Hello my name is Theresa Campagna and welcome to my personal blog! This site started off way back as a personal journal in 2003, evolved into a place where I posted articles written as a student journalist, and is now a place where I can reflect upon my life lessons and the world around me. The header, "She nails down moon beams.." comes from an Ocean Colour Scene song. I love music and at the start of this blog, it was for the moment Brit pop.

I'm a journalism and sociology major at Loyola University Chicago graduation pending 2014. I have experience with photography since 2003, writing since 2009, and news radio broadcast from 2009-2013. My work has appeared in Chi Town Daily News, WLUW FM 88.7 Chicago, Labor Express Radio, Demotix Photo Agency, Alternet, and WYCC PBS. Interests include: photography, tea, travel, multiculturalism, American foreign policy, rebel groups in the third world, français, geo-politics, migrants, and globalization.

Currently I am interning with WYCC PBS Chicago in the social media and production departments. A new public affairs show is scheduled to debut mid February 2013 called "In The Loop." In the Chicago area, tune in on channel 20 on Thursdays at 7 p.m. CT or Sundays 6:30 p.m. CT or online via YouTube at http://youtube.com/user/20wisetv.

Specialties: Radio production, blogging, and photojournalism. Proficiencies: Photoshop CS6, Adobe Lightroom 3, Paint Shop Pro, film negative scanning, black and white film development and printing, MAC and Windows OS. Shoots 35mm, medium format, Polaroid, and digital, Microsoft Office, social media: Facebook and Twitter, Flip HD camera operation, Telos machine operation, Audacity, Audition, types 75 words per minute, basic html, css, dynamic html, semi fluency in French, Tagalog and Ilokano.

Thanks for stopping by!

Photojournalism: http://tcampagna.tumblr.com

WYCC interns blog: http://wyccinterns.tumblr.com



There must be a term out there for a country in love with its former colonizers and the west so much that they do not care about its people as long as the money keeps coming. One where it is common place to turn against each other at any given moment if you don't have the money, even if it means using an m16 to steal a loaf of bread from your neighbour. Shoot him too why not?

A country where 30+ journalists die in one day and no one lifts a finger lest they be killed. One where the west takes all of your forests leaving behind severe drought. One where children sleep in cemetaries and call it home.

The same one that actively promotes going abroad and putting your nursing degree to good use, or else you can scrub floors in Saudi Arabia, Rome, Syria, or London with your bachelor's degree. Not alright? Well working in an electronics factory assembly line might be okay. You might go crazy doing any of this work if you survive at all. Alternative? Hustling with your strong arm to eat. Or partaking in sex tourism.

It is for this reason, I am grateful my mother with her Filipino passport in hand travelled to Canada and eventually Chicago. It is no wonder that in the Philippines religion is a saving grace. Religious festivities is heralded in the same way like football is in the states.

Yet somehow, in spite of all these things, I still love you Philippines. Your beaches seen as some of the best in the world. Your cuisine admired by the likes Anthony Bourdain. Your hospitality is the same of everyone - from the concierge in my hotel lobby to the small town villager elderly villager who shimmied up a coconut tree to get me a coconut after he happened to see me look up at it. The nurses and doctors who do what they can to treat patients even if resources are not always there. The gardeners, house keepers, restaurant owners, government employees trying to get rid of the corruption.

You give everything to any visitor and your own. I want to hug you all.

And somehow, despite the fact that no one can agree on working together. I still watched the Arab Spring on tv, the protests around the world peacefully fighting for what they deserve - the right to high quality life is yours. This is your home, my motherland.

Don't give up.


I am writing this from a very specific perspective, in the hopes that it will be read by young people like me and some good will come of this. I hope you can learn from it in some way. However, while some of this may be useful, please note these are based on my personal experiences and my family's experiences so I cannot speak for everyone.

The following is some of what I have learned from being raised by a third generation American and his immigrant wife - aka my mother and father.

1) It is not easy growing up multicultural. But it is also beautiful. Embrace it, learn about your roots. So no one can define your identity for you. In this country we all have tendencies to be fascinated with and frightened by cultures we deem as un-American. It is part of the culture here. It is part of being human. We all have inside of us a fear of the unknown. We all have the potential to 'other.' I think learning about your roots can teach you how not to over-exoticize yourself or anyone else. But you must love your roots. I don't expect myself or anyone else to learn every explicit detail about my Filipino or Sicilian roots, or anyone's roots. I am no expert. But I think ultimately this form of cultural competency is the best weapon against ignorance towards our melting pot. And we can gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.

2) I never fit in truly as a Sicilian American or a Filipino American. I will never fit in as a Sicilian in Sicily, a Filipino in the Philippines, or an American in the U.S.. I prefer the company of mixed ethnic backgrounds over one. There are others like me out there, and this is ok. In fact people like us have more fun. And I cannot wait until I can get an EU passport from Italy and one from the Philippines - just because. Yay living in other countries!!!

