{m}aganda magazine | Issue #27 - COMMUNITY

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community {m}aganda magazine, issue xxvii


A want for strengthening, a need for healing; a hunger for reclaiming. This is us re a ch in g ou t to OUR community.

As individuals pushing through the d a y - t o - d a y, striving to BUILD our own futures, we often FORGET to place ourselves in the PRESENT.

We FORGET that we belong to a community of beings in relation to each other, a community of identities supporting one another, a community of individuals in need of each other. WE ARE the product of generations UPON generations of shared experiences and mingling differences. WE ARE bound together by commonalities of STRUGGLE, of BLOOD, of VALUES, & of PASSIONS. WE ARE the intersections of what has come before US, & WE are the ones who will pave new roads for those who follow.


Think of the places in which YOU identify with & feel a part of. Remember the times you have felt as ONE with a communit y, or when you have NOT. HOW do you define your community? WHERE do its borders lie?


Consider your role in this community e x tending far BEYOND your personal identity. How can YOU use your individual past & present to inform the future of ONE, COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY?

This is a call for ACTION.

The STRENGTH of a community lies in the STRENGTH of its indiv idu al s, and the STRENGTH of the individuals reside in our UNITY; our ability to act and be and feel as ONE. With community, comes power. Comes the upliftment of o u r s e lv e s as ONE WHOLE and the UPLIFTMENT of the in di v i du a l.

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Table of Contents Call for Submissions Letter from the Editor “(Returning the Borrowed Tongue” by eileen tabios “The Library” by mary zambales “The Only Need, Connect, Fasten” by e. san juan jr. KKK, tilde acuna & dennis aguinaldo “Twin Tongue” by jean teodoro “the beginning” by maria vallarta “acculturation” by maria vallarta “little brown girl rage” by maria vallarta Hamog, e. san juan jr. “Speak” by ali mahyari “Rifts” by ferdinand ross cacho Taggers in Kapitbahay, angela efe “About 10,000 Characters” by dennis aguinaldo “In Rain” by michi ferreol The Cross by sonia sygaco and godwin alf ciriaco “1.9.5. MPH” by ranna ricci iglesias “Traces” by nat pardo Community photoset, richard solar ii community

i vi 1 2-3 4-5 6-8 9 - 12 13 14 -15 16 17 18-19 20 21 22-26 27 28-29 30-31 32 33-35

Table of Contents Relief, Recovery, and Rebuild, angela efe & aleli balaguer Little Box in Tagatay, marian cordon “Internal Resources” by tony daquipa “Sacred Stitches” by terry bautista, jenny bawer-young, mylene amoguis cahambing, holly calica & grace villarin dueñas Photos of Laga Weaving Circle, caroline cabading-canlas “Hometown” by daryna loch So what’s your Filipino light worker name? by blesdida carmon. “Bangka” by grace villarin dueñas “Paglawig; Pag-uwi (A Journey;A Returning)” by paul joseph vistal Photographers for Balik Sa Dagat Journey, Various Photographers “Monsoon in Manila” by vanessa deza hangad “I identify myself as Filipina-American” by aleli balaguer Kapwa Tao by rebecca mabanglo-mayo “Ang Bagyo Sa Loob” by jacqueline lee Untitled, marian cordon “Reflection Internal” by michele guiterrez

36 37 38-40 41-44 45-47 48 49-50 51 52 53-58 59 60-62 63-67 68 69 70-71

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Table of Contents 72-79 “Pinoy Hill” by robert flor 80-83 The Superhumans by krisha mae cabrera 84 The Great Projects, abigail k. iturra 85 “A Lone Soul” by christian guerrero “Truths of Our Modern Population (As I Have 86-87 Observered)” by amelia zaldivar 88-89 “The House of God” by sarah bernardo 90-93 “Were Different, Are Different” by elsa valmidiano 94 “To Grace Asuncion” by aleli balaguer & jacqueline lee 95 Map Face NYC, miya dayal 96-99 “Slice of American Pie” by lulu rivera 100 “My Eventual Survial” by aleli balaguer 101 Ehgs, mira dayal 102-104 Nourishment, synequeen alasa-as 105 “Google Bus” by tony robles 106 Bones, abigail iturra 107 “Slow” by tony robles 108-109 “downtown south side” by anonymous 110-111 “Death Range” by tony robles 112-113 “the house is not mine” by jake soiffer 114-117 “Home in Diaspora” by mikael rosary de leon iv community

Table of Contents 118-119 “Night Train to San Francisco” by aliya charney “leaving my heart with you” by holly calica 120-121 122 Parents, miya dayal 123-125 “Tales of an Oreo and a Twinkie” by bernadette lim 126-129 “it’s Sunny” by mg roberts (“Slippage,” “Hitch,” “Hiller Drive”) 130-136 “A Love Letter to the Other” by marco cuevas-hewitt 137-139 “Rain” by marco cano 140-142 untitled, mira dayal 143-145 “Musings on the Magic of the Arts and the Mysticism of Growing Up” by nicole fronda 146-149 “Who Do You Think You Are?” by imee cuison

Media List Author & Artist Biographies {m}27 Staff, Interns, and Contributors {m}aganda Mission Statement Acknowledgements

