New Maharlika is a creative nonfiction essay collection by Vianna Mabanag. Each piece explores modern issues surrounding women in the Philippines: work and motherhood, beauty standards and belonging, fetishization and sex tourism. This project is funded by the RAAB Fellowship at UC Santa Barbara.
Maharlika (ancient Tagalog for “freeman”), is a proposed alternate name for the Philippines, alluding to the country’s heritage during pre-colonized times.
Vianna Mabanag is a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative studies, where she earned a B.A. in Writing & Literature with a minor in Multimedia Professional Writing. This is her senior capstone project.
Praise for New Maharlika:
In her RAAB Research Fellowship project, creative writer Vianna Mabanag has merged research-based narrative nonfiction with memoir writing in an insightful and probing look at conditions facing women in, and from, the Philippines. Using first-hand reporting carried out on a trip to the country of her early childhood, Mabanag has demonstrated in her writing a sophisticated command of the personal essay form, infused with colorful reportage… With this essay collection, Mabanag has entered the world of literary journalism.Nomi Morris, Writing Lecturer and Journalism Track Director in the Professional Writing Minor at University of California, Santa Barbara