New Filipinx Children's Book by Xavi de Guzman: Peeled Fruit

New Filipinx Children's Book by Xavi de Guzman: Peeled Fruit

One of the many elements about Perfectly Pinay is amplifying the voices and talents of the Filipinx community. Read the press release on a new Filipinx children's book that's hitting the shelves on November 9th!


‘Peeled Fruit’ – A Filipino Children’s Book
Press Release By: Ria Santos

In a time where representation in media matters, actor, screen writer, charity founder, and now author, Xavi de Guzman brings to the world the children’s book Peeled Fruit. The story as old as time about a mother’s love language of peeling mango for her baby, and in this story’s case, baby Fernando.

Xavi de Guzman, born and raised in Toronto, now residing in Vancouver, has been on such shows as ABC’s Take Two, Designated Survivor, and CW’s The 100. This year he has come off the Jo Koy lead Filipino comedy film ‘Easter Sunday’, as well as the Emmy nominated Netflix’s Maid starring Margaret Qualley and Nick Robinson. But it was his time off from film sets that he decided to explore a memory that he holds dearly, his mother peeling fruit for him as a child.

Growing up Filipino with immigrant parents, Xavi had a hard time identifying what it was to be categorized as Asian, considering he didn’t really identify with the more popular Chinese, Japanese, or even Korean cultures that had more prevalent communities in the city. Then entering the world of entertainment as an actor back in 2009, when diversity on screen was still a foreign Hollywood concept, getting cast as an Asian was not in the cards, which then made the connection to being Asian even more distant. It wasn’t until he took some time away from acting that he was able to travel the world, and come to a realization that the oceanic community within the Pacific held many answers to what it meant to be Filipino. Over that time till now, his understanding of his cultural identity became stronger, to where he knew that Filipino stories had a place in this world.

With the help of Rhoda Domingo, a Filipina from New Zealand, Xavi wrote the words and she brought it to life with her images. As much as the story follows Fernando (named after Xavi’s father) from infancy to adulthood and the significance of mangoes in his life, the underlying plot is about a mother’s love coming full circle – that her love language was heard. Although there are many easter eggs in the images and dialogue that make this a very Filipino story, Xavi also chose items that are also relatable across all the islands in the Pacific. When asked what they were, he said, “if you know, you’ll know when you see it.”

Xavi also expressed, “When I was a kid, I remember my mom and titas around a kitchen table reading a kid’s book while all the kids were asleep, except me. I found it interesting that a group of adults were moved by a kid’s book – that book was none other than, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I’d like to think I understand that moment now, and that’s what I’m hoping this book does for families. The beautiful images by Rhoda will connect with the kids by letting them see a brown face they might be able to relate to, but the story is for the adults. My hope is to have told a story, I feel many my age, especially those of immigrant parents, can relate to.”

Peeled Fruit was also created as a tool to bring more eyes to The Play On Foundation. A Canadian charity founded by Xavi de Guzman, Ignatius Lewis, Kris-Andre Smith, and Alex Mallari Jr, with the goal to raise awareness for neurological research in brain aneurysm development and prevention. An initiative that Xavi holds close to his heart ever since the passing of their friend, Nathan Noel, October 1st, 2013. Learn more about that at .

Peeled Fruit officially goes on sale November 9th and will be shipping worldwide through retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon Bookstore, Powell’s, and Barnes & Nobel. But to stay up to date on the release and news of the book, be sure to check out and follow @PeeledFruitBook on Instagram for information on how you can get your hardcover or e-version copies.

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