaii where she teaches writing courses. She is the author of two collections of short stories, Balikbayan and Mango Seasons.

Lara Stapleton was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of a collection of stories The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing (Aunt Lute). Her work has appeared in The Asian-Pacific American Journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Columbia, and Glimmer Train. She lives in Manhattan and teaches at the  Long Island University in Brooklyn.

Eileen Tabios (b 1960) is the author of a poetry collection Beyond Life Sentences, which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry; a collection of poetry essays/interviews Black Lightning: Poetry-in-Progress, which received a Witter Bynner Poetry Grant; and, as editor, The Anchored Angel: Selected Writings of Jose Garcia Villa.  She is also the author of Ecstatic Mutations: Experiments in the Poetry Laboratory and  served as poetry editor for SCREAMING MONKEYS, an anthology of prose, poetry, and visual art about the cultural portrayals of Asian America.  The 1996-1999 editor of the Asian Pacific American Journal, her poetry, fiction, and essays have been published internationally.  She is a budding grape farmer.

Linda Ty-Casper (c 1927) has published more than thirteen books of short stories, novels, essays, and historical fiction in Manila, London, and the US, including Kulasyon: Uninterrupted Vigils and Dream Eden. She holds an MA in Literature and a Law degree from Harvard and has received grants from the Radcliffe Institute, the Djerassi Foundation, the Massachusettes Arts Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy. She lives near Boston.

Marianne Villanueva’s (b. 1958) story “Silence” was originally published in the Three Penny Review and was short-listed for the O. Henry Literature Prize. Her collection of short stories,  Ginseng and Other Tales from Manila, was a finalist for the Philippnes’ National Book Awar. Her stories have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Charlie Chan is Dead and The Nuyorasian Anthology. She works as an administrator at Stanford University and occasionally teaches.

Jessica Zafra (b 1965) earned her BA from the University of the Philippines. She is a winner of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature and is the author of a collection of short fiction Manananggal Terrorizes Manila and Other Stories. She is also noted for her newspaper articles and columns which carry the names “Womenagerie” and “Twisted.” She lives in Manila.

Cyan Abad is an Instructor at the Ateneo de Manila University, teaching Freshman English and Children’s Literature.  She has an AB in English from the Ateneo and an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, Boston. Her first book with her father GŽmino Abad, Father and Daughter: The Figures of Our Speech, is a collection of stories, poems, and essays.

Babylu Abaya (b 1972) is a second generation Filipina American whose father is Filipino and mother is French Canadian. She graduated from Queens College, New York and now lives and works in London, England.

Jade Viray Afable (b 1969) has published a chapbook of poems Lowercase Love. She was born and raised in Davao City, Mindanao in the Philippines and now makes her home in Madrid, Spain. Among her awards is a residency at the Fundac’on Valpara’so in Mojacar, Almeria, Spain.

Mila D. Aguilar (b 1949) is the author of A Comrade is as Precious as a Rice Seedling and Journey: An Autobiography in Verse. From August 6, 1984 to February 27, 1986, she was jailed by agents of the Marcos dictatorship on charges of “subversion and conspiracy to commit rebellion.” Her release was obtained when Corazon Aquino ascended to the presidency after the People Power Revolution.

Joyce Alcantara (b 1977) graduated from Rutgers University.  She is an aspiring television news anchor who prefers to write rather than spend thousands of dollars in therapy. She is the daughter of first-generation Filipino immigrants and has lived her entire life in New Jersey, but plans to travel the globe when she gets a passport.  She has so far been published in local newspapers and broadcast on local television.

Shirley Ancheta  co-edited Without Names: Poetry by Bay Area Pilipino American Writers.  Her poems appear in Quarry West:  Dissident SongPremonitions: Asian Poets of North America and in Bamboo Ridge 20th Anniversary Issue.  Her erotica was published in On a Bed of Rice.  She is the mom of two sons.

Nerissa S. Balce (b 1965) was born in Manila. She was a journalist and a literature teacher in Manila before leaving for Berkeley, California to pursue a doctorate degree in ethnic studies at the University of California. She lives in Berkeley with her husband, poet Fidelito C. Cortes. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies, including Forbidden Fruit, Song of Ourselves, and Returning A Borrowed Tongue.