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Letter from the Editor To our community at large, On behalf of {m}agandá Magazine’s staff and interns, I am pleased to present our 27th issue – COMMUNITY. This issue is our gift to you. It has been a blessing, and a challenge, to birth such a heartfelt and impassioned product. This magazine is the end-result of a year-long journey. At the start of our term together, my staff of 5 sat ourselves down before a blank whiteboard and contemplated the future of {m}agandá. We found ourselves delving deeper into the question: what can {m}agandá offer the community? Our mission statement fueled us. We continued hosting open mic’s as avenues for folks to spit truth and share their stories. Our revamped internship program catered to the creative needs of our intern class while keeping ourselves critical and conscious. We sought out collaborations and spaces of support with and for individual artists, student groups, and nonprofits within and outside of our direct community. We held onto our belief that art is a necessary means for influencing social change. With the help of our interns, we were able to create a space for healing for those affected by sexual assault and domestic abuse. We gave community members a light-hearted opportunity to connect with the histories of their parents’ and grandparents’ through our film screening of ‘Harana’ – while also raising funds for our second AB 540 scholarship for undocumented students. And in light of November 2013’s tragedy, we built a space in which artists and our community can work and paint and collaborate together to further engage in conversation and raise relief funds for those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. This magazine is a testament to the work that we have done, but also to the power that passion creates. We hope that upon reading this, our passion manifests and empowers you; connects you to our close {m}agandá community. While my staff started off small, the passion we’ve fostered in others has spread immensely. And I must say, we could not have done all of this without the support of our community. Thank you. With love, peace, and gratitude, Aleli Balaguer Editor-in-Chief, {m}27

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warm stones gather the rainfall speaking a gray language I’ve tried to imitate I read books compiled From anonymous scrolls I eat their dust Hoping to trace The steps to heaven —from “: Looking for Buddha” by Jaime Jacinto Trade one ocean for another but the waves and salt retain the same pungency What does it mean, a mirror asks, to be one’s own bridge? She had to infiltrate a caravan of students traversing Siberia towards Lake Baikal to discover a false memory of witnessing Lucifer’s fall She realized with sorrow I can be myself only in exile. Entonces comprehension over his refusal to look back as he depart -ed for a different ocean whose salt is familiar but which he wants to taste anew whose embrace is familiar but which he wants to feel anew whose sun is familiar but which he wants to kiss anew by simply lifting his face

He never doubted she would wait on the other side of a planet he must circle until he is felled to his kneesWhen, on his knees, he still will continue moving forward she will be the altar perfumed by white candles —and the blood of fallen priests, virgins, poets healer-crones, sons daughters, bastards politicians, rebels, mothers— that will halt his journey make him stand, then stay For this fable, no words There only is the breaking of silence, the evenings of solitary grace in a dim room, at a desk before a blank piece of paper spotlit by a lone lamp and, yes, one more attempt with the wake of another yet the same implacable day

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“The Library”

By Mary Zambales

Who needs a library when you have Google, iPads, Kindles, and Smartphones Who even reads nowadays Yeah, there are computers But who wants to wait Fill out some sign-in sheet When you can get all the information on your own Still, the library is THE place for information For imagination and inspiration One’s schooling does not encompass Wholly a library’s education The Age of Computers? What if I’m too poor to buy one The library is there So I don’t fail in my classes I can print off my papers And download my research Make my homework Worthy of achieving high aspirations Despite my social class And when you need to get away from it all The countless tales in those outdated books Offer a vacation free of charge Teaching your kids It’s okay to dream

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As well as their ABC’s Events like bookfests Especially those in ethnic pride I grew up in a family Who knew nothing of the sort Never knowing of Carlos Bulosan, Jessica Hagedorn, Bienvenido Santos Or my personal favorite, M. Evelina Galang We can write too, Mom and Dad People like us, for us, with us Our language is beautiful too Worthy to be understood I don’t know why you thought Withholding Tagalog will make me speak English better I know White America so well But know nothing of myself But the library, THIS library Offers information to all Rich or poor Regardless of color, gender, age, or language And information is power So let us return to this dying place That brings uninformed yet curious minds together

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THE ONLY NEED, CONNECT AND FASTEN by E San Juan, Jr. The truth is the whole…. Friedrich Hegel …No longer depending on a piece of Britney Spears’s ass “sneaking into the Philippines” the body goes straight to a GABRIELA rally from Rotunda to Plaza Miranda— I glanced at you Without warning

was sideswiped

you simply giving feelers…

Ay, Father’s prick, dreadful wickedness of the Arroyo regime! How to build the body politic from parts strewn around the world?

USA, has been z, a Pinoy from California, rpu Co am illi W , ile wh an sentenced— Me oat, slashed it without preme He had slashed his wife’s thr

ditation, no wavering—

“Vagina sitation, even Eve Ensler of he ut tho wi , ted tes pro s ay The Pin Mono…”

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Is dreadful sexism the reason? Or the situation of OFWs around the world? This took place in “the land of milk and honey”—Ay, prick of American Idol and Leah Salonga!

