Jenah Maravilla

Museum District

The first sign of Filipinos in Houston was when Igorots were featured on a 1908 postcard at the annual carnival known as No-Tsu-Oh. Then, in 1912, a young man by the name of Rudolfo Hulen Fernandez appeared in the Campanile yearbook as the first Asian graduate from Rice University. Though the Philippines were an American colony, and Filipinos immigrated to the United States freely in the 1920s and 1930s, there is little evidence of their presence in Houston. In 1934, the Tydings-McDuffie Act reclassified all Filipinos from nationals to aliens, establishing a limit of 50 immigrants per year. The most significant wave of immigration started with the 1965 Immigration Act, which granted the Philippines 20,000 visas a year, igniting the era of the Philippine nurse and her career in the Texas Medical Center. Other professionals, such as accountants and engineers, followed.

Poetry Reading

Artist Website

Social Media

Creative Disciplines and Mediums

  • Creative Writing: Poetry, Prose, Short Story, Realistic Fiction
  • Nonfiction: Think Piece Articles, Book/Movie reviews, Essay / Manuscript editing services
  • Marketing: Copywriting, Copy editing
  • Community: Workshop brainstorming, Interactive elements, Public speaking


Jenah Maravilla, spent her adolescence and young adulthood in and around Houston, Texas. Her father opened TJ Filipino Cuisine in 2006, coincidentally opening her eyes to the largely unknown world of Filipinx Americans that reside in the area.

Joining Texas A&M’s Philippine Student Association (PhilSA) during 2010 to 2012, Maravilla realized her identity as both a Filipinx and American helped shape her worldview.

A 2017 graduate of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center with Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Maravilla carried her earlier college experience with her. Amidst the chaos of nursing school, she joined the local Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS – HTX) and became part of the founding team for Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro) Texas chapter in 2016 as Secretary General.

Realizing a need for Filipinxs in leadership positions, Maravilla has participated in the hosting and facilitation of various workshops, conferences, and events; from city-wide to nationwide, which revolve around the duality of the Filipinx American identity.

Artist Statement

As a Filipinx American, moving in a politicized body through different spaces means more than just becoming “Successful”.

Maravilla’s work centers around the ideas of honoring those that came before, empowering those present, and shifting the conversation to radical vulnerability.

What this looks like in practice is her intentional use of succinct statements that do not sacrifice breadth of emotion. Respecting the complexities of her audience while remaining understandable to those who do not find themselves face to face with literature often, Maravilla hopes that her work does not alienate, but rather, peel back the curtain of everyone’s shared humanity (Kapwa, in Tagalog).