Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Needa: I am not a Bay Area native. I was born in downtown Los Angeles and raised through out LA. I came to the Bay in 1995. I was invited by comrades to come up to the Bay and work with Filipino youth. It’s amazing to look back and see what a small group of passionate, fearless, dedicated young people could pull off – going from a handful of people to institutions that are all dedicated to the freedom of our people, the building of our own nations across the globe and the unity with our other revolutionary brothers and sisters fighting for their own independence, self determination and justice.
Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Needa: Well I feel like I’m on several creative paths… the most dominant one being motherhood. I entered that path when I decided to keep my baby in 2001, despite the fact that due to the foulest of circumstances I was homeless. Raising my daughter is the hardest, most challenging, most beautiful, most blessed creatively political spiritual endeavor I could have accepted.
I started writing stories when I was a teenager… sci-fi, erotica, and some really really dark stuff. I became a writer in my early 20s when writing was as crucial to my existence as breathing the air. I was addicted and saved all as once. I met this amazing professor of chican@ studies – Dr. Chela Sandoval. what a bad ass! She was the first person to tell me to speak my poems and perform them. She took me and some of her other students to open mics… I was hooked!
As far as my jewelry and catering?? I got it from my mama. She was the supreme hustler and sold frozen lumpia out of the house… I am so happy I can make both cuz they pay the bills!
Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Needa: The world around me. My teaching style, my jewelry, my food, my writing is a mix of everything – I soak in life and give it back out… the good, the bad and ugly, the beautiful, but always the truth. Truth is my inspiration.
Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Needa: I believe it was the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.
Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Needa: ummm, that you’re amazing and I’m so honored that you wanted to interview my ass. but who is interviewing YOU?
First and foremost we are divine. This human thing is just a lesson. Life was traumatic from birth. Could you imagine what it must have felt like for us? We know what the mamas have to say about the push… what would the babies say? Trauma & Pain. Remember your divine nature gets you thru it.