City National Bank, Multicultural Author Series, Los Angeles, CA – May 8, 2015

With Pam DiMaria. Behind us is the map of the world where the audience pins the country/countries where their ancestors came from

With Pam DiMaria. Behind us is the map of the world where the audience pins the country/countries where their ancestors came from.

I was invited by City National Bank to present to their staff during their Multicultural Author Series. Many thanks to Noemi Refuerzo and Pam DiMaria for coordinating, and Diego Mojarro for making this video.

Please click at the link below to watch the presentation:

Leslie V Ryan Presents at City National Bank’s Multicultural Author Series

With my friend and former elementary school classmate Noemi Refuerzo.

With my friend and former elementary school classmate Noemi Refuerzo.

I applaud City National Bank’s commitment to diversity in their workforce. Their staff, who comes from all cultural and experiential backgrounds, lends a variety of perspectives and enriches the workplace and enhances their ability to serve the needs of their clients and communities.

City National Bank’s Multicultural Strategy and Initiative


Author Appearance at Jumpstart Spring Literacy Fair: Saturday, March 8, 2014, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, OC Heritage Museum, Santa Ana, CA


With fellow authors l to r: Cori Gibb, Dennis Yang, Ron Noble, Ryan Afromsky, Leslie Ryan, Shawn Otomo


Author Ryan Afromsky, Cat in the Hat, and me


JFAD Flyer- English copy


Address: OC Heritage Museum, Santa Ana, CA


The Diversification of Reality TV – Specifically The Bachelor, Season 18 – 2014

This year, I noticed a lot more contestants of mixed heritage.  Maybe I am more in tuned to it because of my Flippish kids and that I am in a mixed marriage?  Nah, I have been married for 14 years and I would have noticed back then if the show had a diverse pool of contestants.  FYI, I have been watching The Bachelor since Season 1.  I don’t know if I should be admitting this, but there you have it.  The cat is out of the bag.  I have been watching 18 seasons of The Bachelor.  It is my guilty pleasure and all you nay sayers can just get over it.

It took lawsuits and complaints against ABC Network that The Bachelor contestants are not very diverse.  I agree.  Throughout the years, a very small amount of African Americans, Asian, and Hispanic were picked for the show.  I was very happy when Puerto Rican American Mary Delgado won the heart of Byron Velvick during Season 6.  Unfortunately that union didn’t last.  After Season 6 I thought there will be a more diverse group of contestants or contestants of mixed heritage.  Or maybe they didn’t stand out or get any air time for me to notice.  And believe me, I notice everything.

Last year, during The Bachelor 2013, we watched Flitalianish (Filipino, Italian, Scottish) Catherine Giudici win the heart of All American Sean Lowe.  I noticed her immediately as soon as she got out of the limo.  I knew she was of mixed heritage.  Her looks or mixed ethnicity weren’t the only things that caught my eye, but her great personality, humor, and positive attitude made me root even harder for her from the beginning.  It was pretty sad she didn’t get much air time.  I guess the ones who creates the biggest drama gets the air time.  She seemed to disappear in the background until later on in the season when Sean finally noticed her.  Finally!  When Sean visited Catherine’s hometown, my kids and I were excited to see that she is part Filipino.  The viewers saw Sean gamely don an apron and learned to cook lumpia.  He seemed to embrace Catherine’s family just like my husband did when he met my family.  Now they are getting married.  I know their kids are going to be multiculturally beautiful.  They will have a lot of great cultures to pull from.

Now we come to Bachelor 2014.  Juan Pablo claims to be the first Latino (he is from Venezuela) Bachelor, but complaints have been made that he doesn’t look it because of his fair coloring.  OMG, no matter what, people will still complain that he is too white, too dark, too ethnic, too non-ethnic.  Blah, blah, blah.  My former nanny is from Peru and she has blonde hair and green eyes and considers herself a Latina.  Just like the USA, Latin America comprises of immigrants of European, Asian, and African ancestries.  Former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) was of Japanese ancestry.  I rest my case.

On to the contestants:

Back to the list of multicultural women that diversify the contestant pool.  They include 1 African American, 1 Latina from Brazil, no Asians, and 5 are of mixed heritage.   I have linked their names to The Bachelor website so you can check out their bio.

Ashley was born in Hawaii and moved to Texas.  She looks mixed doesn’t she?

Clare tells us she is part Mexican.  I was shocked.  Who would have thunk?  She may not look it because she got more of her father’s European complexion.  Just like in my kids, people are shocked to find out they are half Irish.

Chantel is the only African American on the show (aka ABC is being PC).  Need I say more?

Danielle is a stunning woman of mixed heritage.  She reminds me of a writer friend who calls herself Afro-Viking.  I won’t hold it against her that she dislikes my favorite food in the world – sushi.

Lucy the cute free spirit claims she is part Latina – hence her last name Aragon.  She is a little too free spirit for my taste, but as long as it makes her happy, who am I to judge?

Victoria hails from Brazil.  By the looks of tonight’s preview she seems to be a bit of a mess.  I will refrain from commenting further.

Finally, my favorite — but not everyone’s favorite…

Sharleen the reserved opera singer from Canada has a wonderfully mixed heritage.  Her mom is Chinese and her dad is a mix of Irish, French, English, and Aboriginal.  Thus her beautifully exotic look that captivated Juan Pablo.  She is very classy and very reserved.  Frankly, I don’t know why she signed up for a show like The Bachelor?  However, I give her props for the gumption to do something so different from opera.  She got flack for being standoffish and not screaming with joy when Juan Pablo gave her the first impression rose.  Viewers, its called class.

