Our Staff

Keana Aguila Labra

Editor in Chief, Founder

Keana Aguila Labra (they/them/she/her) is a Cebuana Tagalog Filipinx genre- and genderfluid poet, book reviewer, editor, and writer in diaspora residing on stolen Ohlone Tamyen land. She works to provide a safe literary space for underserved and underrepresented communities as Editor-in-Chief of literary magazine, Marías at Sampaguitas and co-Founder of the BIPOC/LGBTQIA+ focused independent publishing house, Sampaguita Press. Outside of MAS & SAM, they are the co-Director of the Santa Clara County Youth Poet Laureate Program alongside Janice Lobo Sapigao and Karla Reyes-Santiago. She served as one of the Honorary Santa Clara County Poets Laureate in Oct. ’21 alongside Lorenz Mazon Dumuk. Her poetry was nominated for Best of Net in 2019 and 2020. Currently, they work to bring jazz education to the students of the Franklin-McKinley District with San José Jazz. She is the author of the chapbooks, No Saints (Lazy Adventurer Publishing, 2020) and Mohilak (Fahmidan Co. & Publishing, 2021) and Kanunay (Self-Published, 2022).

Maria Bolaños

Managing Editor

Maria Bolaños (she/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. Her poems were nominated for Best of the Net in 2021 and 2022, 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.

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

Isabel Angeles


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!

Jennifer Nessel


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.

Noreen Ocampo

Contributing 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, 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!

David Anderson

Operations Coordinator

David Anderson (he/him) is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is an aerospace engineer living and working on the Gabrielino, Tongva, Kizh land also known as Los Angeles. He is a mixed-race person of Native American and European ancestry, on a personal decolonization journey to reconnect with and honor his Yaqui, Hopi, Tongva and Chumash roots.

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 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 (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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