Since the election of Donald Trump, I’ve gone in cycles of lows and highs, of feeling replenished and feeling depleted. Even before the election, life in New York was feeling sh*tty and I was constantly searching for ways to replenish myself in the midst of a lot of heaviness. Time and time again, I come to the conclusion that life is just a series of moments of overcoming obstacles, sprinkled with moments of pure joy.
I know this cyclical process of overcoming as resiliency.
When asked what I’m proud of as a Filipinx American, our resiliency is at the top of my list. My grandparents, my parents, my aunts and uncles, my cousins — all of us, we exude a resiliency that is difficult to put into words. We’ve learned how to survive and how to persevere. What’s most challenging about resiliency is learning how to grow. Because with growth, comes discomfort.
Some of the greatest wisdom I’ve gained from my elders is that there is a way of moving through discomfort that holds the secret to accessing our most resilient selves. I’ve learned from my Filipinx culture that resiliency is best accessed through collective care. I’ve watched my own family move forward from the death of my grandparents by taking care of one another through collective prayer, meals and dialogue. Through this collective care, we replenished one another and healed ourselves so we could live another day, another week, another year.
Living miles away from my wonderfully eclectic and grounding extended family has made learning how to replenish myself a unique challenge especially in the midst of the current political climate. Replenishing myself has become an artistic process.
Lately, on top of praying and reflecting (guided by the good ol’ Jesuit Examen), and reading books like Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Darkness and Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, writing on my blog has been my greatest source of replenishment in 2017 so far.
I want to share that feeling.
When I discovered the phrase “Walang Hiya,” I realized that the movement to reclaim the phrase had no central location. And with March being Womxn’s History Month, I thought it fitting to create something collaborative. This month, I, along with other Filipinx diaspora members are launching a digital platform / social media movement that uplifts the voices and narratives of Femme / Womxn Identifying Filipinx diaspora folks across the world around the theme of “Walang Hiya.” Hopefully, these stories will spur thinking and dialogue about the ways we live in shame of our intersecting identities and how we can actively work to resist that shame.
How will this platform work?
Nearly everyday this month, I will be sharing the perspective of another member of the Filipinx diaspora specifically on their thoughts around the theme #WalangHiya. You will be able to see these posts across all my channels: this blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Considering that I created the concept last Thursday, the turnaround has been insane. I recognize that I’m being incredibly ambitious by trying to get this done in addition to working a 10 – 6 job and continue contributing to local organizing efforts.
But this is the thing about this collaborative effort: it gives me life and mental energy to do the other things in my life that sometimes feel heavily debilitating.
I’m super excited to uplift the struggles, lessons, and narratives of my fellow Filipinx diaspora. As I’ve been having conversations to coordinate the posts, I feel our shared thirst for this platform, lingering hiya waiting to be liberated through art, and a wonderfully authentic excitement. It’s been so life giving and I hope that as we publish these posts, you find it life giving too.
This project is a product of my resiliency, my desire to grow and my desire to grow with a collective. Thank you to everyone who has signed up so far to share parts of their narratives. I look forward to sharing, exploring and healing with you all this month.
To resiliency and to living life with #WalangHiya.