A year and change.

November 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

I have been thinking about gratefulness. I feel like when we say that we are grateful, it is because we need to prove that someone has it worse than us.

I wish we could be grateful that we no longer live in the past, with hate and violence. But we still live here. With our black and brown brothers getting shot by cops every 28 hours. With “Israel” raping and killing children in Palestine. With corrupt governments torturing our people in Mexico and the Philippines, with MY tax dollars.

It isn’t that I am not grateful. Thank you universe, for giving me 6,000 miles of space between my parents and I because you know I need it. Thank you universe, for keeping my blood family healthy because I don’t know how to properly react if something happened to them. Thank you universe for bringing me into a chosen family that loves and protects each other. Thank you universe for opening my eyes to the movement.

It is not that I am not grateful.

It is that I am not satisfied.

A letter to my mama…

January 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Mama,
I dont have the courage or the words to articulate my discoveries to you in our language. So maybe someday, as you grow your technology skills day by day, you might stumble along this page and google translate the best that google can…

In my 22 years of life, we have never said the words “i love you” to each other, although i do I remember some painful times in my childhood when I screamed that I hated you, ran and slammed doors.

The past few days were tough on me. I always knew I had “daddy issues”, but it never crossed my mind that since that 4am experience in the hills of Aiea, in the winter of 2008, that I have not acknowledged what I began to feel for you that day. You are strong, but in pain. You are powerful, and not in the least responsible for your trauma.

In my dreams, I am screaming. I am five years old, and screaming. When I first recognized my fear of being around the two of you, when I learned of the word divorce. I am screaming. A new thought has arose from my deep unconscious–if you had left then, We wouldnt be so damaged today. But i understand.

Thank you for making the choices you thought you had to make to ensure our survival. But now, we can let go and not only think of survival, but live life.

Mama, im going to make you proud. I will move mountains and rid us of our chains. I love you.

A new year.

January 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

Yikes! It’s been about a year and a half since I last posted on my blog!  You can just tell by the content of the last post.

Well, dear avid wayawayaan.wordpress.com readers, I have a proposition:

Whereas, I have been negligent of my wordpress,

-Be it resolved, I will post by the 20th of every month in the year of 2013.

 

Dear readers, I know you’re out there.  Please hold me accountable! If you know me personally, send me a text or email letting me know how you miss my musings.  If you have no idea who is behind this blog, write a comment, because comments go straight to my phone and give me so much guilt that I will hop on to write a heartfelt post within the day!

 

I will not use this space to reflect on 2012. I did that in the latter months already.  I have made strides towards bettering myself and the following resolutions reflect my RESOLVE to continue on this path.

With that being said, other resolutions:

-Make personal due dates for tasks that are important to me and share it with others, either through email or by posting them on my wall at work.  This way, I will be accountable to myself and to everyone I shared with.  Completed tasks will be rewarded with 3-second cabbage patch dances with everyone in a 5 yard radius.

-Call my best friends. 2 times a month at the very least.  This three month hiatus business is not okay. 2MAC for liiiiife!!

-Ask my mother how she is doing. Once per month. Don’t get crazy, we starting small.  By the 15th of every month.

-Get 8 hours of sleep, at least 4 nights of the week.  I know. That’s a lot to ask.  BUT SO NECESSARY!

-Limit myself to not spending more than $30 a month (in the winter) for cabs.  $10 max. per month in spring/summer/fall.  I pay ridiculous amounts for unlimited metrocards for a reason.  We need nationalized transportation. And education. And healthcare. #jussayintho

-At the end of every week, I will post a new task list for the next week on my bulletin board at work.

-I will not eat fastfood more than 3 times a month.  This is especially hard for me.

-Missing class because I overslept is unacceptable.  I am only allowed to do this ONCE for the entire year. oh my gosh. what am i getting into? can I say twice? like once per semester? eeeeeeeeeeeeee. Imma stick to it. My one day will rollover into 2014 if I stay disciplined!

-Dress appropriately to… everything. No more wearing t-shirts to meetings (although my converses with slacks swag is non negotiable)

-buy my textbooks BEFORE the semester is about to end.  this was a financial issue before, but I am hoping that with this resolution, I will plan accordingly.

-GET OUT. I cannot spend entire weeks in the Bronx without the excuse of snow days.  Cabin fever is a real thing. spend time with friends OUTSIDE of work. stop talking about work. for one day. go out dancing. because i love to dance.  Who wants to go dancing? I like salsa, merengue and baccata.  My b-girl days are over. no more hip hop swag to the clubs. im too old to be headspinning these days. take me in a dress!

 

January blog post. DONE.

