Unveiling ‘The Legend of Tessie Agana’: An Exclusive Interview with Author Mylene Richardson – Chikka Magazine

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In this Community Spotlight edition, we present an exclusive video interview with debut author Mylene Agana Jao Richardson, who provides an intimate look into her upcoming book, “The Legend of Tessie Agana: Beloved Child Star of the Philippines.”

This poignant memoir, set to launch on September 20, 2023, delves into the lives of Mylene’s mother, Tessie Agana, and grandmother, Linda Estrella, two luminaries from the Golden Age of Philippine cinema. In our conversation, Mylene reveals the profound themes that make this book a heartfelt journey of discovery.

The Legend of Tessie Agana Book Cover

In our discussion with Mylene, we explore her motivations for penning this memoir, especially at this point in her life. Growing up with a mother fondly remembered as ‘The Nation’s Little Sweetheart,’ often referred to as the ‘Shirley Temple of the Philippines,’ provided a unique backdrop for Mylene’s childhood. She candidly shares the challenges and revelations she faced while uncovering deeply personal themes, including family dynamics, mental health, love, and pain.

The book also delves into the journey of self-discovery as Mylene learns more about Tessie and her experiences. It’s a story of how understanding her mother’s past has shaped her understanding of herself, set against the backdrop of family and Filipino traditions that provide a rhythmic heartbeat to every step.

One of the most touching aspects of the interview is Mylene’s dedication to preserving her mother’s stories, particularly as Tessie now lives with dementia. She shares how this book has impacted her relationship with her mother and why capturing these memories is so crucial. (Watch the interview on Chikka Magazine)

By Chikka Magazine
September, 20 2023

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Mylene Richardson

Mylene Richardson

Mylene Agana Jao Richardson was born in Manila, Philippines, and is the sixth of nine children (six boys and three girls) from Tessie Agana Jao and Dr. Rodolfo Jao. Although she grew up in Indiana, her trips back to the Philippines are her most memorable family vacations. Mylene currently lives in Arizona, with her husband Andy, and their two sons, Chapman and Harris.


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