FascinAsian - Mansanas

Director: Erin Hembrador
Runtime: 12 Minutes 40 Seconds
Language: English & Tagalog w/ English Subtitles

Year of Release: 2021
Country of Origin: Canada

Description: An optimistic Filipina woman who has just immigrated to Canada is excited to try an apple for the first time. Similar to her experiences as a new immigrant, the apple isn’t what she expected.

Writer: Erin Hembrador
Producer: Erin Hembrador

FascinAsian - Erin Hembrador

Erin Hembrador

Erin has been working on independent film projects for over five years focusing mainly on post-production sound. In recent years she has moved her focus to writing and directing. Her first project, Piece of Mind took home awards while on the festival circuit and earned her a nomination for Best Manitoban Director at the 2018 Gimli Film Festival. Erin currently has two films, Mansanas and Container in the festival circuit. As a diverse filmmaker Erin recognizes the importance of telling her own stories to ensure they are genuine and sincere.

Director Statement: Mansanas means apple in Tagalog and the idea for the film was inspired by a story my Dad told me. My Dad immigrated to Winnipeg from the Philippines in the late 80’s after marrying my Mom who had been in Canada since the 70’s. In the Philippines my Dad worked on the family Farm where they grew mangoes, papayas, pineapples and other common Asian fruits. When I was younger he told me that one thing he was looking forward to upon his arrival in Canada was tasting an apple. There are apples in the Philippines but they’re not as common and it’s the fruit he most associated with Western countries. Unfortunately when he finally tasted an apple he was quite underwhelmed and felt the fruits he grew up with were much better.

This story made me think of how his experience of tasting an apple for the first time has similarities to what immigrants feel when moving to Canada. At first, people may feel excited and optimistic about their new future only to quickly realize that they long for the home they left behind.

I’ve been to the Philippines a total of three times, the most recent was in 2015. It was the first time I was there as an adult and being immersed in the Country allowed me to see first hand the poverty many face. But the one thing I noticed is that in the Philippines, many people who have so little still manage to make the most out of their lives and are always so kind and happy.

My parents, like so many others, immigrated to Winnipeg in hopes of a better future. They grew up with very little and Canada was the ticket to a better life. But when the time comes to reminisce about their childhood “back home” they have nothing but wonderful things to say.

Mansanas follows Anna, a Filipina who has just arrived in Canada. She is excited and takes pride in whatever work comes her way so she can send money to the Philippines. But overtime she realizes that her new home is filled with loneliness and longing for home.