Independence Day

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

I did not celebrate 4th of July as the conventional, “average” American celebrates US Independence Day OR even Philippine -American Friendship day.  Instead, I thought about those who FIGHT/ FOUGHT for genuine sovereignty and independence (and relaxed on the beach because it was my last day before work)!

At an anti-imperialist, vegan bbq, a painting was born:

She is a liberation fighter– the baybayin says, “MAKIBAKA”, or struggle.

Makibaka is also the women’s organization founded by Lorena Barros after the First Quarter Storm.  Lorena was a poet and activist who was forced to go underground during the Marcos regime and joined the New People’s Army.

In the vast sea of heroes that we hear of every day, I think it’s important that we commemorate really strong women in history.  Thus, “makibaka” (the painting) was born from the brush tips of waya and Fida 😉

 

a.

June 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

Exuding from her body like a fire

through her eyes, a story

passed down from her mother and her mother’s father

generations of strength and might.

 

In the light, I see her glowing like a million stars

nothing can pull her down,

she has already seen.. sorrow.

 

In the night, I see her tire

but she is relentless.

Passion mixed with worry,

she is concerned for tomorrow.

 

I feel her warmth standing next to me

gripping like she will never let go.

As much as I feel like I should be the protector,

she assures me that I am safe.

 

Safe from a repetition of the story that has been passed through her blood.

Woman warrior, she is almighty.

 

Yet, her heart she has hidden,

only soft smiles let loose

as the traffic jam in her mind remains

gridlocked.

 

She has made me feel, like never before.

Her silence is like suffering,

but I will remain struggling.

 

Assata

June 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m currently reading Assata: An Autobiography, so I will be posting quotes rather frequently.  Here’s the first quote that struck me, it’s not just a quote but a passage from a letter Assata wrote and recorded on tape to air on the radio while she was incarcerated:

Black brothers, Black sisters, i want you to know that i love you and i hope that somewhere in your hearts you have love for me. My name is Assata Shakur (slave name joanne chesimard), and i am a revolutionary. A Black revolutionary. By that i mean that i have declared war on all forces that have raped our women, castrated our men, and kept our babies empty-bellied.I have declared war on the rich who prosper on our poverty, the politicians who lie to us with smiling faces, and all the mindless, heart-less robots who protect them and their property.I am a Black revolutionary, and, as such, i am a victim of all the wrath, hatred, and slander that amerika is capable of. Like all other Black revolutionaries, amerika is trying to lynch me.I am a Black revolutionary woman, and because of this i have been charged with and accused of every alleged crime in which a woman was believed to have participated. The alleged crimes in which only men were supposedly involved, i have been accused of planning. They have plastered pictures alleged to be me in post offices, airports, hotels, police cars, subways, banks, television, and newspapers. They have offered over fifty thousand dollars in rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.I am a Black revolutionary, and, by definition, that makes me a part of the Black Liberation Army…

Black revolutionaries do not drop from the moon. We are created by our conditions. Shaped by our oppression. We are being manufactured in droves in the ghetto streets, places like attica, san quentin, bedford hills, leavenworth, and sing sing. They are turning out thousands of us. Many jobless Black veterans and welfare mothers are joining our ranks. Brothers and sisters from all walks of life, who are tired of suffering passively, make up the BLA.There is, and always will be, until every Black man, woman, and child is free, a Black Liberation Army. The main function of the BlackLiberation Army at this time is to create good examples, to struggle for Black freedom, and to prepare for the future. We must defend ourselves and let no one disrespect us. We must gain our liberation by any means necessary.It is our duty to fight for our freedom.It is our duty to win.We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.

Self Portrait

May 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

You throw your chin to the sky and squeeze your eyelids together to keep out the evils from entering your mind

You let beautiful strangers touch you because it is better than feeling the persistant, perpetual peeling at your skin from rough calused hands that should have been used to scare potential boyfriends and bullies vying to “hurt” you

Instead, those hands stole the nights of your pre adolescent years.

You prayed for the pitch darkness so that recognition was impossible. But Cognition was irrepairable and submission was inevitable.

Today You stand up for victims and survivors but refuse to acknowledge yourself as one. You feel like it couldnt have been as bad as the next persons experience but deep down inside you are screaming.

You are left barely afloat, floundering.

For a hand that you do not distrust. To let into your closed off heart. Hands that you are not afraid of. Of your many standards most important are hands that are Soft and delicate. You will never be with a man or a female guitar player.

You stare at the mirror to make sure that no man will want you, but as men are, your ass will always be on their mind. Fear of attention clouds fear of conceitedness.

Because it is real.