We are witnesses to the crime of extrajudicial killing, salvaging, terrorism of the neocolonial State while thousands of US special forces blatantly pillage, without hesitation…

Only link and fasten the delirium of Corpuz and habeas corpus— Slashed have been the throats of Shirley Cadapan Karen Empeno Luisa Posa-Dominado Jonas Burgos and hundred more than the criminal regime had abducted—

Ay, Father’s prick, countless victims of a corrupt system, of a merciless establishment— Between Rotunda and Plaza Miranda, without premeditation I will kiss and embrace you to gather and connect the body and soul that have been severed and made alien…

We’re one, Beloved, danger/charm

of a bloody contradiction

that explodes—

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by Tilde Acuna & Dennis Aguinaldo


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Twin Twin Tongue Tongue Jean Teodoro January 2010

Like the sweet was blessed with bitterness and the day was blessed with the night I was blessed with my twin tongue I’m fighting a tradition that’s been here, long before my conception a tradition that believes, an eastern brown boy like I, am fortunate to have a western upbringing, if I wasn’t lucky enough to be white my family is proud of this long history of assimilation this tradition, along with my resistance against it, has forked my tongue in two my mother tongue, Tagalog, is slowly fading it is the key to my roots, waiting to unlock a buried heritage, I am yet to fully understand I inherit its thick accent, of sharp, straightforward phonetics, crisp, staccato vowels, and its 500 years of resilience an eastern tongue still spoken in the long westernized land, of the Philippines

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Twin Twin

the other tongue, English, I mastered by circumstance as it is the emperor’s language its dominion over the world, makes it a key to the people with a long library of classics, bearing its undeniable gifts even when this tongue has had a bitter distaste for the other either tongue I carried was frail as they both stretched in opposite directions, working against each other speaking either language made me sound handicapped

I used to think in Tagalog, when it was necessary to speak English many didn’t realize that my words, were lost in translation from my thoughts I had straight ideas in my head, and broken sentences to represent them “please close the lights, uh, kill the lights, I mean, turn the lights off” my Tagalog became Taglish common expressions were too shameful to use fully many of us who speak it, pride ourselves with the taint of English, our mother tongue is contaminated with as if our self worth increases when we’re incapable, of using sentences spoken purely in our tongue “please turn off the lights” is “paki patay ang ilaw” in Tagalog and we’d rather say “paki turn off ang lights”

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I was afraid to speak in public ignorant fools didn’t understand, like a migrant farmworker, my tongue did twice the work it took twice as much just to say something my speech had an identity crisis, a split personality words went above me it was an unsettling storm, a hurricane of mispronunciations my thick English accent struck ears like lightning my coño Taglish rolled off like thunder trailed by a rain of mockery and I, caught in the eye of this chaos, losing myself in both assimilation and resistance, found a silver lining in the clouds: poetry a calling to cultivate my heritage into a force of nature I spent countless lone nights reading and writing, until my speech was clear as day and my poetry in either tongue, resembled the luminosity of the stars both finally strong enough to carry their own and mature enough to know how to work together like a United Farm Workers’ grape strike, my twin tongue is a living protest that earns its rightful identity my speech took twice the work my poems now carry twice the legacy

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each time I utter a word, I’m reminded of both my indigenous tradition, and my new-world ambitions colonization didn’t make me a victim it made me a conqueror of oppression I was gifted with the same weapons used to kill me to breathe life back into my roots and use the emperor’s tongue, to decolonize the mind the bitter distaste for my mother tongue, is why I ferment grapes of wrath, bottle them up and serve my poetry sweet so now when I speak, I ask, “please close the lights. paki-turn off ang lights” so that my words may reflect, the galaxy of profound struggles it comes from in the dark and my twin tongue like lightning and thunder, may be trailed by a rain of applause like the sweet was blessed with bitterness and the day was blessed with the night I was blessed with my twin tongue spoken for assimilation outspoken for resistance.

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the beginning

by Maria Vallarta

everyone loses their mother tongue. native words, phrases, gestures, and songs, snipped into pieces of short unfinished sentence one word gesticulation void blank unspoken nothing ness dead language. myths gone. stories no longer passed down but passed on. delicate clicks sharp hums indigenous whirs of tongue now lost among the slurs jeers and drawls of colonial spit and sound.

but although the extinct cannot be existing, and what has left cannot be writ again, my words have been working to resurrect how easy it was to speak to my mother. how we were able to comprehend the other with just a flick of our filipina tongues. no loose teeth or the cracking of dry lips, just smooth unrestrained talk. the past can’t SPEAK, hxstory can’t SCREAM. unspoken forgotten tangled tongues can’t sing. but they can be written into remembrance. published resilience. read with resistance.

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acculturation by Maria Vallarta i don ’t really remember

the time my mother took me by the hand and said, “This is where you will be spending most of your days.” Inside a sweltering classroom lined with perfect cubbyholes covered in bright stickers and my nametag pasted in front of a lunch box, a juice bottle, and a stack of homework with crooked scribbles and colors outside black lines. i don ’t remember

taking the test saying I could go on ahead and exchange my house slippers for shiny saddle shoes and my long loose hair for tight pigtails. I never got permission to forget the sounds and syllables my tongue was once accustomed to form. To hear laughter every time I opened my mouth and see googly eyes and scrunched up faces made in my direction.

