Wowz, it’s been years since I’ve had the nerve to post here. I read through my old posts periodically and feel like I’m reading the writing of a different person. A testament to what this blog was intended for all along – to document the formation of a member of the Philippine diaspora.
I’m back to share the first chunk of my daily reflections, sparked by Anakbayan New Jersey’s Filipino American History Month writing challenge. But before I share the first set of posts, here are some fun facts about Filipino American History Month:
- The first Filipino American History Month was commemorated in October 1992
- October was chosen to celebrate month to commemorate the arrival of the first Filipinos who landed in what is now Morro Bay, California.
- October is also the birth month of Filipino American labor leader Larry Itliong.
Read more for reflections #1 – 3:
Hello my shameless readers. It’s near the end of July and I’m finally ready to share some writing again. Since my last post on the term Filipinx, I took time to reflect on the resulting online and offline conversations. I kept hearing the term “decolonized,” which got me thinking, am I decolonized?
Here’s where I’m at with my understanding:
Amongst my peers, decolonization refers to the process of mental and physical labor against the Western empires. Beyond that:
Decolonization is an ethos, a characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community. (S/O to my friend Veronica for introducing the term ethos to me). Decolonization is a dynamic way of being (because we humans are not static). It is a recognition of our colonized history and an intentional and impactful way of living one’s life to move us into a new era, one that is not centered on the systemic oppression of people to increase an empire’s wealth and power. Continue reading
DISCLAIMER: I write this post as a cis-gender womxn of the Filipin* diaspora with the intention that it uplifts a conversation that appears to be happening within the global Filipin* community in small pockets on the Internet. Please note, this post may have an uncomfortable impact for readers who identify as trans and/or as Filipinos living in the Philippines. I write this post — not to provide an answer to whether or not members of the global Filipin* community should self-identify as Filipinx — but rather to shed some light on my own process in understanding the term “Filipinx” and this ongoing conversation within our community, which I have had the privilege of witnessing and being a part of within my own circles.
This post has been nearly a month in the making. It’s taken many conversations and re-writes in an attempt to get to the heart of this on-going conversation and my own process. I hope that by sharing what I have learned and what I know, you find some peace within your own process.
When I started this blog, I intentionally chose to use “Filipinx” American because of a conversation I had with a non-binary Filipin* friend of mine a few months earlier. They had called me into a conversation about why I used the term Filipino in my Facebook posts given its oppressive connotations.
This conversation caused me to rethink how and why I use the term. I learned that though not initially how Filipino/Filipina were intended to be used, the two terms have 1) created a gender binary amongst the Filipin* diaspora community particularly within the U.S. context (from my personal observations within Filipin* diaspora spaces); thus, erasing the lived experiences of many gender-non-confirming Filipin* diaspora members and 2) similar to the term Latino, the term Filipino “assign masculinity as gender neutral when it isn’t.” Continue reading
I’m back! This post took me over a month to have the courage to publish. I struggled to be gentle, tender and loving to myself as I wrote this as I’m baring the current status of my soul to you, lovely readers, so please, be gentle.
I unintentionally took a break from my #2017Project during the month of April. March had been full as I curated daily content for the Reclaiming #WalangHiya digital platform. When April came, I didn’t do a great job of setting aside intentional writing time. That, and a lot happened.
Winter, Lent and Easter came and went. I gave up alcohol for Lent. I spent time confronting myself through daily reflection. I decided to enter a committed monogamous relationship. I worked every weekend. I went to Atlanta for the first time and for my first work conference. I started job searching, got an offer, accepted another offer, put my two weeks in and worked my last day last week. In the midst of all this, I experienced intense anxiety and a few mental breakdowns. At one point, I started to tell my friends that I was ready to return to the West Coast. Now, I’m starting to wrap my head around the fact that I am staying longer in New York than I initially expected.
While I was discerning over whether to stay in New York or go home, my good friend and beloved editor, Mary paused me to mull over the following: 1) when life gets difficult, I have a habit of saying I’m going to return to the West Coast, and 2) something seems to keep me here in New York. It doesn’t seem or feel like I’m ready to leave simply because I’m saying I want to move back to the West Coast during a period of desolation.
And despite my anxiety, stress and frustration at the time, I knew Mary was right. Continue reading
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect the official stance of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated and solely represent the personal views, opinions, and frustrations of the author.
Some people may read this as airing dirty laundry but this is me breaking silence because when there is injustice, keeping silence is more shameful than breaking silence. Asian and non-Asian alike, my sisters and I need to be reminded that our letters were created to help us stand out and stand together.
This past Thursday was the 22nd anniversary of the founding of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Incorporated. On March 9, 1995 at Binghamton University, seven strong women of various Asian backgrounds officially formed the sorority in response to the lack of Asian representation on their campus. Kappa today is active in 27 schools with a membership of 3,189 sisters and counting, and an average GPA of 3.3 among our actives.
But no one asks about our founding history, why we wear red, white, and heather grey, or what our minimum active GPA is. Nah, it’s always about hazing. So, LET ME TELL YOU about the HAZING it took to earn these letters… Continue reading