Journeys home and forward: Reflections from the 2017 Kaya Co. Fellows

If you had only one word to describe your Fellowship experience, what would it be?

Kaya Conversations: Zack Frial

Earlier this year, Zack Frial began to compile an online library of Filipino/Diasporic literature. It quickly evolved into a huge collaborative spreadsheet!

A different kind of homecoming

It’s easy to say that I thought I was coming to the Philippines for another “routine” visit with my family - that it was going to be nothing more than another boring, mundane trip that I would have to sit through.

Manila and the adjacent possible

I realized that Manila could be more than what people have given up on, that our generation could change the narrative.

Transformative resilience

I saw the Philippines, for the first time, as a place full of hope, rather than a place full of suffering.

Coming full circle

Through the years, I have had to get used to living in between—in between countries, in between cultures, in between identities. I am half Filipina, half Egyptian. I have lived half of my life in the Philippines with my maternal Filipino family, half in the United States with my Filipina mother and American (step)father.* My whole life I have always been just half.

Why are you here?

Coming into the Kaya Co. Fellowship, I was prepared for tough questions.