Womxn in Seattle: Rosin Kalakona Saez (by Emma Eekhoff)

When I hear the name Rosin Kalakona Saez, I think of one of the most passionate and eager journalists in Seattle. Rosin is someone is always bursting with admiration for culture and food. Through the powerful engine of journalism, she is able to reach audiences and speak on her loves, critiques, and experiences through the ritual of food.

Now she’s an associate editor at Seattle Met Magazine. She covers everything from dining to lifestyle to fashion. Her journey into journalism began after coming back to the States after spending most of her senior abroad fulfilling her Italian Studies requirements through the UW. Like most new graduates, she felt a little uncertain, so she began writing in big and small ways. First through a blog, where her mom was her #1 reader. Then she landed an internship with Seattle Met and afterward she stayed in touch with Seattle Met, but began freelance writing for other food and culture publications. During this journey, Saez took an editor position, at a non-profit lead by Taylor Wong. The nonprofit, Ethnic Business Coalition, came about to highlight and celebrate immigrant owned businesses in Seattle. This part of her journalistic career took her to many different parts of Seattle, opening her eyes and the reader's eyes to important stories about mom-and-pop businesses trying to make it out here.

Then the opportunity arose to take an editor position at Seattle Met and after some extremely busy months Saez fully transitioned to Seattle Met where she is today.

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Who are your biggest inspirations?

Soleil Ho, she’s the newest food and restaurant critic at San Francisco Chronicle. I’ve been following her for a while, she's a food writer, researcher, and all around badass. My favorite thing about her is that she always come from an honest noble place in her writing, and when I look at the world of food writing in general, some of the people that are writing these stories are changing and are starting to have a bigger impact. I think she's done that really well to the point where she get to be this really big voice on a huge publication.

Elaine Marie Welteroth is another (past editor of Teen Vogue.) What I find admirable is that she’s been able to turn this magazine that was written simply for the sake of young women, but now she’s shaped it into a way that shows young women, but not limited to those who are activists, and who want to be involved in the world at large.

I love that she can come into a place and have a whole impact on the culture of a magazine.


What have you been reading, (watching, and listening to) lately?
Since we are under the administration we are in, I’ve been reflecting on what I can do on an individual level, and what I’ve come to with that, is setting out to read books written by women, women of color, especially if it's from a different perspective like a queer woman. So this year I’ve been reading books by women so that I can give them space to listen to their stories and I can share it with others who it might touch.


After setting that intention, I’ve read books by Jesmyn Ward, Celeste Ng, and Claire L. Evans. Evan’s book, Broadband (NF) was really interesting to me because it was about the history behind computers and the internet. Set during wartimes, so the men were all away, and women created so much, and aren't credited for it. Like how women straight up created HTML.


Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming has been on my nightstand and I’ve also been reading cookbooks like I am Filipino. Its like part cookbook part memoir, I got it last November when I was in Manila.
 
What’s on your playlist?


My musical taste is very broad.

ParisAlexa, I love listening to her during my commute. She’s either pumping me up for the day or smoothing me out as I end a day.

I am half-Puerto Rican, so I have a heart for salsa music. I have such great memories of my parents blasting Santana, Mark Anthony, Enrique, so I listen to that while I cook dinner.  

Travis Scott, Sam Cooke, Quincy Jones, and not R. Kelly because fuck that.


What does self-care look like in 2019?

It looks like when I’m on vacation and I’m taking days off, I’m truly unplugging from work, from the red dot notifications on my phone. Simply allowing myself to take breaks.


Self-care also looks like saying “no” to things, when I feel like I’m obligated to say “yes.”

Dear Young People…
Don’t worry about taking the right career path, because it might not exist.

Don't listen to people who say you can’t do X, if you don’t do Y. There are so many different routes to take, and if you're making space for opportunities in your life, they are bound to blossom.

More specifically to journalism, those that study it or wish to go into it, still should because more now than ever, we need more voices reporting, there are so many stories going untold and unreported. There could be sacrifices in pay and in where you get to live, but if you have a passion for it, then make it happen. Being a journalist 10 years ago looks different than it does today, and probably will look even more different in 5 years.

Journalism needs you as much as you need it. Be brave.

See all of our interviews here.