Michelle Macaraeg Bautista was born and raised in Oakland, CA to Pangasinan parents.  She comes from a long line of strong women from which she garners a great deal of inspiration.  A martial artist, performer, writer, activist, and soon-to-be academic, she hopes to look back on her life as accomplished.

Ria de Borja was born in Manila, Philippines, studied in Woodrose from the first grade through high school. She earned her BA in Creative Writing in from Wheaton College in Norton, MA. Her poems have been published in Rushlight and AKDA.

Sofiya Colette Cabalquinto graduated from Swarthmore College. Her poem “Overdue” won the MacGraw-Hill School Publishing Scholarship Prize.

Catalina Cariaga received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her first book of poems is Cultural Evidence. She is a contributing editor for Poetry Flash and her poems have appeared in ONTHEBUS and ZYZZYVA. She lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Virginia Cerenio is the author of a collection of poetry entitled Trespassing Innocence. She lives in San Francisco where she heads her own company which provides specialized transportation services to elderly and disabled persons.

Corinne Leilani Domingo was born and raised in Kahului, Maui, Hawai’i.  A recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship in Creative Writing, she has been published in The Asian Pacific American Journal and Hybolics: The Voices of Hawai’i.  She received her Bachelor’s in Journalism and Women’s Studies from New York University, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.  She is working on a novel.

Marjorie Evasco (b 1953) is an Associate Director for Poetry at De La Salle University, Manila. She is the author of two books of poems: Dream Weavers: Selected Poems 1976-1986 and Ochre Tones: Poems in English and Cebuano, and also the co-editor of Kung Ibig Mo: A Bilingual Anthology of Love Poems by Filipino Women. Among her international awards are residencies in Bellagio, Italy and Hawthornden Castle, Scottland. She lives and teaches in Manila.

Ma. Milagros Geremia-Lachica, formerly a research associate of the Center for West Visayan Studies of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas in Iloilo City, Philippines, has written and published poems in English and has won two writing grants from the Cultural Center of the Philippines for Kinaray-a Poetry and Playwriting.  She has also conducted and published a few studies on local West Visayan culture. She is currently residing in Neptune, New Jersey with her husband, Dante, and daughter, Camille.

Jean Vengua Gier is a second generation Filipina born in San Francisco and raised in Santa Cruz, California. Her work has appeared in Poetry Flash, Proliferation, Berkeley Poetry Collective, and in the anthologies Filipino Fiction and Returning A Borrowed Tongue.

Erna Hernandez earned her BA from Barnard College and is an active member of Arkipelago, a cultural organization dedicated to exploring Filipino heritage through arts related projects and programs. She lives in New York City and works at the Asian American Writer’s Workshop.

Leslieann Hobayan received her BA from Lafayette College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry has been published in The Marquis and The New York Quarterly. She also won the  MacKnight Black Poetry Prize.

Luisa A. Igloria (b 1961) (formerly published as Maria Luisa Aguilar-Cariño) is the author of Cordillera Tales, Cartography: A Collection of Poetry on Baguio, Encanto: New Poems, In the Garden of the Three Islands, and Blood Sacrifice.  Among her many awards are the George Kent Prize for poetry, Illinois Arts Council Award, three National Book Awards from the Manila Book Critics Circle, eleven Palanca Awards, a Cambridge Summer fellowship and residency at Hawthornden Castle. Her poems have appeared in PoetryBomb, TriQuarterly and The Washington Post. She earned a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Illinois, Chicago while on a Fulbright grant.

Marra PL Lanot’s (b 1940) books of poetry are Sheaves of Things Burning, Flowers of the Sun, and Passion and Compassion. She is a founding member of Women Writers in Media Now (WOMEN) and has served in various posts with the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Fatima Lim-Wilson (b 1961) is the author of Wandering Roots 1978-1988/From the Hothouse 1989-1990 and Crossing the Snow Bridge, which won the Journal Award in Poetry and was published by Ohio State University Press. She holds a PhD in Literature from the University of Denver and an MA from State University of New York, Buffalo. Her poems have consistently appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and the Kenyon Review. She is also the winner of a Pushcart Prize in Poetry.

Elynia S. Mabanglo is the recipient of a Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature Hall of Fame; the Commission on Filipino Language’s Makata ng Taon (Poet of the Year); and the Manila Critics Circle  National Book Award for Poetry for Mga Liham ni Pinay (The Letters of Pinay).  She is a professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where she teaches Tagalog language and Philippine literature in the Department of Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures.

