Three Filipino Princesses



 13”x9,” colored pencil, origami paper, & PVA glue on trace paper 

“Three Filipino Princesses” is a piece about immigration and personal myth.  Due to issues with the American immigration system, my three older sisters lived in the Philippines until I was 10.  Unable to visit regularly, my main form of connection was through photographs.  As a little girl I loved to look at three photos of them in particular.  Sitting with one foot crossed under the other, hands clasped demurely, in their best dress, my sisters looked not unlike my favorite princess Snow White. 

Each of my sisters is dressed in a different color: red, blue, and yellow. Coincidentally not only are these the colors of Snow White’s dress, but are also the colors of the Filipino flag.  And not unlike the Filipino flag, accented with a yellow sun and stars, the youngest of my three sisters is accented by a pair of yellow socks. 

Drawn on trace paper, my sisters appear as ghosts, much like their presence in my early years of life: not physically there, but still present, like the way fairytales are—unreal, but ever in our hearts and minds.  Layered on top of each other, with one aspect from each of their outfits, they together become simultaneously a symbol of the Philippines as well as a symbol of American culture.

*scroll down to see photographs