Our Staff

Keana Aguila Labra

Co-Editor in Chief, Founder

Keana Aguila Labra (they/them/she/her) is a Cebuana Tagalog Filipinx poet & writer in diaspora residing on stolen Ohlone Tamyen land. She works to provide a safe literary space for underserved & underrepresented communities as the Editor-in-Chief of literary magazine, Marías at Sampaguitas and the co-Founder of the BIPOC/LGBTQIA+ focused publishing press, Sampaguita Press. Outside of MAS & SamPress, she is the Interview Lead for the Walang Hiya Project, an arts collective centering Filipinxaos of marginalized genders & LGBTQ+ folks. She is also a fellow of the Kearny Street Interdisciplinary Writer’s Lab cohort of summer ’21 & currently a Barangay Tanod intern with the Bayanihan Center in San Francisco. In her free time, she is a book reviewer with City Book Review. She is the author of the chapbooks, No Saints (Lazy Adventurer Publishing) & Mohilak (Fahmidan Co. & Publishing) and Kanunay. She served as one of the Honorary Santa Clara County Poets Laureate of Oct. ’21 alongside Lorenz Mazon Dumuk. Her biggest secret is that Tagalogs can’t tell she’s Cebuano when she speaks Tagalog. Unfortunately, all Bisayans can tell she’s Tagalog when she speaks Cebuano.

Maria Bolaños

Co-Editor in Chief

Maria Bolaños (she/her/they) is a Filipina American poet, book reviewer, and co-Founder of Sampaguita Press. She is committed to building spaces to nurture and showcase Filipinxao literature as well as Black, Indigenous, and POC literature. She is a 2021 Best of the Net nominee, and her writing has been featured in US publications such as Touchstone, Cut Fruit Collective, and the International Examiner; and international publications such as Antigone and Yuzu Press, among others. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, SANA. See more of their work on Instagram @mariabeewrites and Twitter @mariabeewrites.

Dina Klarisse

Poetry & Issue Editor

Dina Klarisse (she/her) is a writer, poet, editor, and serial procrastinator based in the Bay Area. Poetry is her way of making sense of her experience as a queer Filipina American immigrant and recovering Catholic, as well as her interest in the intersections of history, language, culture, and identity. Her work has been published in ASU’s Canyon Voices, The Daily Drunk Mag, Chopsticks Alley, Kalopsia Literary Journal, among others. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, HANDSPUN ROSARIES. More of her writing can be found on her Instagram @hella_going and blog hellagoing.com.

Asela Lee Kemper

Prose Editor

Asela Lee Kemper (she/her/hers) is a poet and editor. She holds many positions including poetry editor at Variety Pack, Prose editor at Marías at Sampaguitas, and Editorial Director of BuliLit Series at Sampaguita Press. She also has published works in SOU Student Press, Flawless Mag: The Border Issue, Silk Club: QUIET, Reclamation Mag, and the anthology No Tender Fences. Asela uses her passion for creative writing to open conversations on diversity and identity in literature. She currently resides in Oregon, USA with her family. You can find Asela on Twitter @AselaLeeK and Instagram @thesakuraink.

Kelly Ritter

Art & Social Media Editor

Kelly Ritter (she/they) is a reader, writer, & crafter currently living life in Muncie, Indiana. She graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. When she’s not reading or tweeting, she’s outside practicing yoga or cuddling her kitties. You can find Kelly on Instagram, Twitter, & TikTok @KellyLovesLit

Noreen Ocampo

Editor

Noreen Ocampo (she/they) is a Filipina American writer and poet based in Atlanta. She is the author of two micro-chapbooks, Not Flowers (Variant Literature, forthcoming 2022) and Teaspoons (Daily Drunk Press, 2021), and their poems can also be found in {m}aganda Magazine, Depth Cues, Taco Bell Quarterly, and Hobart, among others. She is a blog co-editor and web editor for COUNTERCLOCK and studies English, film, and media at Emory University. Say hi on Twitter @maybenoreen!