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i don ’t exactly remember

who first introduced me to peanut butter and jelly. Slabs of white bread slathered with sticky puddles of golden brown and violet that tickled my tongue and stuck between my teeth. My hand trembled when I picked up my first battered milk carton. A classmate said, “Hey, I’ll trade my pudding for your cookie!” And my body shook as we exchanged desserts. but after I mastered this system of exchange and realized that my silence wasn’t golden, I remember, half a year later, running around the playground with my friends, I was shouting perfectly pronounced words and carefully crafted sentences. I had traded my stumbling words for perfect diction.

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i will cut you with my razor tongue and slice you with my switchblade hands. i will tear, crunch, and swallow your head whole and let it fall into my deep, dark, spiky orifice. they say tempers aren’t pretty, that my anger needs to be buried. but i would rather be ugly and turn into a monster that devours you whole, because after years of being told not to spit after i swallow, i will no longer let myself be forced to silence my anger and be denied of my right to rage, protest, and set fire. i will eat you.

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little brown girl rage by Maria Vallarta


By E. San Juan, Jr. community 17

speak by ali mahyari

The first meeting is always the worst. Enveloped by a dazed flurry of “Salaam”s or “Hola”s Kisses, hugs, hands offered. I take every touch with pleasure, but under my skin I fear what’s to come... The words hit me like a flash flood, the impact a shock to my senses, Then I’m under water, words gushing through my ears. I smile and nod, feigning engagement and comprehension While hopelessly adrift in these foreign waters. Waters sweet and familiar, yet cold and strange. Throat drying, smile tightening as they realize that I don’t understand a single word that they say. The subtle droop in their faces speaks volumes more to me than anything passing their lips. I cannot speak to you, but I can read you When you ask me in that way why I cannot speak The tongue, the good tongue, the people’s tongue,

I can read you loud and clear.

As I try to explain myself I can read the words you are really hearing, not the words I am saying. I can read those two words in your head, Two words which every first generation person-of-color fears and hates the most, “ White-washed” My ears and my lips might be deaf and dumb, but I can still speak my people’s tongue.

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I speak through my hand grasping the skillet, Eloquence with the same meat, spices, and vegetables that my grandmothers spoke with. Chiles, saffron, beans, sabzi, tortillas, rice, Many can use these words, but few are fluent with them. Fried, simmered, diced, smashed, To make the prose I have loved since my mother first let me taste those sweet words from the high chair. I speak through my forehead and kneecaps pressed to the ground, Shouting with hushed whispers my undying love for my Father, the only Father. The God that I praise with my brothers and my sisters side by side, The God I praise with a language I do not decipher with my ears, but with my soul. Speaking my faith with prostrated back, alms given, prayers made, beads counted, A faith repeated fives times a day is a faith with fluency. I speak through the pain piercing my heart For the injustice and suffering inflicted on my community. The pain that I feel for my shameful gratitude That I can translate but not experience what my people must face. The pain that makes me speak through my struggle To go where they cannot, so that they can be brought to where I can. I do not need my tongue to speak my people’s tongue. I can recite with strength and pride and solidarity and respect

Without moving a single lip.

My actions do not speak louder than words, because my actions are my words, The words that I speak to my people, of my people, for my people. Not English, not Spanish, not Farsi, This is the only language that I speak.

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Rifts By Ferdinand Ross Cacho

Rifts in the cages of our subconscious And they’re escaping. Dreams of dreams And we’re losing control. Nightmares of nightmares And we’re losing control. So together, we watched Their blood seep into the soil; So together, we smelled Their souls rot into mulch For the system’s fuel For the glory of a nation, Shadowed by oppression: Red for the sweat they shed, White for the eyes that lost sight, Blue for the dreams that didn’t come true. Their memories crash into the Rifts in the cages of our subconscious And they’re escaping. Dreams of dreams of dreams And we’re losing. Nightmares of nightmares of nightmares And we’re losing The culture that held us together, And we’re losing The hope that brought us here. The nation is a broken people Held together by lies. So patch me up With another Lie.

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taggers in kapitbahay


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about 10,000 characters by dennis

andrew s. aguinaldo

I began this project while my family in Laguna was trying to locate and establish contact with our cousins and their children in Palo, Leyte. Before 10,000 Characters, I had written a small piece “Karibal ng mga ibon” (Hindi gagana kung mga kurot lamang ng pandesal. / Bato, maliliit at kilalang bato, ang tutungo sa bundok // Na babasag sa hangin . . .). That was last week, when we had next to nothing specific about the conditions of people in the places hardest-hit by Yolanda. 10,000 Characters began when the typhoon was exiting our “area of responsibility” and some drops of news came together and congealed into the 16-line poem “Unspecified” (Enter the person’s name or parts of the name // A thousand words cannot describe the sheer / on cardboard and torn-up paper plates,). At the time, I was trying out the Person Finder and other online ways of “looking for someone.” At the outset, the idea was to scavenge from reports, instructions and prohibitions, wikis, ads, statements, search engines—perhaps I was looting, taking advantage of whatever was at hand. These were then trimmed and sorted (processes that the growing mass and variety of relief items had to undergo) into the 313-line “Characters (with spaces) 10,000”—a poem mostly in Filipino. 10,000 Characters—originally a single poem titled “Characters (no spaces) 10,000”—was to repeat the same processes, likewise alphabetized (akin to lists of survivors, lists of missing, and lists of the dead), but this time in English. After arriving at the 372-line poem, I thought to derive simple, uniform packages from it. Some relief collections came with suggestions to simplify operations and save on time. For example, instead of just saying “bottles of water,” an organization asked for 1L bottles for easy and uniform distribution. Perhaps anticipating disarray, one UP system-wide effort promoted a 1+2+3+1 scheme for relief items, that is, 1 kilo of rice, 2 canned goods, 3 packs of instant noodles, and 1L of water. Accordingly, I cut the 10,000-character poem into 10-line bundles, such as the following below:

