+Coffee, Grief, and Gratitude Podcast guest. November 2023. Listen here or wherever you listen to podcasts: Coffee, Grief, and Gratitude Podcast, “Grief as a Portal” November 22, 2023. I share about how the Five Gates (not stages) of grief helped me to live in better relationship to my inherited ancestral grief as a second generation Filipino American, along with growing my understanding of how Filipino Americans and chronically ill folks carry grief in our bodies. 

+”Coffee Talk #42″ From Coffee and Grief community. January 7, 2023. Five readers’ words (and images) on grief. In order: Laurie Easter, Dusty Holt Bryndal, Briezer Huling, Stephanie Silenti, Ella deCastro Baron

+September 10, 2022. Preview, Alumni Reading & Share for, “Where We Come From: Writing Your Ethnoautobiography.” Corporeal Writing’s “Where We Come From: Writing Your Ethnoautobiography” will begin its next generative lab cohort on Sept. 27, 2022. Come and listen to alumni share stories and art inspired* last year’s course! This was a welcoming space to preview what we do, ask questions, and engage with alumni and facilitators. (*seeded, cross-pollinated, cultivated, composted, re-potted, freed into the wild)

For a general overview, the video includes:
  • information on “Community Invitations and Provocations” and how they are shaped by the BIPOC members, how we practice deep (somatic) listening, sample portals from last year’s cohort.
  • several creative stories (in many forms) from alumni from last year’s cohort: Cali Linfor, Joanna Mailani Lima, Alexis Macnab, Kimberly “Kimchee” Kaminski, Margaret Reed, Gimi Willie, Eloisa Guanlao, Vex Kaztro.
  • each alumni offered context on what writing portals they responded to along with their reflections on what they gained & grew from being in the community.
  • This was not on the recording but is noteworthy: Someone asked, “What if a person cannot write about their family of origin?” For example, they are adopted, or there are no records or living relatives, or it is too painful. Responses from alumni and facilitators:  You have agency to shape your experience as you discern. In this course, we define ancestors as those of “love, blood, and spirit.” Many people in this position explored chosen ancestors (e.g. literary; political; non-human ancestors like a tree/elements of nature; kinship groups;  adopted/earned communities like LGBTQ+ and other places of belonging).

+March 7, 2022. Salo-Salo for [Brown] Women’s Herstory Month 2022. This global Salo-Salo (Filipino term for “banquet, gathering”) offered compelling, imaginative, sacred, unforgettable multi-media storytelling by Kimberly “Kimchee” Kaminski, Vex Kaztro, Rosario Rosario (Rose Sabangan), and Gimi Willie. These Creatives embody stories woven with the Philippines, transracial adoption, family, mixed ‘race’ complexity, Indigeneity, pirates, and more. Participants at the virtual feast also created hay(na)ku, a Filipino poetic form, as an ekphrastic engagement with Mattaja Willie’s self-portrait. (Hosted by Ella deCastro Baron, this is a passion project in partnership with the Lacuna Collective, in the spirit of Kapwa.)

Enjoy the recording here.

+Oct. 25, 2021. Salo-Salo for Filipino American Herstory Month 2021. This was our first global, virtual Salo-Salo, a rich spread of nourishing subos (bites) and baon (morsels for later) as we gather to be fed by the dynamic kwentuhan (storytelling) of our Ates (big sisters) Vex Kaztro, Rose Sabangan, Joanna Mailani Lima, Antonette Sespene-Anderson, & hosted by Ella deCastro Baron. We even wrote our own Filipino-style poems (“hay[na]ku”, invented by Eileen Tabios). A hands-n-hearts on banquet of Filipino American identity–complex, dynamic, savory, and sweet-tart like kalamansi and sinigang. Kain na! (Let’s eat!)

Enjoy this recorded feast here.

+Coffee Time #26 hosted by Coffee and Grief. Here is the recorded hour of five readers on our griefs (which, btw, I discovered while listening is just like any powerful art, i.e. anytime I’m with Creatives, we are metabolizing grief in some way! It shows us who we are, inside and out.)