Angela Manalang-Gloria (1907-1996) graduated from the University of the Philippines with a PhB in Literature, summa cum laude. She was the literary editor of the Philippines Herald Midweek Magazine. Her book Poems was the first full-length collection of poems published by a Filipino woman.

Cristina Martinez-Juan was born and raised in the Philippines. She earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Farah Montesa is a Filipina American activist and poet.

Barb Natividad was born in Quezon City, Philippines and raised in Chicago, Illinois.  She attended high school at the Chicago Academy for the Arts where she studied music.  A former drummer for several Chicago-area rock bands, Barb received her BA from DePaul University and she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing in Ohio.

Yolanda Palis was born and raised in the Philippines. In the early 80’s she went to Europe and worked as a nanny for several European families. In the 90’s she moved to Washington DC where she published a collection of poetry Various Times. She is completing her first novel I Am Not Weird, I Am Marginal.

Celine Salazar Parreñas is a poet and an internationally screened filmmaker. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature with a designated emphasis in Film at Stanford University. Her poems have been included in the anthologies Premonitions and Making More Waves.

Cristina Querrer grew up in and around Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines as an Amerasian child. Her poems have been published in Ebbing Tide, Adam of If: Black Women in Praise of Black Men, and The Fairfield Review.  She lives with her children, Tiana and Joseph in Norwich, Connecticut.

Barbara J. Pulmano Reyes’s poetry, short stories, and photography are featured in Maganda, Filipinas, Liwanag II, and on the CD Infliptration: A Youngblood R.evolution.  She has performed with Teatro ng Tanan and Kearny Street Workshop.

Michella Rivera-Gravage works at Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco.  She is currently working on a video project that is structured by three of her poems.

Darlene Rodrigues is a third generation Filipina born and raised in Hawai’i. She received an MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA and teaches part-time at California State University, Fullerton. Her poems have appeared in Disorient, Amerasia Journal, and Liwanag 2. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Melissa S. Salva’s poems and stories have appeared in the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, Philippines Free Press, the Nouveau literary folio, the Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction and Water in the Ring of Fire.  Some of her work is online, as well.  She edited Likhaan, the online literary magazine of the UP Creative Writing Center.

Marisa de los Santos was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Virginia. She holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first book, From the Bones Out, won the James Dickey Poetry Prize from South Carolina University Press.

Nadine L. Sarreal was born in Seattle to Filipino parents. She is the author of two books of poetry Start of Infinity and In the Fullness of Time. She worked as a programmer during her 18 year hiatus between her books of poems and she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College.

Shakira Andrea Sison is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Veterinary Medicine.  Her works have appeared in the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, Philippine Star, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. She was a fellow in the 35th UP National Writers’ Workshops in Davao City. As co-founder of the only university-based lesbian organization in the Philippines, the UP Sappho Society, Kia spends most of her time promoting lesbian advocacy in the country.

Irene Suico Soriano was born in Malangas, Zamboanga del Sur in 1969. She was raised half in Manila and half in Hollywood, California. Her poems have appeared in Clamour dyke Ôzine, Flippin’: Filipinos on America, Maganda, Philippines Free Press, and Solidarity Journal. Her collection of poetry Safehouses was published by Disorient Journalzine/AISAREMA as part of their Emerging Writers Chapbook Series.

Edith  L.Tiempo (b. 1919) studied with Paul Engle at the Iowa Creative Writing Workshops in the late 50’s and earned a PhD in English from the University of Denver. With her late husband, Edilberto, she co-founded and ran the prestigious Silliman University Writers Workshop. Her published books include: The Tracks of Babylon, The Charmer’s Box, Abide, Joshua A Blade of Fern, His Native Coast, and Alien Corn. She was named as the first woman National Artist in Literature by the Philippine govenment.

Rowena Torrevillas (b 1951) has been the recipient of a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial award and Writers’ Union of the Philippines awards for her poetry and fiction. She is the author of Upon the Willows and Other Stories and Mountain Sacraments, Selected Poems.  With Paul Engle she edited The World Comes to Iowa.

Doris Trinidad worked for the Manila Times, Focus, Times Journal and Woman’s Home Companion. Her books include two collections of essays, Looking Glass and Permutations of Love.

Sign up for our Quarterly Newsletter