Reclaiming #WalangHiya: Enough

Reclaiming #WalangHiya: Enough

AnneMarie Ladlad created this digital space on Formation of a Filipinx American for women-identifying filipinxs to individually + collectively #reclaim the phrase #WalangHiya, which has been traditionally used to shame. I wrote this poem-prose hybrid as a contribution to the project and my personal reclamation.

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This is President Duterte's Philippines

Police brutality abroad.

As a 2nd-gen FilAm millennial, I'm having a lot of trouble connecting with first generation Filipino-Americans on the subject of President Duterte. Most feedback I get from my elders is along the lines of "just be glad we don't live there anymore. It's always been better in the States which is why we fought so hard and sacrificed so much to be here." And then everyone moves on to other less heavy dialogue. It's dismissive actually and quite honestly pisses me off - feeding into this fucked mentality of "oh we don't have to worry about that now, those days are in the past, we're Americans." Even in the Twitter universe, the general discussion is from white folks saying things like "this is an exceptional piece of journalism" or "stunning work capturing a horrifying topic"

...like straight up praising the journalist/media outlet as the focal point of conversation rather than actually talking about what's going on here - as if this is something so foreign that we cannot even connect to it at home.

 

But we can. And that's what's so painful to me.

 

Duterte has publicly endorsed Trump. Dark humor memes are circling around of him, Putin, Trump, and Xi being the new era faces representing the "modern Axis powers." Trump says Duterte is handling drug problems the "the right way."

 

This is Duterte's Philippines.

 

"AS MY TIME IN THE PHILIPPINES WORE ON, the killings seemed to become more brazen. Police officers appeared to do little to hide their involvement in what were essentially extrajudicial executions. Nanlaban had become a dark joke.

 

“There is a new way of dying in the Philippines,” said Redentor C. Ulsano, the police superintendent in the Tondo district. He smiled and held his wrists together in front of him, pretending to be handcuffed."

 

I'm not sure what it is I'm searching for in posting this. Maybe just a safe space to share this. Maybe some words of hope. Maybe some insight. Idk, but thank you so much for reading this post, and thank you especially for reading the photo essay.

 

Here's the photo essay:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/07/world/asia/rodrigo-duterte-philippines-drugs-killings.html?_r=0

Take care of one another

The virulent populace of Trump America sees this election as permission to [re]act on hatred. Not even 24 hours after the election and this part of the world is already gloomier.

The racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic rhetoric that fueled Trump's campaign has empowered a monstrous dynamic.

Yes, macro riots are emerging all over the country. Those riots are groups of citizens mobilizing as a reaction of despair and desperation to the reality that we've elected a demagogue.

But these patterns linked here...these are also riots, in my opinion. Riots that are happening on more micro levels. The quiet riots that happen as individual - but frequent and patterned - instances. The quiet riots that are terrifyingly infiltrating people in public (and private!) spaces that were once just a part of their regular routine day-to-days. So of course media can't capture these instances: they don't make the best broll footage of wide-angle shots when compared to the kind of footage captured in mobilized macro riots.

But these quiet riots are happening. And they are not any less violent than the acts happening on your TV screens.

It's a battleground out there, y'all. Please look out for one another and take care of each other.

Original post with images: https://www.facebook.com/flerine.atienza/posts/10157809155575360

8 Ways the #PakGanernChallenge Celebrates Carefree Filipino Culture

On today's edition of what Fler finds while en commute on the above-ground M train...

I just scrolled through the #PakGanernChallenge (a campy handclap game like BigBooty and Ms. Mary Mack where you have to add more and speed up your tempo with each round) that’s been going viral in the Philippines, and I am LOVING IT. Look at all of the #carefree play on #gender which can be seen even in just the first few vids that pop up in the hashtag search!!!    Here are some renditions for your enjoyment:

1. Basic PakGanern

2. Hypermasculine angry PakGanern

3. Trans woman teaching cis-males how to PakGanern

4. Slayyyyy PakGanern

5. Teaching white boys how to PakGanern

6. A cappella PakGanern

7. Homegirl PakGanern-ing pop music lyrics

And there you have it, folks.  Galenngggg na man talaga!!!   So freaking #hellapinoy and SO alive and funny.

Happy Monday, y'all. <3

 

My love letter to the oppressed

To all women, people of color, LGBTQIA, and marginalized groups of human beings and souls - if your heart is breaking, if your spirit is crushed, and your hope dwindling, know this: you are important and you are loved. This is a letter to you from me, with a message written from my heart and ignited by fervor/desperation: 1) do not stop taking care of yourself and 2) do not stop being vocal.

1. Please remember to do something that brings you joy today (and every day). Sing your favorite song, laugh with your best friend, eat 12 oysters at your favorite dollar happy hour spot, text your mom you love her, whatever makes you happy - do it. You have to remember to put forth a little more effort in your little joys, especially during times of grief and rage. We have to remember to balance our minds, bodies, and souls for well-being.

2. Please do not stop feeling, emoting, writing, yelling, crying, creating. Today, you and I are writing history and you probably don't even realize it. Please hear me out.

If you grew up in public middle/high schools, you probably experienced history and literature the way I did - spending weeks of semesters memorizing dates and names of the 'classics,' the big battles, etc which in

the canon of western thought/practice was written from the perspective of the white male victor/conqueror/colonizer

...while the wipeout of Natives, entirety of slavery, women's rights to vote...were all reduced to little paragraphs you could memorize on a flashcard. Even in AP Art History we spent months on European art yet skipped or glossed over African, Asian, South American, and Polynesian art because of what would be tested. Hell, I earned my BA in Literature/Women's Studies/Art History and even I had no idea up until yesterday that the world's very first full novel was written by a JAPANESE WOMAN.

To my sisters, brothers, friends, cousins, colleagues suffering in marginalized communities; to those who are biting their tongues at work to not rattle the boss’ feathers because we are grieving - we mourn and weep and experience and complain and riot on social media because this gives us community - and this is OUR platform for history. Years, decades, eons from now the textbooks and reality of history cannot ignore the reactions of the populous - because our very ethos-in-real-time is now trackable and recorded in these hashtagged conversations. We have an advantage that our ancestors didn't, and that is immediate access to information AND having our individual voices being a part of the future written record of what ACTUALLY happened.

Don't stop sharing that meme, tweeting that thought, 'gramming that moment, or challenging that comment. Because to be victorious, we must find glory in the little things.

Related reading:
Join Campaign Zero - http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision

Re-posted from original Facebook status:
https://www.facebook.com/flerine.atienza/posts/10157201415055360