annual issue | 2015–2016

Artwork: "Heaven and Hell" by Eliseo Art Silva. 


Melissa R. Sipin, Editor-in-Chief
Bel Poblador, Managing Editor

Janice Sapigao, Associate Editor


Hello readers, friends, and community—old and new—to TAYO issue 5.

Some of you have been with us since the beginning, while others are newer to these pages. When TAYO started in 2009, it began as a collective space for Filipina/o and Filipina/o American voices to share their stories. But over the years, as the editorial staff changed and evolved, as we listened more closely to the stories that shifted and knifed us, our community and our readers became larger and more diverse than before, bigger than we could have imagined. We began to hear echoes of our pain, our joys, our nuanced experiences in stories both within and without the Filipina/o community. We realized that TAYO was a platform for many diasporic voices, especially those that penerate, lift, and strike at the emotive truth of all things lost and adrift.

Although we—especially as three women writers of color—don’t often see ourselves represented in mainstream literature nor in Literature with that capital L, we noticed that there was a shared community—a shared ache, a longing for space—with other people of color and marginalized groups. And so we opened up to more diasporic voices, encouraged all writers and artists to submit work that spoke to a core truth of what it is to be lost and unmoored—to feel an ever-present absence.

Within these pages are beautiful, complex pieces that illuminated something personal and difficult within us. In Amalia Bueno’s “Home Remedies,” food manifests itself as the tension and remedy for leaving home; Christine No’s poem “Sapling (for my father)” speaks to how an absence can exhaust, metastasize, and transform; and Luisa A. Igloria reminds us that we—artists who write among the margins—too write of “other, larger things / even when [we] slipped a river stone into a line, or a chorus / of frogs and the burnt smell of certain mornings.” We chose a mixture of established and emerging voices to highlight the power of collective storytelling. We are interested in the generational: stories, voices, perspectives. There are a plethora of contexts and backgrounds and themes, and yet the stories are speaking to each other, opening up necessary conversations, and meeting at a place of understanding and elegant collision.

As we continue to grow, TAYO is committed to cultivating a community-centered national readership. Our scope has widened because we’ve found that we share such moving and powerful stories with other oppressed and marginalized peoples. This act of community-building, of expansion and growth, necessitates the kind of solidarity and exposure that we hope to provide. 

Lastly, we wish to thank you, our readers—both old and new. We believe we have the family we are born into, and then we have the family that we choose. You are our chosen family, our community. We hope you feel as anchored and at home in these stories and in these pages as we do. Welcome.

So here you are. Your clothes are polyester, and most of your teeth are removable. You think you’re going to lose the accent you speak English with, but you won’t. You don’t know yet that you’ll never see a ghost again, even though when you were younger you saw them all the time. Something about this new country interferes with your ability to sense them; idly you think maybe this is part of the transition of becoming that thing you’re trying to become. An American.
— Elaine Castillo, PROOIMION, OR AITIA


Liz Mayorga
Christine No
Wina Puangco


Olivia Ayes
Rebecca Eckland
Laurel Fantauzzo
Rajpreet Heir


Elaine Castillo
Tara Dorabji
M. Evelina Galang
Kawika Guillermo
Khanh Ha
Kristabelle Munson
Kevin Langson
Anya Felice 
Sharon Yablon

pOETRY con't

Gerard Sarnat
Emeniano Somoza Jr.
Emily Yoon
Hananah Zaheer


Jan Bernabe
HumbLe Modesto
Monica Magtoto
Jonathan Reinert
Eliseo Art Silva


Neil Aitken
Amalia Bueno
Valentina Cano
Lawdenmarc Decamora
Alejandro Duarte
Luisa A. Igloria
Kenji Liu
Monica Macansantos
Simon Perchik
Ronaldo Recto
Barbara Jane Reyes
Chris Santiago

online Previews

Selected by Managing Editor Bel Poblador

Wina Puangco

Jonathan Reinert

Monica Magtoto

Kenji Liu

Emily Yoon

Olivia Ayes

Tara Dorabji

Rebecca Eckland

Kristabelle Munson

Liz Mayorga
Graphic Narrative

Now available at national Barnes & Noble retail stores!