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AN—AWAY an IV drip above them approached its final areas. When drivers were unable to locate Articles containing potentially dated statements as cool, stable air began wrapping into a shift guarding the entrance to the XYZ avenue that was being away before wreaking more away — but they could pose away, especially children. Speaking OCEAN—ONE Ocean and other -off points for in-kind of luxurious sportof never forgetting: He’s gone, and all our plans of sorted and sized often use subtle misspellings of recognized old moving box and start on behalf of the Likeone bodega of rice was opened up to the one. Plus one. Plus one. Plus

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ON—OVERWHELMED on record. [25] Interaction with land caused slight on the planet. These start with its 4.6on the wrong side of a oneoriginated as an area of low or worms. Also, pay close attention to our appreciation of the same. Our opinion ourselves. In fact, by taking the great initiative to collect overcast and clear eye visible over the center. [37] Continuing across the South overwhelmed as they sort through the thousands of shoes

THE—THOUSANDS the need arises. And you will be the past. But as the water The rear receives subtler changes, most the road. A combination of afternoon the situation, because people were taking the volunteer man the way storms are measured. “In terms of the world I thing to a hug. While it’s true that this article is the danger of being halfthousands from their homes and knocking

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TICKET—TRICKLES ticket for a better future Tip – strongest to believe someone would go out of their today. One speaker called it a “great human Today. Retrieved November together! That’s pretty much tomorrow. Nearing our tops seen on enhanced treatment) one of the most competent trickles in in an agonizingly slow manner

WEAR—WHO wear. Why not donate your old crosswere affected by an earlier were swept away and century old were urged to return We saw two young women giving birth, laid out wet/ Thing I must somehow forget When I approached the truck where you would stay? Diseases which took six months to burn [source: WHO who is disabled, as a gesture

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WIDE—WRATH wide pin-hole eye with banding features wrapping tightly around within an environment of light wind shear and warm sea with only a partial eyewall Witness the small workers complained of “too many blankets” and would be comparable to a strong Category would be nothing compared to the coming -wrapped, labeled and loaded on wrath, this place has become

* Suddenly, we began receiving reports. After some long hours, my sister was able to fetch our cousins from the airport. She took happy photos of them, of the children and their crayon drawings. Then she posted these online. In the comments thread of one photo, I read sighs of relief, words of welcome, and someone there was asking, if we knew the whereabouts of either A— or M—. If we had any word from or of them.

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For the victims of Typhoon Haiyan

By Michi Ferreol Rain falls steadily, heavily on the concrete Mother Nature’s acidic tears burn holes unto our streets as the skies sing and bring heaven’s hailstones down to our Earth. Upon the prayers of our farmers, the sun and those who harm her, nature has answered our call. But what should be greeted with smiles is instead heralded with cries for the lives of many will fall. How could this merciful inundation, this wished-for precipitation, cause so much devastation and take from the children of our nation the strength and will to brave the floods? When waters are up to their chins, when mud has surrounded their shins, and the remnants of their lives drown in vain. In pain, they trudge through the tears.

Victims fall steadily, heavily into the arms of their brothers, and mothers’ crippling tears beckon the clouds to part in t w o as the masses scream, dreaming for life’s soft whisper to rescue them. Upon the linking of their palms, the state is blanketed in calm, the fortunate have heeded the call of the souls of the millions who struggle and weep or the million more too frightened to sleep, from the heavens, salvation will fall. When this divine generation, the hope of the nation, draw from their perspiration, the tides of selfless inspiration, with the strength and will to row against the floods. When the flame runs high, when the voices roaring drown their final sighs, and will, by their power, cleanse the lingering pain. In rain, our countrymen rise.

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Written by Sonia B. SyGaco Illustrated by Godwin Alf Ciriaco

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as if without end my feet tread upon the wasteland mindful of worms in feast the marking end of a cycle no more can i identify my family, my neighbors who were curled in their dreamlands when the sky and sea monsters connived to transform my small village into an aquarium of the helpless

so now i am forced to take this walk even if before and behind me are all gray paths of intersection

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1.9.5 MPH by Ranna Iglesias

If I was Haiyan, I would strike a lot gentler, move away from the islands a little farther stop sooner. But I just couldn’t. I am a natural disaster. If I was a victim, I would prepare myself for this catastrophe evacuate instantly, abandon my shelter, forget my commodity. But I just couldn’t Where else would I go? If I was a survivor, I would cry louder for comfort and justice, transcend the effects of hunger and distress fight strongly, stay resilient and ever dauntless. But I just couldn't. How would I stand back up? If I was a politician, I would put aside my political bias and beliefs bolt from island to island for immediate relief, and not serve as a thief. But I just couldn’t. Sometimes, I have orders to follow.

