Life in Asheville was- vibrant, passionate, intoxicating, inspiring, challenging, satiating and a place where I felt such a luscious empowerment as a woman, as an artist, as a siren, as- me.
My home base is Manila. I grew up going to an international school, riding horses competitively, and commercial modeling to pay for such an expensive passion. Through many departures and arrivals, my parents enlightened the adventurer within me and I thrived on exploring the world.I found my way to Asheville through an unknown passion for dance, and an even more genuine discovery of honest community.
Given my history, it was rare that I would actually want to live somewhere within the US, but living in Asheville was without a doubt, the happiest I had ever been. I built a humble nest in the only town in all of America that I felt I could find happiness and make some money to make it back home to Asia. I wasn’t ready to start a career, but I was ready to feel alive.
So now? I live in Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines where I am currently a part of the World Wildlife Fund Philippines- Whale Shark Photo Identification project. Large congregations of whale sharks come to feed on plankton here in Donsol (they are sharks, not whales) and the WWF have been advocating for their conversation since 1999.
This photo identification project lets my inner mermaid shine, as it is my responsibility to dive down so that I am parallel to the whale shark and take a photo of the area above its pectoral fin. Whale shark spots are similar to human fingerprints and through pattern recognition we are able to track the migration patterns and manage records of whale sharks across the world.
Being back in the Philippines is like being home, but I miss Asheville on the daily. I’m certainly not complaining about sunsets spent in my hammock by the ocean with a fresh mango shake in hand, but some of the most amazing people and experiences I have ever known are embodied in my memories from Asheville.
Truth be told, I don’t have future plans to return as I have finally broken free of America’s overly patriotic clutches and the world has far too many back alleys, food carts and coral reefs that I need to discover.
Next on the agenda- Moving to Bali, Indonesia to be a flying trapeze instructor.