As a 1.5 generation Filipinx American, I’ve grown up in the United States learning to take up as little space as possible, internalizing all of the pressures to assimilate to American culture. After years of trying to balance my identity as a Filipinx in a place that deemed me as a minority, I have worked my way to university, not forgetting that I am here because of my parents who worked so hard to immigrate to the United States. Continue reading →
I didn’t want our love to be political. It wasn’t radical or revolutionary—it was just ours. I refused to write our relationship as an allegory for oppression, for colonization. But we didn’t exist in a vacuum. We were not magically in love, off in a fantasy world. Rather, we were the perfect allegory for the colonizer and the colonized. Eventually, I wrote a poem called “White Man’s Love,” a nod to Rudyard Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” (which was actually about the United States and the Philippines), in which I wrote, tongue-in-cheek, I just happened to be brown, and he just happened to be white.
Similarly, this poem, “atonement,” nods to the first song my ex wrote about me, in which he co-opted my mental illness and suicidal ideation as his own pain. Continue reading →
[Before you read this post, I highly recommend that you watch the video first.]
I gave this presentation last year during a TED talk-like event at my school. I was in graduate school working to obtain a Masters in Mental Health counseling. This presentation was a first step for me in living, claiming and embracing #WalangHiya. As a Filipina, it takes a lot of courage for me to speak my truths into the world even about something that seems simple like makeup. Continue reading →