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If I was a newscaster, I would take multiple risks and dangers document the truth of injustice and struggles give voice to the muted survivors. But I just couldn’t. I am dubbed by the industry’s voice. If I was an overseas Filipino worker, I would collect news and information, book a flight back to my nation with non-perishables and gathered donations. But I just couldn’t. My boss, bills and burdens said so.

If I was… But I am not. Instead, I am the message. I am the moment. I am the movement. A student at Cal, In a community that Acted for the Philippines.

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TRACES Destroyed bridges Ruined churches Ripped open roads Tattered buildings Broken flesh Dark and empty homes Crowded open streets Dreams paralyzed Fear beyond measure— Those are the traces he left. He, who is without name. He, whose coming cannot be foreseen. He, who came in like a thief in the night, and left you with only your faith and hope lying unbroken amidst all the ruins. - By Natalie L. Pardo

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community: abyphoto collage richard solar

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stories of rising...

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ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo was the conclusion to my relief effort that I started at Mission College in Santa Clara, CA. For a few weeks, I’d bring my camera around and take pictures of people with a little board with messages of hope and ended up raising a few thousand dollars. This was a small fragment of the community who helped me out with my relief effort.

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Relief, Recovery, Rebuild Angela Efe & Aleli Balaguer

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LittleBox in Tagatay LittleBox inTagatay Tagatay LittleBox in LittleBox in Tagatay By: Marian Cordon

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From the community For the community What does that even mean? Sustainability Together Blowin up the whole scene Magkasama Koponan We all gotta get along It takes a village To sustain a village That’s the only way to be strong We all occupy The same space and same time If resources were unlimited Then we would all be just fine But we live on a finite planet And have to act nice and share We gotta work together Collaborate and play fair You see if one person gets more Then someone else has to get less And this is exactly why competition Necessarily creates stress

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No it ain’t about Proppin up one person Who can be Discredited or bought Raise all boats Lift ev’ry voice Teach everyone everything There is to be taught And we can’t rely on Help from the outside Katrina proved that fact We gotta do for each other Gotta have each others’ backs Cuz they poisonin us with mutant food And toxic air and water Carpet bombing us with Debt from above And profiting very nicely From the slaughter

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Food, clothes and shelter Healthcare and education A willingness to get along To earn and protect our liberation Work worth doing Space to gather and play A cause worth fighting for Each and every day You see We don’t really need drama That ain’t where it’s at We have enough to all be fulfilled We just need to realize that.

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Sacred Stitches Across Generations: a Collaged Poem by Laga, CA Circle Poets (Terry

Bautista, Jenny Bawer-Young, Mylene Amoguis Cahambing, Holly Calica & Grade Villarin Due単as) Hands, from ancient to now, move in rhythm of the centuries, creating the connection from the distant then to the immediate now We lovingly continue a legacy of strength, one thread at a time, stitched tightly to keep the colors bright and in contrast, woven into a lovely whole as we are Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan a Kalinga woman crosses the ocean in diaspora, she comes to us to the bay, family in tow making friends, she sings, she dances, she taps a tong-a-tong lightly we are friends, we laugh, we dance, we sing we tap the tong-a-tong lightly and then we discover her passion is my dream that is how we began our Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan

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first just us two women, one apprenticed to the other for a year the one taught the other a year etched across the family that opened its home with children playing, cooking, even scolded & a husband that joked too much, but opened his home to the brown skinned ones who came together and began Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan then our numbers grew we became Laga, CA Circle a backstrap weavers circle, with inspiration sprung from Mabilong, Lubuagan and always relying on pitipit rolling the threads to make a ball an essential task her mother, Manang Maria does perfectly while we allowed our own to roll carelessly from our hands as beginners do while Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan each ball the colors of nature like brightly colored parrots, like earth, water, and even wind under an ever present sun make me want to dance, smile, and hug make us want to dance, smile, and hug Sisters in Sacred Stitches who came together for the weave but hold hands in sacred circle of respect and loving trust in Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan

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Taas, baba, ilalim ikot palabas, taas ikot paloob, Ibalik sa simula Above, below, under turn toward outside overturn toward inside back to the beginning Taas, baba, ilalim ikot palabas, taas ikot paloob, Ibalik sa simula like children, we stand on the other end by the sa-u-yan handing the yarn back & forth sakyot is done we are Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan

her daughter has observed us, these two years all this time while we entered her home five women, Laga, CA Weavers struggling to learn to not get the strings tangled!! to keep the pieces of wood in place to be mindful as if it’s a baby, a laga baby our laga baby, as black as the fertile land as red as Kalinga bravery as yellow as the precious sand, like gold as white as fragrant coffee flowers as green as the hand carved terraced mountains her daughter joins in Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan

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With joy we watch Coby a timidness first, shy, then becoming confident, as a proud Kalinga woman would take pride in her heritage, with a Kalinga smile as bright as Porling’s we are content we have done our work well May we all get old together as the Manang Kalinga weavers who inspired us to gather as even in diaspora we are Weaving Sacred Stitches Across Generations Manlaga taku losan

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Laga Weaving Circle By Caroline Cabading-Canlas

