introduction to me – a pechakucha retelling

Note: I have been having some technical difficulties with the images, please bear with me 🙂

this is everything i couldn’t say in 20 seconds


birth. I was born in Makati, Philippines to relatively well off parents. They were well educated, going to the top schools of the country. A common practice within the Philippines is to hire help with the cleaning and cooking in the house. My mom, being born into a wealthy family, never needed to learn routine household chores. However, as highly intelligent individuals, my parents excelled in matters of social and professional circumstances, as hard working as they were and continue to be. Before marrying my dad, it has been my mom’s plan to migrate to Canada.


immigration. My mom had the opportunity to immigrate to Canada as part of some educated workforce program, so after the ripe age of one, my family of three started a new life in Calgary. A year after, my brother was born. As grateful as I am to be living in the best country in the world, I am unable to speak my native tongue, I was deprived of being surrounded by and experiencing my culture.  I was taught at a young age that everything happens for a reason.


family. Rooted deep within Filipino culture is the importance of family – to love and respect parents, as we owe them everything we can give. I am fortunate that the mentality that was ingrained in me is to respect and repay my parents for all their sacrifices. I will never blame my parents for giving me everything; a better life in Canada, but there are times where I wish I could experience life in the Philippines. Moving here resulted in the need for my dad to upgrade, despite his prestigious education and owning his own engineering company in the Philippines. To God, I am forever grateful that our family was not affected in ways similar to other immigrant families, in which their education is completely disregarded.

My family is built on three pillars: love, respect, and trust. When one is broken, the entire structure breaks; therefore, I protect these pillars in the best way I can.


music. Another aspect deep rooted in my culture is the love of music. Growing up, my parents surrounded me with differing genres of RnB love ballads all the way to heavy metal. I would like to think that my taste in music is very diverse. I am very fond of playing three instruments at the basic level – ukulele, guitar, and piano. Although I’m less than mediocre at all three, I still find peace in being able to express myself through the lyrics hidden behind the beautiful melody. This photo in particular is of one of my best friends, Jed Tecson. We performed for Choir Night and it was one of my favourite moments of my life. There’s something about singing your heart out with someone you love, not worrying about anything else in the world.

drama. Drama has been a huge part of my life, especially entering the high school and participating in a few after school programs. I love the process of acting: analyzing and empathizing with a character I never would have been able to otherwise. It has always been “my thing”, and I was proud of that. I found a passion for telling stories in a way no other art form could. In grade 11, I had the opportunity to be a Teacher’s Assistant for Ms. Orchard’s grade 10 drama class, thinking I could bestow some of my knowledge and experience unto them. But I was very wrong. They taught me so much more and I am grateful for that.


drama (writing). In Drama 20, we had the privilege to explore script writing. And what a cathartic experience that was. Writing has become so important to me, being able to tell stories that allowed me to empathize and gain understanding of situations I could not grasp. I was able to find understanding in the tragic events that happened to my grandfather, the man’s life I based my class act off of. Of course, it was a very loose retelling, I added elements of my own imagination. Being able to produce this play with my very patient friend, Wasi Hossain, made me feel proud that I was able to help create something meaningful from the ground up.


religion. The biggest part of my life is my religion. It provides my life with structure, it is my way of living, and it gives me true peace that I cannot find anywhere else. From a young age, I have been taught the importance of serving God. I thank my parents for raising me with such strong faith, because without which, I would not be a happy or fulfilled person. It is difficult to explain the meaning of religion to me in such a few amount of words, so all I will say that it is my everything.


youth (binhi). The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) has different organizations based on age groups in order to edify the brethren in the most effective ways. The organization to which I belong is the Binhi (translating to seed), for those who are under 18 and baptized, similar to a youth group. I have many leadership offices within the Binhi, in charge of creating activities and overseeing the brethren under my care. It is always so inspiring to me to be surrounded by people my age that share the same level of faith that I do. We try our best to be a place where those our age can find solace and a place of belonging. It fuels my desire to fulfill a greater purpose in my life.


#mmblife. I have taken up a new office in my church – a member of the multimedia bureau. In essence, we cover all the church activities similar to the way you might see on the news. There are many subsections within the MMB, including: photographers, videographers, production assistants, writers, correspondents, producers, etc. I am a writer and a correspondent, responsible for reporting at events the church hosts. I was able to find a new passion in writing for the church that perpetuates the fulfillment I feel when producing something that will help the church. I realized that this is what I want to do.


what i look for in the future. I want to pursue a greater purpose, much larger than myself, alone – this is my reason for living. Maybe my writing can reach the far lands of the earth and help someone someday. For this purpose, I had to sacrifice a passion of mine, drama, to be able to take this class. With absolutely zero regrets, I know that this is just God’s plan for me. I can dedicate my life to a higher purpose in the noblest way I can. I want to study in the Philippines, despite others’ experience with the unfortunate viewpoint of Filipino education system not amounting to the Canadian, or American, or British standard. I want to be able to experience my culture and learn my language and be independent. Although my future is absolutely terrifying, I am preparing to face it with the support of those around me. I am not alone and I am grateful.