And every time a man walks by and whistles or hollers or says “hey mami”, you feel for the knife that once used to be clipped inside your front pants pocket.

Urges of violent reaction washing over you as if no amount of consequences and jail time could hinder you from gripping the plastic handle and flicking a blade to ultimately prove who is more powerful or stupid with a weapon from which there is no return.

No handcuffs or logic could make sense to you as your mind envisions stabbing at the genitals of the gyrating half human demonstrating his manhood on the subway, bus or danceclub.

Triggering.

Images of rough, calused hands creeping under your night gown in the dead of the night that made you more comfortable to sleep in buttoned jeans and scratchy sweaters in the ninety degree tropical climate of your room.

Triggering.

Feeling unsanitary and alone when you are suffocated and bare.

Spending hours in the shower to scrub away the lasting impressions of years of rough calused hands against your young skin.

Triggering.

Feelings of intense fear and vulnerability when older men stand too close or smile or place their large rough calused hands on your waist.

Anger flowing violently in your veins drive you to clench fists and breathe shallow as you remind yourself that they are friends. Not all men are disgusting. But believing nothing of your own mantra.

You wonder how you will get through days when friends joke of rape and incest. Topics too real for you to ever find funny.

Triggering.

Feelings of foolishness as you become the downer of the party because you are having a moment when you dont feel like being in dark places with older men. They will never understand your fears as you run away to the bathroom just to breathe.
Deep breaths telling yourself that youre okay.
Deep breaths telling yourself that nobody will hurt you.
Deep breaths to tell yourself to believe in your own lies.

Child of the horrors unbeknownst to friends. Child of abuse.

You will never be okay. But you will always be strong. Even in times of genuine weakness.

kinabukasan.

November 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

bukas.

sana.

just wages for workers.

just compensation for farmers.

sapat na budget para sa mga eskuwelahan.

malaya ang mga Morong 43 healthworkers.

the missing are surfaced.

justice.

exists.

but this isn’t real.

bukas.

siguro.

the workers are still laboring in harsh conditions.

the farmers get gypped for their toiling.

wala pa rin ginagawa si noynoy tungkol sa 43 na manggagawang pangkalusugan.

wala pa rin ang mga nawawala.

wala pa rin ang hustisya.

eto.

ang bukas.

na ayaw kong makita.

pero eto.

siguro.

ang bukas.

pero bukas.

katulad ngayon.

tuloy pa rin kami ng pag-kilos.

we will still continue shouting.

writing.

fighting.

hanggang.

malaya.

ang lipunan.

hanggang malaya.

ang buong daigdig.

nasaan po ang CR?

November 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

I went to FIND on Saturday at Fordham University (in the Bronx).

FIND is an east coast Filipino organization but I don’t know what the acronym means and I’m too lazy to look it up.

ANYWAY. this entry is not about FIND. this entry is my random vent about how bathrooms should be more obvious.

The conference was being conducted in the gym.  My table was in the far back.  I had to use the bathroom. BAD.  *warning: stop reading if you get queasy at the mention of bowel movements. To be honest, I had to poo.  For a long time I used to be very irregular, but once I came back from the Philippines, I go on a daily basis (kind of annoying).

Today (well, Saturday), was just another day where I had to look for a bathroom where I could release my pent up frustrations and bodily waste.

And I was off! Off to explore the world… of the Fordham University Athletics Building… for a bathroom.

Before I even got mid way through the gym to get to the exit, I ran into Steve.  I said my hi’s, how are you’s, and WHERE IS THE BATHROOM?!  He simply replied, “go straight ahead”.

okay, thanks 🙂

I was going. straight ahead, as instructed, when I came to racketball courts and locker rooms.  I remember my kasamas before telling me that they had a hard time finding the bathroom but went to the locker rooms.  So I decided I was in the right area.

There was another student a little way ahead of me, towards the end of the hall where locker rooms were on the left and racketball courts on the right were.  He was also looking for the bathroom, it seemed.

That’s when a helpful, FIND/Fordham student came to the rescue!  “Are you looking for the bathroom?” We (the lost ones) nod our heads. “Come with me,” he says while waving his arm towards him.  As soon as I step toward him he says, “oh, the women’s bathroom is….. around here… you have to use a locker room, i think”

WHAT?! so much for being helpful… I mean he was, to the OTHER DUDE. But it’s fine. How can I expect a BOY to help me out?

So I go deeper into the hallway. “Women’s locker room…. blah blah” sign on a door that clearly stated it was a men’s locker room.  Too much uncertainty for me, so I kept going.

aha! women’s locker room…. FACULTY.  oh no. I’m no teacher. so I kept walking.