Nashira de la Rosa

Editor

Nashira de la Rosa (she/her) is an Afro-Pinay Polynesian artist from Cebu, by way of Melbourne. She has a passion for writing about culture and history, and believes art is an essential learning tool we can all use to keep these things close to the heart. She can be found on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter @nashxra

Jennifer Nessel

Editor

Jennifer Nessel is a Baltimore teacher working with ESOL students in reading  and language arts. Their work can be found at Defunkt, Apple in the Dark, Flash  Frontier, among others. They live outside of Washington, D.C. with their partner  and two cats.

Isabel Angeles

Editor

Isabel Angeles (she/they) is a 22 year old non-binary and bisexual Filipina writer/ artist, recently graduated from UCLA.. Isabel’s poetry navigates her identity as a 1.5 Gen Filipina, her experiences with queer love, and love in general. She is also the founder of the Walang Hiya Project (@walanghiyaproject), an arts collective for Filipino/a/x folks or marginalized genders and LGBTQ+ Pinoys. The collective strives to be a safe space for expression, healing, and decolonization. You can find her at @roni.isabel on Instagram and her poetry at @buwanbeams!

Jillian Rogers

Social Media Coordinator

Jillian Rogers is an aspiring editor with two degrees in Creative Writing from SFSU in San Francisco, CA and Cardiff University in Wales. She spends her days as a barista, but at night she is a killer rearranger of words. Residing in Pacifica, ten minutes from San Francisco, Jillian enjoys the views of the ocean as she takes on the world through writing/editing. Her past writing internships include companies such as hibooks, Super Interns, and Cardiff Review.

Kattrina M

Social Media Coordinator

kattrina m (she/her) is a queer biracial writer and poet residing in Redding, CA, USA. She graduated from Southern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, minoring in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. You can find her work in various indie magazines such as Polemical Zine, Silk Club, and Marías at Sampaguitas. Follow her on Instagram @thelittlemoonbi for more poetry, cats, podcast shenanigans, and boba.

Nikki Liv Casta Basas

Social Media Coordinator

Nikki Liv Casta Basas (she/her) is a Pilipina American registered nurse and daughter of descendants from Leyte and Pangasinan who was raised in Hercules, California in the East Bay Area (Karkin & Muwekma Ohlone land). She graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2019 with a B.S. in Nursing Sciences. Following her terms as Cultural Coordinator and Maria Clara Coordinator for the undergraduate Pilipinx American student organization of Kababayan at UCI, Nikki organized with the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies at UC Davis and with the Northern California Pilipinx-American Student Alliance (NCPASA). Here, she headed NCPASA’s internship program as part of her position on board, and partook in the Summit and Community Action and Dialogue committees. She is a member of GABRIELA Oakland and is a performing artist with the Kariktan Dance Company based in Concord, California. An avid writer, Nikki finds catharsis in journaling and poetry. She is an admirer of musical theatre, long drives, Cinnamoroll, and various art forms.

Eric Asuncion

Social Media Coordinator

Eric Asuncion (he/him) is a pop culture essayist, comic writer, and Social Media Coordinator of Marías at Sampaguitas and Sampaguita Press. He is the co-director of the BuliLit Zine issue, Nostalgia is in the Heart, which is forthcoming Fall 2022. He is a graduate from San José State University, holding a Bachelor’s degree in English. His work may be found in the CAMP: glitter in our eyes issue published by Marías at Sampaguitas. As a writer and creative, he caters to the audience with a keen attention to detail, as well as the ability to use insight to  simplify otherwise more complex ideas.

Wednesday

Artist

Wednesday is a Filipino illustrator and designer from the Bay Area. She loves bright colors, doodling, and educating on the wonders of art. She’s currently working towards her BA in design studies and has been featured or affiliated with platforms like LEAD Filipino, Southern Exposure Art Gallery, Queer Asian Social Club, Pinayista, and more! When she’s not illustrating, she enjoys her time running at the park, drinking coffee at her favorite cafés, or hanging out with her loved ones. Her can find her on Instagram @wednesdaybabyblue.

Mlou

Artist

MLOU (they/them) is a Queer, Trans & Non-Binary Filipinx/o artist. MLOU likes to draw silly little bunnies and make art out of their feelings. Their work ranges from detailed repetitive line work, comical bunnies, and zines about their personal life.Their passions reside in art, mental health advocacy, and LGBTQ+ education. Their work can be found through Twitter & Instagram at @MLOUTHEARTIST and through linktr.ee/mloutheartist.


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