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Hometown By Daryna Loch

At my hometown we moved from house to house Avoiding gunshots would be a blessing Houses, Houses Each one holds a memory, I look back at it and ask, “why couldn’t we have had a perfect family” Houses, Houses Or should I say “broken family household” I stand there watching my sister as my father’s hands unfold across the face it goes My sister in tears I don’t know what to do, say, or fear We leave behind one house, but enter another People say, “I loved my childhood, i’m wishing mine could’ve been better” High school I moved into a Home However home becomes quiet Sleeping disorder, Dad sleeps Sleeps through the trauma of the Khmer Rouge That now labels him disabled Little sister looks up to me because we could not afford to look at something called cable Mom is afterall, the only one working Mom says, “don’t worry school is your focus” But how can I focus with this on my shoulders Friends, I need to talk to you But one by one they disappear Taken away by leukemia and gun shots He was not your target, just walking on your block This is home, this is where I come from My life is not nor near perfect, College, here I am, they say it opens new doors When you hear that I’m from Oakland Was this the kind of answer you were actually looking for?

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feature article

So What’s Your Pilipino Lightworker Name?

by Blesilda Carmona

First of all, what is a Lightworker? According to Jacynthe Villemaire of the Way to the Well, “Simply put, this is someone who chooses to use his/her innate talents and abilities to serve the highest good, in line with divine will. A Lightworker chooses to say ‘yes’ to Spirit and the greater divine plan.” I believe that one of the ways to build community among Pilipinos is to revisit our connection with our regional mythologies. In a metaphysical sense, we are all instruments of the gods and goddesses that we have in the Pilipino pantheon and hence, we are all Lightworkers who have the potential to do a lot of good in the world if we so choose. When all of

us decide to be used by the Divine, can you imagine what a great and powerful community of civic-minded miracle workers we can be? In the Facebook page of “Connection To Creative,” there was a post featuring a table with the title, “Find Your Lightworker Name,” which was created by Jacynthe Villemaire of the Way of the Well. In a nutshell, this table lists 26 spiritual sounding names for each letter of the alphabet. You’re supposed to use the descriptor based on the third letter of your first name, and then combine it with the one of the 12 descriptors based on your birth month. For example, my Lightworker Name according to that table is “Healing

Light of the Lantern of Truth.” My Mom is “Peaceful Dove of the Noble Council” and my youngest sister is “Spirit Whisperer of the Third Star.” I was creatively inspired by this to craft a Pilipino version of the Lightworker Name table. In my version, there are 12 Tagalog nouns, one for each tropical zodiac sign. We will pair this with one of the 31 names of Filipino mythological gods and goddesses based on the date of birth. The two words will be connected by the Tagalog word “ni” (of). For example, since I was born on April 4, my Pilipino Lightworker name is “Baluti (armor and breastplate) ni (of) Tala (Tagalog deity, goddess of the stars).”

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ŠBlesilda Carmona 2014

Find your zodiac sign ARIES - Baluti (armor & breastplate) TAURUS - Bulalakaw (shooting star) GEMINI - Bagwis (wings) CANCER - Biyaya (blessing) LEO - Bandila (flag) VIRGO - Binhi (seed)

LIBRA - Batas (law) SCORPIO - Balintataw (pupil of the eye) SAGITTARIUS - Batingaw (large bell) CAPRICORN - Bundok (mountain) AQUARIUS - Balangaw (rainbow) PISCES - Balon (well)

+ + Ni (of)

Find the calendar date of your birth (numbers 1-31) 1 - Bathala (Tagalog deity: supreme god of being) 2 - Idiyanale (Tagalog deity: goddess of labor and good deeds) 3 - Dimangan (Tagalog deity: goddess of good harvest) 4 - Tala (Tagalog deity: goddess of the stars) 5 - Mapulon (Tagalog deity: god of the seasons) 6 - Lakapati (Tagalog deity: goddess of fertility) 7 - Apolaki (Tagalog deity: god of the sun and chief patron of warriors) 8 - Mayari (Tagalog deity: goddess of the moon) 9 - Adlaw (Visayan deity: god of the sun) 10 - Alunsina (Visayan deity: virgin goddess of the eastern skies) 11 - Kadaw La Sambad (Tboli diety: sun god and supreme god) 12 - Bulon La Mogoaw (Tboli deity: moon goddess and supreme goddess) 13 - Kan-Laon (Visayan deity: supreme god and god of time) 14 - Diyan Masalanta (Tagalog deity: goddess of love, conception, childbirth; protector of lovers) 15 - Maklium sa Tiwan (Visayan deity: god of the valleys and plains) 16 - Luyong Baybay (Visayan deity: goddess of the tides) 17 - Sumalongson (Visayan deity: god of the

rivers and the sea) 18 - Diwata (Batak and Palawan deity: goddess who provides needs and gives rewards for good deeds) 19 - Tulus (Tiruray deity: chief god who bestows gifts and favors to human beings) 20 - Minaden (Tiruray deity: goddess who created the world) 21 - Bagatulayan (Tinguian deity: supreme being and creator of the world) 22 - Linamin at Barat (Palawan deity: goddess of the monsoon winds) 23 - Bunag (Gaddang deity: god of the earth) 24 - Linamin at Bulag (Palawan deity: goddess of the dry season) 25 - Limat (Gaddang deity: god of the sea) 26 - Sisilim (Kapampangan deity: goddess of the dusk) 27 - Libulan (Visayan deity: god of the moon) 28 - Lidagat (Visayan deity: goddess of the sea) 29 - Amansinaya (Tagalog deity: god of fishermen) 30 - Haliya (Bicolano deity: masked goddess of the moon and arch-enemy of Bakunawa, the giant sea serpent) 31 - Magbabaya (Bukidnon deity: supreme god and god of the west)

Now that you know your Pilipino Lightworker Name, connect with the community of Pilipino Lightworkers all around you and let all your light shine upon the world!

