Edmel was born and raised in Washington. Both her parents immigrated from the Philippines. Growing up, she heard Ilokano being spoken but did not learn to speak the language. It was not until high school that she realized that not knowing Ilokano was like not knowing herself. She wanted to learn Ilokano to better understand her parents, and herself, and be able to share the language with the next generation. Those values brought her to the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, where she received her BA in Ilokano Language and Literature. Currently, she continues to navigate the importance of the Ilokano language and culture through teaching, developing language content, and supporting the next generation of First-Generation Filipinxs in higher education.