Filipina Victoria Conlu, a 23-year-old Daly City native, has been writing since she could clumsily form letters with chubby little hands. Growing up in a Tagalog-speaking home, she easily came to identify herself as a proud Filipino American. Her first novel, Sampaguita Roots (named for sampaguita, the national flower of the Philippines), is set to be released this fall, pending editing and formatting schedule.
Sampaguita Roots is the story of a young Filipina American who goes on a trip to the Philippines to trace the whereabouts of her estranged father. Her only clues are a series of old letters, some dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The letters introduce her to a past of entangled in times of war and unrest, and a family legacy molded by the country’s history.
Conlu feels that reintroduction to cultural roots is an essential part of identity formation, especially in the Asian American community, and hopes that Sampaguita Roots will reach as many people as possible, not limited to the Filipino American community. Her hope is that Sampaguita Roots will encourage readers of all ages and ethnicities to make the journey to reconnect with their heritage.
A Kickstarter campaign for Sampaguita Roots is currently active, taking pre-orders and pledges for the novel. If successful, the proceeds will go to purchasing copies for bookstores and libraries, as well as promotional materials and publicity events if funds allow.
Book Cover Design ©Obey Llamas 2012