Thoughts of a Raised Pinay

For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power is rediscovered. […] Interdependency between women is the way to a freedom which allows the ‘I’ to ‘be’, not in order to be used, but in order to be creative. This is a difference between the passive ‘be’ and the active ‘being’. — Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”

It has been two years since RAISED PINAY premiered at the Philippine Consulate General and at NYU in New York City. (As of the publication of this post, a second iteration of Raised Pinay, featuring a new all-Pinay cast, premiered this year at St. John’s University in Queens and at MayDay Space in Brooklyn.)

I intended to write this post after the shows ended, as a reflection on the process leading up to that point. But then time passed and many things came up that kept me from writing about it. Coming back to this, I decided to discuss what has happened since Raised Pinay and how much I have changed. It is fitting to discuss Raised Pinay this way, not just from a performer’s standpoint, but from an actual “raised Pinay” standpoint; this was more than just a “show” but a necessary healing process and a turning point in my life.

Raised Pinay was a rite of passage into my womanhood, in the context of ‘the Filipino’.

Continue reading Thoughts of a Raised Pinay

‘My Heritage’ Reading (Using AALR Tarot Deck)

The month of May is both Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) and Mental Health Awareness Month. What other fitting way is there, to celebrate and engage in these designated themes that perfectly coincide with each other, than to do a tarot reading–using a tarot deck from the Asian American Literary Review.  Continue reading ‘My Heritage’ Reading (Using AALR Tarot Deck)

Raised (and Rising) Pinay

Here is a person coming to grips with all that she is: a child, a sensitive being, a Raised Pinay, a culture-bearer, a seeker, a naturally curious mind, a whisper among many voices, and another link to a long chain of steel.

Many like me are trying to find root, to understand who we are and where we come from, to affirm ourselves as descendants of strong people who have been resilient throughout our colonized history of trauma, displacement, and migration. We are writers of a narrative that has long been at the hands of outsiders, but now we hold the pen like an Eskrimadora, ready to strike truth into the earth.

I have yet to accept this power from within. But I know that this is not a lonely battle. I have community, I have Sisterhood, I have ancestors, I have breath that extends all the way from the motherland to here.

Pinay Ako, Pinay Tayo.

[Featured accessories: Zig-zag scarf by Twinkle Ferraren. Philippine flag medallion by Tiffany Freeman of Conscious Centers. Sili pepper necklace from Bicol region. Yellow shawl from Beautiful Tibet (NYC).]