What I Found When I Searched for My Long-Lost Sister
This was not the information I was looking for. This was not the truth I wanted.
I had her year and city of birth: 1976, Cebu City, Philippines.
Mara, meaning bitter,
If you leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me.
Oooh, girl. Baby, please don’t go.
I found nothing. But I also found empathy for my mother.
Cinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, Hyphen, and TAYO, among others. Her debut memoir, MONSOON MANSION (Little A/2018), was an Amazon First Reads Editors Pick and a Booklist Starred Review. She is currently the writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and is at work on a collection of essays. More about her at cinellebarnes.com.
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Papa left the summer I turned eight. The emotional toll of a wife who blamed him was too much to carry along with the burden of repatriating thousands of Filipino citizens.
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