I’m at the end of the hall when I find, WOMEN’s LOCKER ROOM: Administration. crap.  That’s even worse!

So I go back and decide to use the faculty women’s locker room.  I did a swift check, listened for others, and went on to the bathroom, happy that I was alone.

I peed.

That’s when I heard the sound of the door open, close, feet shuffling.

someone had entered.

combination lock jangling, locker door slamming, oh no.

nervously I clean myself up, swiftly wash my hands, and rush out of the locker rooms as I saw a semi-naked white woman peeling herself out of her swimsuit out of the edge of my eye.

I still need to poo.

I am devastated that my main objective was not attained.  I was walking towards the gym again when I saw, at the end of the hallway that opens up into the lobby before the gym, “women’s locker room”.

I FOUND IT.

I look to make sure nothing makes it off limits (such as “faculty” or “Admin” sign). victory is near.

I go inside, somebody is in the back corner shuffling but nobody is in the bathroom area.  I take a seat.  mouth-wateringly close to success.

I realize that the whole place is extremely silent.  I listen intently to make sure nobody is around.

Suddenly, someone opens the locker room doors. the doors slam back. silence. shuffling. click. there’s somebody in the stall right next to me and they are taking forever to start their business.

nervously, i reach back, pull the handle and flush.

masked with the sound of the loud water, I am the almighty, five pounds lighter.  but there are negatives.  flushing while on the throne is cause for splash. wiping took an extra minute. but surprisingly refreshing.

washed my hands, dried them on my pants, and out the door, back to the gym.

ran back to my table and recapped the entire story to my kasama, who in turn, told me to write a blog.

so here it is. my blog.

I hope that wasn’t too gross.

ill be back to my more political rants shortly. thank you for staying tuned 🙂

Ganito ang buhay natin

October 2, 2010 § 2 Comments

Ganito ang buhay natin

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/201732/5-dead-2-hurt-in-cagayan-road-accident

Bagong isip. Namulat uli ako.

Mga kasama.
Hindi pala tayo invincible.

…sa mga balita, na nawawala s’ya. Pinatay daw ng mga nakasakay sa motor, nakasuot ng bonnets na kulay itim, nakahawak ng malalaking armas. Massacre sa Hacienda, sa harap ng union office. Violent dispersals sa rally, sa demolition ng isang squatter community.

Ganito ang buhay natin. Alam ko naman ‘yan.

Pero. Parang hindi ako nagtitiwala sa mga balita, na patay na s’ya dahil sa sakit. Namatay sa aksidente. Namatay sa baha.

‘Di ko kaya ‘yan.

Pero tao lang din tayo.

Oo, ang alam ko, kahit hindi sa kamay ng kaaway namatay, martir pa rin sila. Kapag committed ang buhay nila para sa masa. Oo alam ko ‘yan.

Kasamang Alex, Kasamang Rhoda, Kasamang Aileen, Kasamang Bruks at marami pa.. Pare-pareho sila ng commitment sa masa. Sa pagkilos. Sa pakikibaka. Katulad ni Ka Bel. Katulad nila Tanya at Ian. Nila Edjop at Lorena. Katulad ng lahat ng mga kasamang martir na mas nauna pa sa atin…

Mga tunay na bayani.

Ganito ang buhay natin.

Pero kung nawawala tayo dahil sa pagod, sa lungkot o sa takot, nawawala din ang kabuluhan ng buhay nila.

Hindi na tayo p’wedeng huminto sa pagkilos dahil sa sakit sa puso at mata dahil sa pagdadalamhati.

Oo. Tama. Masakit nga. MASAKIT talaga. Minsan iniisip ko na bakit sila?! Bakit hindi ako?! Bakit ganito?! Bakit ba???!!!!

Pero, alam naman natin na ganito ang buhay natin.

Basta tuloy-tuloy tayo, ang pagkilos at pakikibaka.

Para sa akin, ginagawa ko ito para kay Aileen. Dahil s’ya ang pinaka-malapit sa akin.

Ang iba pang mga martir, hindi ko sila kilala. Pero kilala ko sila. Kasama sila. Martir sila. Bayani sila.

Hindi ko malilimutan ang iba at ang mga mas nauna pa sa kanya. Never. Dahil sila ang naging inspirasyon sa kanya. At s’ya, para sa akin. Tuloy-tuloy ang proseso na Ito.

Pero, balang-araw, mawawala ang mga bagong martir. Dahil magiging malaya ang mamamayan. Dahil sa lahat ng mga martir, at mga kasama, at masa na tumulong sa pakikibaka.

Hanggang sa tagumpay, mga kasama.

Ganito ang buhay natin.