I have two home countries: the Philippines, where I was born and raised; and Japan, where my parents are from. I grew up with a very clear sense of my Japanese heritage, but also developed deep understanding and appreciation of Filipino culture. I have always wanted to contribute to both countries in some way, and I am very happy to have the opportunity to do so through my linguistic research. Recently, I have also started reclaiming my Ryukyuan heritage through research, and I feel very fortunate to have such an opportunity. Because of my upbringing, I am also interested in issues surrounding third culture kids, ethnic/linguistic minorities, and diaspora communities, and I have been invited to give a lecture based on my personal experience on a few occasions.
After I left the Philippines at the age of 15, I have moved around quite a bit. I lived in Kobe, Chiba, and Tokyo in Japan, and moved to Pittsburgh for Master’s, and lived in Honolulu for 5 years while I did my PhD. Every single place I have lived in has contributed to my complex cultural and linguistic identity.