I am a writer, researcher, community organizer, filmmaker, history student, and sojourner from Honolulu, Seattle, Chicago, and Manila.

Hi, thanks for dropping by my site! I am Adrian Alarilla, a writer, researcher, community organizer, filmmaker, and a history student. Born and raised in the Philippines, I am currently based in Seattle, working towards a PhD in History at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa studying Filipino migration history. I work for Stellar Group as a Project Coordinator. I am also the Festival Director for the annual Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival at Seattle Center. My films have been shown all over the US, Mexico, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Research Interests

Southeast Asian history and cinema

Third cinema

Postcolonial studies

Asian American history

Diaspora studies

Cultural studies


Stellar Group – Project Coordinator (2021-present)
Qualitative research
Data visualization
Project coordination


University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa – PhD in History (Ongoing)
TEACHING ASSISTANT, College Opportunities Program (2019-present).
GRADUATE ASSISTANT, Assessment and Curriculum Support Center (2019-present).
TEACHING ASSISTANT, World History since the 1500s (2018).
GRADUATE ASSISTANT, Digital Arts and Humanities Initiative (2018-2019).

University of Washington – MA in Southeast Asian Studies (2018), BA in Communication and Social Science (2015)
GRADUATE ASSISTANT, Southeast Asia Center (2017-2018).

Honors, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Corky Trinidad Endowment Scholarship, 2021
  • Jerry Bentley Scholarship in World History, 2021
  • UH Mānoa Library Treasures Scholarship, 2021
  • Bayanihan Award: Achievement in Literature, Arts, and Culture, 2020
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow, 2016-2018, 2019-2020
  • Graduate Division Achievement Scholarship, 2019-2020
  • Center for Research Libraries (CRL) Primary Source Award in the Research Category, 2020
  • Jerry H. Bentley Prize for Best Paper in World History, 2020
  • 1st Prize, Graduate Division, American Studies Essay Contest, 2019
  • Taraknath Das Prize for Best Paper in Asian History, 2018-2019
  • East-West Center Student Affiliate, 2018-2019
  • Thomas W. & Mary C. Gething Fellow, 2016-2018
  • Mary Gates Research Scholar, 2015
  • Jody Deering Nyquist Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, 2015
  • Fred Baker Ethics Award, August 2014
  • Dean’s List Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015

Academic Presentations and Conferences

  • “Situating Power: Kapangyarihan and Kagamhanan in twentieth century Filipino migrant epistolary documents in the Quezonian Papers.” Presented virtually for the UH Mānoa Hamilton Library, April 2021.
  • Working in the Margins: Filipino Intra-imperial Labor Migration in the Interwar Period.” Presented at the Association for Asian Studies Virtual Conference, March 21-26, 2021.
  • “Shooting Paradise: The Filipinos in the American Gaze.” Presented at the 2020 Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival Seattle.
  • “Watching the End of the World from the Island Shore”. Paper presented at the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society Convention, San Antonio, TX, January 2020.
  • “Tiny, Great Realities: First-Person Documentary Cinemas as Visual Archive of Diasporic Filipinx History.” Presented at the 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle, WA, and the East-West Center International Graduate Student Conference, Honolulu, HI, February 2019.
  • “Translating Space: Melodrama and Diasporic Imaginaries in Anthony Chen’s ‘Ilo Ilo’.” Paper presented at the Southeast Asian Textual Transactions and Translations Panel, Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago, IL, January 2019.
  • “The Spectacular Body of the Father in Agony and Ecstasy”. Association for Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference: “The Politics of Faith, Spirituality, and Religion in Southeast Asian Cinemas”, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. July 23-26, 2018.
  • “Limits of the Imagined Nation: Usmar Ismail’s Tamu Agung and the incipient national cinema of postcolonial Indonesia”. UH-M School of Pacific and Asian Studies Conference: “Bridging the Gaps: Conceptualizing Asia through an Interdisciplinary Lens”, Honolulu, Hawai’i, March 22-24, 2017.

Extracurricular and Community Engagement

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