Category Archives: American

The Challenge of Living with #WalangHiya

As much as my parents like to deny it, I am who I am because of them. The home they created for the three of us were my initial grounds for socialization, the space that sparked my faith, spurred my love for music and the outdoors, and where I developed my conflict coping mechanisms.

I always aim to publish my weekly blog posts over the weekend or Monday at the latest — but as you may (or may not) have noticed, this week’s post is late. I planned to write about my parents’ immigration narratives — a feeble attempt to articulate the historical and personal factors that contributed to their decisions to forfeit the lives they knew in the Philippines, sprinkled with quotable remarks made when the stories were passed orally to me and painted over with a broad historical lens. Continue reading

Taking Up An Unlikely Space

🎧 To the spaces in between our faces
The most beautiful places in the world
Don’t waste it, I could almost taste it
The most beautiful places in the worldMint by KAMAU

I’ve been listening to this song non-stop this week. The hook has me hooked and thinking about space — the types of spaces I choose to inhabit, the types of spaces I stumble on and most of all how I take up space. Continue reading

The Call for Emotional Labor

I’ve spent half of my week sick in bed: chugging fluids, downing Vitamin C, closing my eyes while drowning out the world with music and Bob’s Burgers. My friend, Mary had gotten sick the day after the Womxn’s March but miraculously, I felt a hunnid. I thought I had managed to steer clear but turns out, the one day I didn’t wear my poncho scarf, is the one day the rain pours, the wind roars and germs are rampant.

But I do think there is more to me getting sick than that scientific explanation.

Last year, when I was a Jesuit Volunteer, the combination of being away from my home, friends and family, living with white folks whose unchecked entitlement made me feel inhuman, and working at a job where black and brown staff particularly womxn were taken advantage of at every turn – I got colds more frequently than normal. Despite my best efforts to self-care by journaling, making music, talking with friends, going to mass or just getting out of the house, the stress of my life would get to me and I would end up stuck in bed with a bad cold.

Now, it’s the combination of… Continue reading

Walang Hiya: A Filipinx American Womxn’s Reflections on the 2017 DC Women’s March

After flip-flopping for months about whether to go to D.C. for the Women’s March, I committed and bought a bus ticket a few weeks ago. Despite my initial pull to stay and organize in New York, I settled on an even greater pull to travel the five hours to participate in the march — mainly to observe the current state of the national womxn’s movement in-person.

Mainstream media’s been over-covering world-record breaking attendances and warm feelings about starting positive change so I thought I’d change it up and add a Filipinx American womxn of color’s perspective to the mix with a list of realities I experienced and observed: Continue reading

Professionalism: The Art of Compartmentalizing

Professionalism

In my Filipinx American organizing spaces, we sometimes check-in by sharing personal updates on one of the five P’s:

  • Pinansya/Pag-aaral (finance/school)
  • Pamilya/Kaibigan (Family/Friends)
  • Pag-ibig (Love)
  • Pag-kilos (Revolution Work)
  • Pagkalusugan (Health)

The last time we did this, the facilitator mentioned when choosing only one, you could still talk about the other four P’s. A simple reminder to us that we don’t have to compartmentalize because the different aspects of our lives are interconnected.

Lately, I’ve been working on recognizing and naming the interconnectedness of my life. It’s my way of actively working to resist compartmentalization, a process I now view as a product of imperialistic and patriarchal socialization — a realization three years in the making. Continue reading