“You are chasing a history that doesn’t belong to you.” It was the year of my thirtieth birthday, and I had just told my Dad that I wanted to go to the Philippines for the first time. I didn’t really know how to process what he said, but I understood the feeling. It brought back this familiar frustration that I felt growing up, and in that moment I realized as an adult, that I never connected with my cultural identity. I was scared that he was right and that I shouldn’t go.

Since 2007, I have been crossing the San Ysidro border because I found the feelings of comfort and home there, which I never understood until I first went to the Philippines in 2013. On the drive to my Grandmothers house, from Manila, I saw Tijuana in all the streets, walls, textures and colors. Without knowing exactly why, I embraced those feelings of home, that perpetuate my need to cross the San Diego - Tijuana border more frequently.

These photographs explore a landscape that doesn’t exist in real life, they represent the places that I long for, and the comfort that I feel when I cross the border. Growing up in San Diego, along one of the busiest borders in the world, I frequently recall memories of the Philippines which make me question my own relationship with land, barriers and distance and how it influences my changing concept of home. Images for this project have been collected between 2007-2018.



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