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Welcome to Turning East

This website features recorded interviews which were edited to be read but also to retain the language of the individual storyteller–edited oral history. The writing/telling style of the posts varies from one to another. Sometimes with a name change to protect privacy. The interviews begin in 1985 and continue into the present. Almost all are set in  China, Korea, Japan or the Philippines and center on personal, intercultural experience of life, work and travel. Occasionally I include a story of my own. I’ve now gone to posting once a month.

Years ago I was flooded with spam comments and posts–over … Read More

A Very Inclusive Spirituality

I met Reverend Tet when a friend in Japan suggested I join her at a Zoom talk by the President of the Unitarian Universalist Church in the Philippines, Tet Gallardo. Her spirituality is very eclectic and includes both Islam and Buddhism. A few days later the two of us talked via Facebook Messenger. Thanks to Tet for the photos.

The Zoom talk began with this poem, which proved to be an excellent introduction and summary of what she had to say:

There’s My Temple

By Ma Theresa “Tet” Gustilo Gallardo

There’s my temple!
Believer, unbeliever or wild one.
You are … Read More

A Freelance Digital Ninja in the Philippines, Part 2

For me as a writer it’s gratifying to “publish” on the website every month without having to spend millennia trying to find an agent, which is what I’m doing with the first novel manuscript. But there’s a lot more involved with a website than I knew when I started this in 2009.

In Part 1 of this post, Junno Gonzales details what’s involved in setting up and maintaining a website if you do it properly, which I did not. In Part 2 we discuss the human side, like freelance work, possible communication problems, and the dynamics of international work. 

Junno’s

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A Freelance Digital Ninja in the Philippines, Part 1

When I was in Oregon in July 2009, I hired a friend of a friend to set up a website for me. He used an all-purpose theme from WordPress. Later he made some adjustments because I couldn’t access it from the Philippines. Then he disappeared. I was unable to find anyone here to help me. I knew nothing about websites, but managed to figure out enough to post regularly.

Ten or eleven years later I found a developer who remodeled the site, and I was delighted that he clearly understood the material I was uploading. On the front end, the Read More

Author Interview: Donna Miscolta on “Living Color”

Donna Miscolta’s two previous books each reflect one side of her ethnic background, a Filipino-American family in When the Dela Cruz Family Danced (Link) and a Mexican American family in Hola and Goodbye (LINK). Her latest book is Living Color (Link), a collection of stories tracing the life of a Mexican American girl, Angie Rubio, from kindergarten through high school. This book trailer provides a peak at the book’s protagonist and themes. (Link)

Donna and I spoke on Skype when she was at home in Seattle and I was at home in the Read More

A Prisoner in Paradise

This is a story of being caught in a period of uncertainty between three SE Asian countries during the pandemic. The people are kind and friendly, the scenery is gorgeous, but inner turmoil and perhaps isolation keep the mind a prisoner.

In March 2019, Virginia and I posted an account of her teaching experience at one of the most prestigious high schools in China. Basically, she credited her students with giving her the most rewarding teaching experience she’d ever had, but she liked little else about the job or China. (Link)

Virginia and I spoke over Facebook Read More