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6 thoughts on “introduction to me – a pechakucha retelling

  1. Dear Mia,

    This pechakucha made me love you 1000x more than I already do. Sharing so much of yourself and your life can almost be as scary as writing an AP exam in May, or graduating. I love the honesty of your writing. Often times in order to impress others, I find people will present their life very glamorously or use fancy words in an attempt to sound more articulate. You never needed to do that. I found the most amazing parts of your pechakucha were the parts where you revealed your struggles and concerns with moving to Canada so young, and not being able to learn your language or experience your culture as much. I found that so moving, and I beg you to never lose that honesty in your writing ever. Period. Obviously, this wasn’t a formal assignment we had to do, so I found that when you took out capitals in your titles, it was very you, and only added to this amazing presentation I got to experience with you. I specifically loved when you mentioned the three pillars that held you, family, up- respect, love and trust. You reminded me that I can learn so much by just witnessing what happens in another individual’s life.

    I literally have been sitting here for a solid 15 minutes and can not think of a single thing to critic you on. How can I critic your life story, when I literally just went on a tangent about how I loved the parts of your life you shared that weren’t perfect?

    I think if I had to give feedback, I would say to work on the conciseness of your words. I think that the one thing that could be altered in this blog post would be the amount of what you say for each picture. Especially, because this project had a limit to the amount of description of each picture, I want you to try and see if you can make your words even more powerful by using less.

    Overall I loved this and I love you!

    With love
    – Petrina

    1. Dearest Dumpling:

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and write thoughtful feedback! It means a lot to me. I really appreciate that you have noticed my efforts in honesty within my writing. I believe to become a better writer, I must be more honest. I am so grateful that you find aspects in my piece that resonates with you. I will also definitely try to improve my concision skills – I have always struggled with that. I tend to be redundant, LOL! Thank you for always understanding me.

      I LOVE YOU 3000,
      mia 🙂

  2. *Mia, love of my life:

    Thank you for this presentation. Spoken, it was by far the most powerful and emotional presentations I have ever had the privilege of watching. Read, it was true in a way that few things are. Since grade 10, your writing has been so raw and real, and I really admire your willingness to get personal and invoke deep emotion. It’s something that I tend to shy away from, but your pieces make me want to push that limit. I feel so blessed to be in this class with you. Sorry for being mushy but it’s the truth.

    Maria :))

    1. Honestly, I love you more than myself. I AM STILL EMBARRASSED FOR CRYING, BUT I’M TRYING NOT TO CARE, LOL! Thank you for this comment. <3

  3. Dear Mia,

    I used a comma instead of a colon after your name to signify the emotional intent of this comment, because your piece really made me feel the calm craziness of you as a person. I think you captured the essence of your live presentation very well, and somehow translated it onto a page, which is very difficult. I loved the way you narrated the importance of family and faith to you, and I cried a little bit upon hearing of your sacrifices and struggle to maintain ties with your nationality.
    This piece was at once heartwarming and refreshing—I could really see a lot of your writing in your personality, but learned about you and your dreams more than I thought I would. Typically I don’t like it when people remove the capitals from their words, but I found that it worked seamlessly in maintaining a smooth flow to your work.
    My one bit of feedback would be to apply the flow of your personality in all of your writing. One example of this is when you talked about writing in drama: “In Drama 20, we had the privilege to explore script writing. And what a cathartic experience that was.”
    I understand your stylistic purposes of doing so, but I feel like having a period between “writing” and “and” makes it choppy. Instead, I would recommend using a long dash, but it’s up to you.
    Excellent job, Mia. I look forward to reading more of your work, and I am so glad to be seated near you this year.

    With admiration,


    1. Zaid,

      I have also used a comma to signify my emotional tone with this response. I honestly thank you for writing such a heartfelt comment. I really did not expect it, and honestly, it made me quite emotional (when am I not?). I have so much respect for you and Petrina, especially, because you are in my family group. I want to always show you both that I am capable of doing this class with such intelligent people (even though I can’t sometimes). Thank you for your advice and always believing in me. It means the world.

      Love you forever,
      mia 🙂

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