Maika Llaneza is a 1.5 generation Filipina American. She is earning her Masters in Theology from the Institute of Spirituality and Social Justice Program at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Maika’s interests include indigenous Filipino spirituality and Filipina American Theology. She is a 2018-2019 State of Formation Interreligious Writing Fellow, Kid Lit writer, and an avid reader in her spare time.

Batok
By Maika Llaneza

The sound of sharp boar’s teeth hammered onto my flesh was surprisingly therapeutic. I felt a wonderful calmness while my husband and a fellow Filipinx American hand stretched my skin and my mambabatok left these permanent soot marks symbolizing powerful ancestral messages.

Minimalist Teaching
By Maika Llaneza

Facebook recently showed a picture of me as a special education teacher in my very first classroom almost a decade back. When I looked at this image, all I could focus on was all the stuff.

Nurturing the Monsters
By Maika Llaneza

I’ve been a monster fanatic for 13 years. Anyone who walks into our living room is bombarded with a large bust of Frankenstein’s monster’s head on the mantel, Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein movie posters on the wall, gothic/horror fiction and monster paraphernalia on the bookshelf, and random monster toys on the coffee table.