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COMMUNITY: A Chat with Chris Gayomali

Learn more about the community that supports Bigay Puso

Photo: Stephanie Diani

Name: Chris Gayomali

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Supporter since: 2017

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a magazine editor. My wife and I have a five year old English bulldog named Hank, who dictates most of our decision making.

Photo: Krista Schlueter and Matt Martin

What's one of your favorite memories from visiting the Philippines?

The last time I went to the Philippines was in 2014, with a whole mess of family (like easily 25+ cousins, aunties, etc.). One morning, we all took a jeepney out to our great grandfather's village just outside of Maasin, which was this beautiful yet bumpy two-hour drive up a mountain. We weren't exactly sure why we were there, but we just rolled with it. After mass (because obviously there was a mass) we were surprised when everyone who lived there started rolling out lechons and unfurled a giant banner that, on closer inspection, was a family tree. It was oddly lopsided: the left half of the banner had far more text than the other side. Turns out, our great grandfather had married something like seven sisters in a row and basically populated the whole village... by himself. The revelation hit all us American cousins at the same time: Everyone here is family! And this was a family reunion! The afternoon concluded when two little kids went up to the microphone and sang the song from The Land Before Time, then we drove back to the city and went to the mall.

Photos: Chris Gayomali

What's the last book you read?

Lurkers, by Sandi Tan (who directed Shirkers, one of the best documentaries ever made, which you can watch on Netflix). The book is demented and fun. It's about this small, possibly haunted pocket of LA where all these different immigrant communities overlap in dark and interesting ways. Can't recommend it enough.

Why do you support Bigay Puso?

I'm in awe of all the amazing work you all do to help the kids! And I love the bee!!!!!

Follow Chris (and Hank) on Twitter and Instagram.


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