Vianna Mabanag

New Maharlika

Mentor: Nomi Morris

Proposed Project

My project will be a collection of essays on modern Filipino culture that will seek to explore colorism, fetishization, and work culture as it pertains to women.

The first essay will focus on colorism (a form of discrimination that praises lighter skin over darker skin), and how it creates an industry and culture that embraces western beauty standards and rejects indigeneity. The second essay will explore the relationship between foreign men and Filipino women. Specifically, how fetishization generates dating and sex tourism, and the internet’s role in exploiting or advertising these lifestyles. The third essay will document experiences from women working abroad. Some Filipino women spend years away from their family to provide, creating a new definition of what it means to be a breadwinning mother in a developing country with a low gender wage gap.

All essays will be written in long form creative nonfiction with a goal for publishing in literary journals and magazines

Final Project

New Maharlika​ is a three-part personal essay collection by Vianna Mabanag. Each piece explores modern issues surrounding women in the Philippines: work and motherhood, beauty standards and belonging, fetishization and sex tourism. It is written from a creative nonfiction standpoint with a focus on literary journalism.

Read my essays at the website I created.