3) Immigrants get ripped off, shat upon, ridiculed, othered often. It happened to my mother. She has been a survivor of racism, discrimination, and prejudice. She got through it for me and herself and my family. She fought back with education. Education really does make you a winner in these cases, because in the developed world, people can forget that immigrants have crossed oceans, survived corruption in their homelands, survived wars, crossed deserts. Fight back with education. Fight back by voting. There are so many people in this world who do not have running water. Many who see horrible violence and learn how to deal with it because they have to in order to survive. Many who cannot vote, or die trying. Many who only have rocks and fast legs to fight back.

4) My mother was raised middle class in the Philippines. But what she had there is nothing to what she has earned here. Crimes such as people killing others so that they can simply eat. People sleeping in cemetaries as gravestone caretakers because there is no such thing as food stamps, public health clinics, no jobs anywhere in the country. People living in fear of speaking out against their government even though they secretly despise it but stay silent in order to live. This is true in any country with corruption. If you think the U.S. government is bad? It could be worse. I am not speaking about U.S. foreign policy or domestic policy or even how tax dollars are used outside the U.S.. I am talking strictly about how a government deals with its people here in the U.S.. versus the third world. People like my mother did what they had to do there in order to survive, which in many cases meant adhering to a strict conservative lifestyle in order to escape the shit they saw. I am speaking about shit literally and figuratively. Immigrants from these places will raise children in the U.S. in the same way they were taught, except in this society, violence of this sort is rare if you are middle class or lucky enough to live somewhere safe. An authoritative parenting approach is more appropriate because the U.S. is not a war-torn country. The methods of survival are different here in order to succeed. But please forgive your parents, they are only teaching what they know from their homelands.

5) Adjusting to a totally different culture and working in it is not easy if you are an immigrant parent. They may not be there as much for you as a result. Forgive them. My mother had to learn on her own. You have to learn the cultural norms here too. Like how to network, how to talk to your boss, how to send a business email, how to communicate constructively and clearly, how to talk to certain people firmly but graciously. How to be generous, warm, kind, but no-nonsense at once. How to talk to men. How to listen. How to be nice and not sound controlling or passive aggressive. How to talk to teachers. I had to learn all of this on my own through painful lessons, but valuable ones.

6) Iodine deficiency is common in the Philippines due to complications there. Therefore, you will see lots of cases where thyroid disorder occurs. It must be removed and a hormone replacement taken in order to survive. Side effect that is unavoidable? Mood disorder. I had to learn on my own everything listed in number five, because my mother had a thyroid problem. Forgive.

7) To all those Asian kids who feel like they have to live up to some stereotype that the media coined, stop. Aka the model minority stereotype. You may not feel like it is there but if you find yourself a perfectionist or think a B is a bad grade. If you feel like mistakes are failures and not life lessons. Then that means that you are affected by the stereotype. Be successful but don't wear yourself down. Don't forget your happiness. Find a healthy way to de-stress like therapy, yoga, meditation, sleeping enough, art, writing, exercise. Listen to your body and take care of it first! Know your limits!

8) Speaking of therapy: your immigrant parents may not agree with its value. And it's true, finding a good therapist is hard, expensive, and can take time. However, in order to survive here it is a necessity. If you cannot afford it or have parents who don't believe in it, there are affordable or free options there. Don't stop searching. You have to talk about all of the things mentioned above because I feel like there are a lot of cross-overs in terms of growing up multicultural and a child of an immigrant. You are not alone. You have to talk to someone about it, preferably someone who understands your background or you will not succeed in life. Internalizing is not the solution. Keeping busy is only part of the solution but whatever pain you felt doesn't go away completely.

I hope that what I have written makes sense. If any clarification is needed or any questions you might have, please do say so.
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"Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, on a besoin l'un de l'autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde." - Le Petit Prince


America can be a place of extremes. If you choose to look at the extremes, it can be very tragic. Take for example the flea market. I always enjoyed exploring them because you can find just about almost anything and one does not have to go very far to find one. This market is in Chicago suburb, Rosemont.

As I walked with my family last weekend, I wondered why everyone was there. I had heard in this country unemployment was at 12 percent currently because of the recession. So, which ones in the crowd are here to find a bargain for things they do not need? Which ones are here because Olay body wash and especially produce is at its priciest, in essence because the grocery store is too expensive?

Then I thought about the dangers of mass consumerism as a type of therapy and tried to apply it to the flea market.

The flea market, like a thrift store and garage sales, can be havens for buying things we really do not need. In fact I won't forget what one vendor said with a smile to a potential customer with money-in-hand, staring at bottles of shampoo, "Here, give me $20, and you can take whatever you want. You don't really need this stuff anyhow, but buy it anyway!" After a moment he said, "They are three for four."

