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My first magazine as an 11 year old, left, and my first zine as a 14 year old, right.

I meet with students, interns, people in their early careers all the time and they always want to know how to start and maintain a creative side hustle. I always tell them the same things. Here they are.

Think about why you are creating in the first place. It’s probably because you’re an artist and you need to make things, write, draw, play music, create to express yourself, to process how you are feeling, to amuse yourself. Don’t lose sight of that as you make things. You are doing this for you, and no one else.

Treat your creative life…


Why would people from the city want to move to the country?

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When the world is upside down, there are few things that can make it right — and for Filipinos, that is our native food.


Inspired by this New York Times story that asked illustrators in New York to draw the view of their city under lockdown from their window, a group of artists do the same for the Washington, D.C. area. (Read the Baltimore version, organized by the artist Nguyen Nguyen, here).

Shaw, D.C.

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It’s 1 am on Saturday night and it’s so quiet out. Usually, at this time of the night, the plastered patrons of the club across the street would be making a racket, either getting into fights and being thrown out by the bouncer or yelling at each other trying to get a ride home.

— Robin Ha

Adams Morgan, D.C.


Delivered today as the keynote closing speech at the Filipino Young Professionals’ 2019 Conference at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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Hello everyone. I’d first like to say thank you to the organizers for inviting me to speak with you all today, especially J.P., Aggie and the rest of the Filipino Young Professionals DC executive leadership team.

My name is Malaka Gharib. It is an honor for me to even be speaking to you today because never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a guest of honor at an event for Filipino Americans.

For much of…


in the end it was all flowers:
the arrhythmia
moles and scars
wrinkles and white hair
veins and callouses
oud and bergamot
sweet metal and musk
spiders, flies and fireflies
sepia on olive, olive on sepia,
sepia on olive,
sunlight streaming through the leaves
a wind so mild i couldn’t believe it
fresh paint and cut grass
the fear (and exaltation) of making a quarter turn too close
thirst
teardrops, tantrums
olive on sepia
the omission of parting words.
beautiful things, real things,
flowers.


I asked my dad recently why he immigrated to the States. His response was a timely reminder of what makes this country so great, what makes us different. He was here for 17 years and moved back to Egypt in the mid 90s. I take for granted all that he ever wished for.

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Friday night dinner — the guests are ready to eat with their hands! Photo credit: Dennis Villa Juan Perez

What my Filipino food event taught me about being Filipino

Hours ago, I finished co-hosting a series of Filipino food pop-up dinners in Washington, D.C., with Manila-born Chef Yana Gilbuena, a 33-year-old nomad who travels the world cooking the food of her heritage for others. In five meals — four dinners and one brunch — she cooked foods from a self-published coloring book I wrote and illustrated, The Little Filipino Food Coloring Book, while I played host at the front of the house, greeting guests as they arrived.


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A wall of freshly made zine pages from the Kpop zine workshop in Washington, D.C.

Who are the Kpop fans of Washington, D.C.?

This is the question we sought to answer at a zine workshop in June 2016. For four hours, we invited people to Bul, a Korean restaurant in Adams Morgan, to listen to Kpop music curated by Mia Steinle of Bae Bae D.C. and design a page for this crowdsourced zine.


iPad portraits of (mostly) strangers with their favorite food

By Malaka Gharib

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Mike, Pizza

Malaka Gharib

Writer, editor and illustrator based in Washington, D.C.

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