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Erica is passionate about visual storytelling. She creates visually stunning and emotionally resonant pieces that capture the essence of our collective experience. Erica’s work aims to promote empathy, understanding, and acceptance; while also showcasing the beauty and diversity of different cultures. In particular, she uses her skills and talents to identify and represent the lives of her Filipino diaspora, to connect with her rich heritage and explore the current human condition. As a recent immigrant to Canada, her creative motivation comes from a striving towards becoming, rather than belonging.

Ugnayan, 2023

Digital film, color, sound, 18 minutes

Ugnayan Film Poster

Ugnayan is a deeply introspective and emotionally resonant film that delves into the complex experiences of an immigrant who has moved from the Philippines to Canada. It challenges idealized narratives of the immigrant experience by portraying the nuanced emotional toll of leaving home and adjusting to a new culture. Through a poignant portrayal of both the joys and sorrows of this journey, the film offers a personal perspective on it. The protagonist of the film grapples with a range of complex emotions—from the excitement and hope of starting anew in a foreign land, to the deep sense of grief and homesickness that often accompanies such a profound life change. Through it all, the film emphasizes the importance of sitting with these feelings and trying to understand oneself in the midst of such a challenging journey. Ugnayan offers a discourse on the dominant “model minority” narrative that often idealizes the immigrant experience. By portraying the cultural barriers, discrimination, and other challenges that many immigrants face, the film reveals and recognizes the importance of community and connection, when the protagonist finds support and strength through relationships—highlighting the power of collective support and the importance of building connections (and community) in the face of adversity.

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