Our society has been programmed to live in an age of the credit card, where, if you want something, you can buy it now and pay for it later, how does it translate into now the current? Are we still buying things we do not need, and what potential dangers does this pose for everyone, since places like the flea market is totally accessible to everyone, from the richest of people, to the poorest?



August 2012: A child protesting in front of a major U.S. financial institution as part of a Chicago-based coalition who say unfair foreclosure practices persist.

A 2010 report by the Migration Policy Insitute called "The Impact of Immigrants in Recession and Economic Expansion" states the benefits of immigration on a troubled economy are immense, yet are often not seen in the near future. The Economist agrees. In a 2011 piece called, "Let them come" adds that countries in the west must open their borders - ultimately it will save the economy, but the west often is reluctant to let immigrants in and does let go of current ones.

One example of this is the closed U.S. border to Mexico, and increasing hostility towards Algerians in France in order to try and save what they say the jobs for those with citizenship already, despite both countries' histories with both countries using cheap labour by these immigrants that ultimately helped save them in the 1950s after WWII.

Like every other aspect of immigrant life during the current and past U.S. recessions, foreclosures are hitting U.S. immigrants hardest as financial institutions loosely unregulated by the government, attempt to drive immigrants out in this way in its attempts to reserve jobs for citizens. However, historically speaking, it was only immigrants who were willing to do menial labor, as was the case with the Chinese who built the railroads and the Irish who took up domestic work in order to survive.

In 2012, as is seen here, immigrants and U.S. citizens, largely women and senior citizens are teaming up in order to save their homes.

Four million homes have already been seized by banks since 2007, and still these millions of Americans could lose their homes in 2012 due to unfair foreclosure practices by the financial institutions JP Morgan Chase, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Fannie Mae, as was exposed in a report by ProPublica.

Housing regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Ed DeMarco said no last month to principal reductions, a form of loan forgiveness, that could save homes across the country. The Chicago coalition present in these photos, composed of Centro Autónomo and the Anti Eviction Campaign, ascertains DeMarco could save homeowners but instead leaves them to fight on their own for their houses. They also state that banks who loaned to them continue to mislead and misinform them and are illegally foreclosing on their homes.


Homeless family on the métro quai. Sign: "We lost our home temporarily, six kids here can you please help us.."


Qui est l'homme de couleur?

Cher frère blanc,
Quand je suis né, j'étais noir,
Quand j'ai grandi, j'étais noir,
Quand je suis au soleil, je suis noir,
Quand je suis malade, je suis noir,
Quand je mourrai, je serai noir.

Tandis que toi, homme blanc,
Quand tu es né, tu étais rose,
Quand tu as grandi, tu étais blanc,
Quand tu vas au soleil, tu es rouge,
Quand tu as froid, tu es bleu,
Quand tu as peur, tu es vert,
Quand tu es malade, tu es jaune,
Quand tu mourras, tu seras gris.

Alors, de nous deux,
Qui est l'homme de couleur?


I recently found this video on Youtube that hits home to me on so many levels. But I am not going to get into anecdotes. All Filipinos have negrito blood, and for this I am proud. Indigenous Filipinos are a fierce strong people and I am happy at all to have some of that flowing through my own body. Like all social issues, the matter is complex in my own family so I will not go into details as it is painful, but rather post this excerpt from the video caption. This song is heartbreaking but gives me hope that there is still a struggle that some of my family is part of the peaceful fight against those in the Filipino government trying to kill off Filipino indigenous people.

"In American-occupied Philippines, while millions of mainstream Hispanic Filipinos were being slaughtered, and military restrictions prevented the movement of the American and local press, the lens of Dean C. Worcester, member of the first Filipino Comission and secretary of Interior for the colonial government, provided the Americans with a fake, set-up collection of Filipinos as they should be seen: a bunch of tiny primitive tribes badly in need of Uncle Sam's protection. Black and white pictures belong to Dean C. Worcester's collection as kept at University of Michigan."

Duerme, duerme negrito,
que tu mama tá en el campo,

Duerme, duerme, mobila,
que tu mama tá en el campo,

Te va a traer codornices para ti,
te va a traer rica fruta para ti,
te va a traer carne de cerdo para ti,
te va a traer muchas cosas para ti.

Y si el negro no se duerme
viene el diablo blanco
y ¡zas!
le come la patita
chicapumba, chicapumpa,
apumba chicapún.

Duerme, duerme, negrito,
que tu mama tá en el campo,

trabajando duramente,
trabajando sí,
trabajando y va de luto,
trabajando sí,
trabajando y no le pagan,
trabajando sí,
pal negrito chiquitito,
trabajando sí.

Duerme, duerme negrito