Hello! I’m Mark, a party of one, trying to live my best life in Seattle and hoping to share it with a new little family member.
I’m originally from the East Coast and moved to Seattle in 2017. I grew up in West Virginia (the same WV John Denver sings about in Take Me Home, Country Roads!) where I learned about community, how to be a good neighbor, and small-town values. I went to college in Washington, DC, where I met students from around the world and learned to appreciate other cultures and points of view. A few years later I continued north to New York where the city taught me to be agile, resilient, and be myself. NYC, where I lived for almost 18 years, also influenced my passions for art, design, food, and different people. I now reside in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where I feel at home.
My family (parents, 3 older brothers and sister, and their families) is everything. We provide one another with community, acceptance, advice, unconditional love, fun, and support during good and bad times. Even though most of them live on the East Coast with my sister residing in London, our communication lines are always open, allowing us to remain very close. And when we get a chance to reunite in person, our childish immaturities emerge, we pick up where we left off, and that distance disappears. My 9 nieces and nephews are also important to me. I support them, provide guidance, and occasionally offer some advice and wisdom. And whether it’s going to a trampoline park or chaperoning a kids-only activity, I also try my best to live up to my fun uncle (“Funcle”) roles and responsibilities.
I am very fortunate to work for a tech company that shares my own values of accountability, integrity, and respect. My role as a manager to coach, model, and care for a small team is one I enjoy and take very seriously.
During my free time, I embrace Washington’s offerings. I enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and the occasional boat trip. I used to run regularly and am currently trying to re-establish a routine (the struggle to be more disciplined is real). I also played ice hockey several years ago and may explore playing again when nearby Climate Pledge Arena opens to Seattle’s new hockey team the Kraken! I have a set of very close friends with whom I enjoy spending time, seeing live musical performances, dining together, and hanging out in their backyards. Reading and watching the news are part of my daily routine. I volunteer as a crisis counselor for a LGBTQI+ youth suicide hotline.
I hope to be a good parent who can offer my child the opportunities and experiences I had growing up – an education, safe/comfortable/loving home environment, healthcare, travel, emotional support, and celebration of differences. I want to create a family environment that will help my child reach their potential while being their authentic self. I hope to continue some of the traditions I already have including Christmas with family, New Years in NYC with friends, trips to Provincetown on Cape Cod, sleeping under sheet tents in the living room, amusement parks, watching funny YouTube videos, and pumpkin picking. I also look forward to creating new traditions including meals and celebrations with my child’s birth family, regular visits to neighboring Pacific Science Center and “Artists at Play” Playground, holiday activities (e.g., stockings and Elf on the Shelf!), singing songs and dancing together, discovering special places to visit, and more!
Finally, I believe identity is important to every human. I am gay. I am an American Filipino. To fully embrace and celebrate who they are, I feel my child should know their background and their birth family. I hope to foster an inclusive, the-porch-light-is-on relationship with my child’s birth parents.
I have a lot of love in my heart to give and am excited to become a dad and party of more.