There you go, folks.  Out of 27 contestants, we have 7 women to diversify The Bachelor, Season 18.  Wow!  Maybe I have missed some?  If so, please let me know.  During Sean Lowe’s season there were 6 people of color.  That is more than Season 16 (Ben Flajnik) who had zero.  I am tempted to go through each season to see how many women of color were picked to diversify the pool of contestants, but rather not waste my time counting.  I might get disappointed.  So, Bachelor producers, you are heading in the right direction.  It’s a great start but 7 women out of 27?  You can do better than that.









Reading and Book Signing in Virginia! December 7-8, 2013, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Sweet City Desserts, Vienna VA

Poster Board 12x18
I am so excited to bring “I am Flippish!” to Virginia!  Sweet City Desserts is hosting my reading and signing for both days.  Thank you to my cousin Manuel Tagle and Mitzi Pickard for inviting me and organizing this event. 20% of the sales proceeds will go to Caritas Manila Foundation to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and the earthquake in the Philippines.

There is nothing like having a personally signed book to give to kids for the Holidays.  So get some of your Holiday shopping done, and preorder your personally signed copies of “I am Flippish!”  Please email me at to reserve your copies.

SweetCity_logoCMYK-2 copy

Please click image for Sweet City Website

131 A Maple Avenue West, Vienna VA 22180

(703) 938-8188


“I am Flippish!” is coming to San Francisco! – Filipino American International Book Festival, October 19-20, 2013, San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch – San Francisco, CA

“I am Flippish!” is coming to San Francisco!

Filipino American authors and artists have come together to share their stories at the second Filipino American International Book Festival.  Hosted by PAWA, a Northern CA based 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization and independent publisher of Filipino American lit.  PAWA’s main goal is to create and encourage literature and arts for the preservation and enrichment of Filipino and Filipino American historical, cultural and spiritual values.

I am honored to be invited by Mrs. Linda Nietes of the Philippine Expressions Bookshop to participate in this wonderful event.  Come to this free event and get your signed copies of “I am Flippish!” and other wonderful books written by my fellow Filipino American authors.  You can find our books at the Philippine Expressions Bookshop’s booth.

This event will be held:

San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch
100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

My assigned schedule at the event is as follows:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

12:30 – 1:30 Fisher’s Children’s Center, 2nd Floor – Reading “I am Flippish!”

2:00 – 3:00 Book signing at Philippine Expressions Bookshop’s table – Table A

Sunday, October 20, 2013

1:00 – 2:00 Book signing at Philippine Expressions Bookshop’s table – Table A

Click Here For More Information About The Filipino American International Book Festival


#mondayblogs #hapa #multiculturalfamilies #biracial #mixeracefamily #filipino #irish #multicultural #kidlit #sanfrancisco


Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (Philippine Expressions Bookshop’s Tent) — 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. Saturday, September 7, 2013, Point Fermin Park, San Pedro, CA

Come join me for a day of Filipino arts and culture.  I will be signing my book “I am Flippish!” at the Philippine Expressions Booth from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  See you there!

Pt. Fermin Park

807 West Paseo Del Mar

San Pedro (Los Angeles), CA

Click Here For More Information

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Author Visit, Target Free Family Saturday: Share Your Story! – Saturday, July 13, 2013 – Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA




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I was invited by Heidi Durrow, New York Times Best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky to be a featured author for the Target Free Family Saturday Event at the Japanese American National Museum.

After the reading “I am Flippish!” I gave a Keynote presentation on the stories behind my book, my illustrator, and other fun facts.  My audience also got to pin on my map (pictured) their countries of ancestry.  I will never take any of the pins off.  I will be counting how many pins I get by the end of the year.

Thank you Heidi Durrow and JANM for inviting me to share my book to the families.


Japanese American National Museum: Click Here For Details

Here are more details:

Celebrate the exhibition Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History and share your story with your family and friends! You won’t want to miss out on this fun Target Free Family Saturday.

• Create a memory book to jot down stories about you and your family.
• Make a family portrait collage.
• Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Fold a fun origami camera.

11AM: Doors open.

11AM-2PM: Make a salad and salad dressing that will soon become a family favorite with Kidding Around the Kitchen.

12PM & 2PM: Bring your memories and prepare to write! Instructor Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo will help you write your own family stories.

1PM: Take a tour of our exhibit Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History with curator Dr. Duncan Williams.

1:30PM: Join us for a ‘mixed’ reading with! Leslie Ryan will read her book I Am Flippish and Heidi Cole will read her book Am I A Color?

2PM: Join us for a screening of the documentary Searchlight SerenadeSearchlight Serenadeexplores the big bands that were formed by Japanese Americans while incarcerated during World War II.

2:30PM: We Tell Stories will perform multicultural tales in Proud To Be Me!

3PM: Allen Say will read his new book The Favorite Daughter. This tale, dedicated with love to Say’s daughter, is one for all parents who want their children to feel pride in their heritage, and to know their own greatest sources of strength and inspiration.

4PM: Doors close.

Generously sponsored by Target, these special Saturdays are filled with fun activities giving families unique ways to learn, play, and grow together.

In conjunction with the exhibition Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History