• Zachary Anderson

Chopsticks Alley Pinoy: Letter from Co-Editor Zachary FR Anderson

Dear Readers:

To start, I would like to thank Chopsticks Alley Chief Editor Trami Cron for giving me the opportunity to co-edit Chopsticks Alley Pinoy with co-editor and fellow literary geek Asela Lee Kemper. It truly is much appreciated.

To introduce myself, I was born in Santa Barbara County–– like all my siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I moved to Sacramento when I was a teenager and went to school in the Bay Area. Overall, I consider California my home.

Before transferring to California College of the Arts–– where I got my BA in Writing and Literature–– I went to Sacramento City College where I was an editor and writer for the student newspaper there. As a result, my journalism experience will actively be informing me on how I lead this publication.

Filipinos are people who made home in hundreds of places over hundreds of years. There were of course the indigenous Negritos as well as the Austronesian migrants who both called the Philippine islands home. When the Spanish colonized the archipelago, Filipinos manned the galleons that sailed between Manila and Mexico. In Dubai and Saudi Arabia, Filipinos work as domestics in hotels and office buildings.

Across the United States in places like Los Angeles, Stockton, Philadelphia, and New York, remnants of Filipinotowns and Little Manilas and their dance halls where the first Pinoy migrants spent their weeks’ wages on taxi dances during the ‘20s and ‘30s stand in the shadows of massive freeways and condominium developments. In California’s Central Valley, young Pinoys drive past the fields and orchards their grandparents once worked half a century ago. At the same time in the Bay Area, middle-aged Pinoys–– the unsung pioneers of hip-hop–– teach their children how to work a turntable or start a new popular dance in TikTok.

Young Pinoys occupy classrooms and labs and libraries on every major college campus in the country. Some train to become nurses–– frontline fighters of the current pandemic–– while others engage themselves in the social justice demonstrations of today.

The core goal of Chopsticks Alley Pinoy is to tell stories that reveal the rich complexity of the Filipino diasporas. We are not a monolith–– according to the US Census there are over 4.1 million Filipino Americans –– and Pinoys who do not fit into the box of what’s considered quintessentially Filipino deserve to know that.

Of course, even with these lofty goals, we will have blindspots. That is why I encourage readers to submit story ideas to us or become contributors to the site. This site was created to highlight our community, and our work should most certainly reflect this.

So let’s get to work.

––Zachary FR Anderson

If you like stories like this, subscribe to Chopsticks Alley.

Zachary FR Anderson

Chopsticks Alley Pinoy Contributor

Zachary FR Anderson is SoCal born and NorCal raised. He is an Occidentalist, writer, and lover of books. He resides in Sacramento.

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