Ella read a piece about the ‘layers’ of the masks we wear, soon to be in her next book. It is called, “Mask On, Mask Off, Mask On Again: A Coronavirus Quiz.” It starts at about minute 41: Coffee Time #26

+San Diego City College Social Justice and Education Conference and So Say We All present VAMP (Visual Audio Monologue Performance)

VAMP wake up! Spring 2021 It is the work of our lives to hold space for this anti-racist ritual of listening to each other, of realizing how much connects us, no matter how different our lived experiences. These stories are from our beautifully diverse community: Native, Chamorro, Thai, queer, poor, Black, young, middle-aged, bi-national. They will also wake us up: to the gifts, losses, and truths of chosen and inherited family; to wanderlust and seeing the world; to anti-Black brutality as a young child; to what matters when a mom is dying; to shenanigans in another country; to family separation & resiliency. Professor Trissy McGhee and I had the honor and inimitable joy to work with SD City College students, produced and hosted by So Say We All, to share their true stories on the theme, “Wake Up!” 

March 24, 2021–livestreamed on Twitch. Here is the YouTube with closed captioning:


+“A Conspiracy of Lemurs” podcast, “Surviving Racism in a Global Pandemic: Being Black or Brown in America during the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

Alicia Mosley and Ella deCastro Baron, contributors to the anthology, (Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences During the Coronavirus Pandemic, and Joanell Serra, coeditor of (Her)oics, (Pact Press, March 2021) discuss their contributed stories: “Mosley’s Mothering while Black during the Pandemic” and deCastro Baron’s “Bahala Na.”  In conversation with Pam and Jaynie, they consider the impact culture and race has had on their communities’ experience of the pandemic. Ella deCastro Baron is a second generation Filipinx American professor and author living in San Diego, California. Alicia Mosley is a poet and fiction writer, a mother of four, and a community educator. She earned her MEd in Curriculum Development and MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside.


+”Washed and Worn” co-written piece by Ella & Chris Baron. Chris and I offered this recorded reading as part of Filipinx American History Month 2020, a virtual presentation for San Diego State Univ.’s APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) Resource Center. It’s a newlywed ‘dirty laundry’ tale of mixing “white” and “color” to (try and) make a new marriage. We read an adapted version from an essay previously published in Lavanderia: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Words.


+San Diego State University (SDSU) MFA 30th Anniversary Celebration (Verbatim Books). The energy of this space! The whole wall of books! (And if you can get lost in their store FULL of used, rare, and new books…ahh, such magic!)

+Skin Story: A Homecoming


This is one of the photos as part of professional photographer, Rachel Liu’s project called, “Homecoming.” For me, coming home means the salt-water healing of the Pacific, dancing hula, and embracing all the layers of my itchy, brown skin as an Asian American child of immigrants. Find more of Rachel Liu’s powerful work here.


+Sariling Atin: We Are Our Stories, Mesa College & Kapwa Learning Community 2017, 2019, 2020

San Diego Mesa College and the Kapwa Learning Community host Filipinx American storytellers during Filipino American History Month (FAHM) in October. I savor these totes enchanting, hilarious, dynamic ‘n diasporic beauties each year I’m hashtagblessed to join.


+San Diego Writers, Ink: Second Sunday Author Series: Women’s Voices, Women’s Stories. A Collaboration of the Women’s Museum of California and San Diego Writers, Ink. The Women’s Museum, Barracks 16, Liberty Station, April 9, 2017

A Little Hula with the Prose!

Thank you to all the storytellers that added life and dimension to the day: Chris Baron, Jeana Ka’ala Ka’io Mahlangeni-Byndon, Vanessa Llamas Mateus Teri Leinaala Perez Rod and the beautiful choreography of Makani Kai Polynesian Dance Troupe!

Here is a taste of the hula


+”Sariling Atin: We Are Our Stories” 2014

Performances from the November 2014 Filipino American storytelling showcase, “Sariling Atin: We Are Our Stories.” Filmed at the San Diego Central Downtown Library. Special thanks to Erwin Magbanua. For upcoming shows and opportunities to participate and donate, visit So Say We All. This is a true story of racism in the South that took me two decades to unpack. [Content Warning: use of the “N” word]


+Ella with Kathy Khang, 100 years ago (give or take)

Renowned Writer, Speaker, Coffee drinker, Kathy Khang includes Ella in her list of of Christian Asian American female leaders who would be great resources for other leaders, churches, conferences and organizations


+Based On…A Literary Journal:  an Interview with Ella deCastro Baron (2014)


+Grossmont College’s 14th Annual Literary Arts Festival (2010)