In September of 2014, my grandmother passed away in front of my eyes. I traveled abroad to the Philippines in order to fulfill my grandmother’s last wish to go home. With this trip, my parents were able to return to their homeland for the first time since their immigration thirty years ago. This rich and complex narrative digital storytelling piece works to showcase this cultural reconciliation. My digital medium works to connect with the audience, aiming to not only tell my story, but to base my search of identity on things that everyone can relate to— emotion. Including footage and oral histories that has been collected over many past years, those acted as catalysts for creating a story I’ve been curating for years. Connecting with one another is a complexly simple idea that needs to be addressed within our society. Incorporating both anthropological and sociological ideas and theories into a visual piece, there is a strong personal narrative with a mission that is presented through this trip. This digital story’s goal is to educate others about both the academic and interdisciplinary information behind this experience. For these places are no longer only places to me. They are my homes. I am a Junior at Whittier College as an Anthropology/Sociology major with a minor in Gender Studies. Originally from the Bay Area, I am able to broaden my perspective on the world by moving back and forth between her two homes. She is very involved in clubs and events on campus that but she also focuses on her independent professions such as being a photographer, filmmaker, and writer. She expands her mind by her interactions with others and is very qualified at one-on-one collaboration. She is able to bring different perspectives to mind in order to help other students, all while making the experience one that is efficient, healthy, and beneficial. She likes to be challenged mentally, partaking in many different viewpoints around the world with her stunning curiosity for others’ experiences. While my research is qualitative and not quantitative, throughout this personal narrative, the message is to showcase to people that we are all never alone in our grief. I address how this experience has shaped who I am and how differently I view the world now, at both a culturally relativistic standpoint and by letting my standpoint epistemology be turned upside down based on this change in life. Through this medium, I am able to translate a personal experience to a wider audience that is educational on both culture shock and differences among population to population. I tell the stories of my grandmother’s passing, my father’s reunion with his family, visiting the graves of our grandparents, and essentially the conciliation I am able to possess due to this extensive work done to produce this piece.
Project Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlA1tBpF5xg
Regina Loren Valencia: I, Regina Loren Valencia, am originally from San Francisco. I am a junior at Whittier College who majors in Anthropology/Sociology with a minor in Gender Studies. I am President Chair of the Mental Health Alliance of Whittier College, Vice-President Chair of the Women’s Leadership Association. I have helped develop academic curriculum for the anthropology department of my school and have been a project collaborator with my academic advisor. I’ve recently conducted independent research in the Philippines for a month and studied in Brazil for the 2018 winter term. I was inducted as a member of the Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honors Society as a sophomore, and have won the campus-run digital research competition two years in a row for my personal story and research. I look to this experience as not only a source of inspiration, but in hopes to thrive through collaboration in unity with others.