Hat-tip to Holly Tse for organizing this interview!
Holly Tse: I actually wanted to ask you, speaking of looking forward and looking backwards, since this is a telesummit about Asian women owning your voices and sharing their voices with the world… Where were you born and what is your ethnicity?
Sacha Chua: I grew up in Manila. My mom and my dad and my middle sister are still there. It was actually very difficult to move to Canada in the first place. Coming from a tropical country from the Philippines… Oookay, winter is really scary. Anyway, I grew up in the Philippines. I love love love all sorts of things that I miss from there. Mangoes, and my friends, and all of that stuff… And of course, family and relatives… anyway, so. The Philippines! And Canada! Now I have two homes. I’m definitely Filipino. I will still cook with bagoong and patis and try to get by with… In Toronto, it’s fantastic. You’re surrounded by all the different ethnicities. I always hear Filipino accents around. It’s like being home except it occasionally gets cold. Anyway, that’s my story. I moved to Canada in 2005 to pursue my master’s because I was offered a scholarship, and hey, why not… And then I fell in love, which is rather inconvenient when you’re planning to move back home. So that kinda helped me tough it out until I discovered the trick to dealing with winter.
The trick to dealing with winter, by the way, is to call it baking season, and then to bake.
HT: Yeah, I’m originally from Toronto, I know how cold winter can be up there. I’m in California now, so I’ve turned into a softie now.
SC: You get no sympathy from me whatsoever if you complain about the weather. Anyway, that’s another the blog has really helped me. I’ve been writing about all these stories. I can tell how I grew out of most of my homesickness. Still hits every so often, but I can see those shifts. I can use these stories to keep in touch with my friends back home, and to make new friends here as well. It’s been really, really helpful for me. Even with Facebook and Twitter and Google Plus and all these other social networks, there’s still that need for a place to tell your own stories, share your pictures, and have these conversations without it being fragmented over all these different places.
I was glad that I’d gotten into writing, especially during those difficult times. I’m sure that whatever challenges come in the future, I will try best to write my way through them.