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BANGKA A bowl is a vessel like a bangka canoe is a vessel A bowl carries my love from my heart and my hands to your hands to your lips to your heart Like a bangka carries our culture from our homeland to the diaspora and around again I carve our ancient script baybayin onto the bowl to hold blessings all day and night buong araw at gabi We carve our songs onto the bangka to carry our prayers through the waters “A stone in the water, a woman in a canoe, a canoe in the water” Our Tongva-Acjachemen sister sings us a canoe song she wrote in her Mother Language for the sacred Canoe Journey The song reminds me of the game “tao, bangka, bagyo” that we like to play together We weave our stories and prayers through our songs, our games, our canoes, Babaylan indigenous healer, bangka canoe, bagyo storm, Our heart, Our culture, Our love, In honor of the Babae, the Divine Feminine, the Sacred Vessel, We weave, we carve, we sail, Mabuhay!

by Grace Villarin Dueñas

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Paglawig; Pag-uli / A Journey ; A Returning

by paul joseph vistal

Tabokon ta ang buhing dagat; Subayon ta ang buko-buko sa nag-ulbo ug nagsugbo niyang mga balud, Lupigon ta ang kusog sa iyang sug, Maglawig kita, ngadto sa yutang wala nato nasinati, Mangayaw kita’g handurawan; panumdoman sa atong kagikan.

We shall cross the living sea; Keeping to the spine of the rush and rise of her waves, And with our strength overcome the force of her tides; We shall journey towards a land we do not know, We shall seize imagination, gather remembrances of whence we came. Poet’s Note “Wa nasinati” in its context in the poem might take on an unfavorable meaning for some Fil-Ams, along with “mangayaw”, which might be interpreted as “to raid or pillage.” On the first, I chose these words to suggest a feeling of psychological disconnect some Fil-Ams might feel in identifying with a land they are physically far removed from and a culture that they haven’t grown up to. I hope that it would not offend. On the second, my interpretation is that for some Fil-Ams it is as if they have to take by force a legacy which they have a right to. “I am in tears” would be “Nakahilak ko.” And “How beautiful!” would be “Pagkatahom.”

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Photographers for Balik sa Dagat Journey Nestor L. ‘Te’ Perez Jr.

Bugsay Dance community 53

Michelle Luna Semet

Carving with Lola 54 community

Michelle Luna Semet

Future with Bangka community 55

Mylene ‘Leng Leng’ Amoguis Cahambing

Bamboo and Bangka

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Leny Strobel

Bayanihan Bangka Turn Over

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Baylan Megino

Mini Paddle Making of Pistahan

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monsoon in manila By Vanessa Deza Hangad

my brothers and i float newspaper boats down street canals and we stand beneath rooftop gutters, torrential downpour on our heads and we climb slippery guava trees, mouths open to drink the rain between bites of pink fruit.

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I identify myself as Filipina-American. by aleli balaguer

I feel very privileged, fortunate, and humbled to have been allowed the opportunity to perform this piece on UC Berkeley’s Mario Savio steps at Upper Sproul during UCB PAA’s Sproul Visibility Day for Pilipino-American History Month. I dedicate this piece to my parents.

I identify myself as Filipina-American. I am Filipina-American. Yet sometimes, it’s the hyphen between the two identities that I feel most aligned with. it’s that in-between, that cross-cultural mix, that breed, that bridge; it’s my duality. And it’s always been a struggle. My parents immigrated from the Philippines to raise their four kids here in America, for better lives, for better opportunities, for better futures for better experiences than those in which they grew up in. It’s always been within our best interest. But you can only imagine how hard it must have been for them to have raised three daughters and one son. their Tres Marias molded into true Filipina women with faith, love, and respect – always respect. and then there was their bunso, their youngest boy. our baby brother, more privileged, yet also raised with faith, love and respect – always respect. for them to have raised us in America. in a completely new country, in a completely different culture with different traditions and different customs and different values than what they had been exposed to – they never would have anticipated this. We would oftentimes hear stories of their own experiences growing up in the Philippines. -- It was a sin for Mom to read comic books. -- Dad would have to limit his share of rice and ulam between him and his 9 siblings. -- Lolo would wait outside of Mom’s high school prom dance to take her home. -- Dad would have to ask permission to court women outside of their parents’ homes.

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In my parents’ eyes, they were more lenient with us than their parents had been with them. But in our eyes, they were strict and conservative and unyielding with our upbringing. It wasn’t their fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. They didn’t understand that as American kids, we wanted to play outside with our friends after school. I wanted to attend my best friend’s birthday party and sleepover like any other normal little girl. But we were only allowed to sleepover at our cousin’s houses. And I was only allowed to go to a friend’s house if my two other younger siblings came along. -- You can only imagine how close my siblings and I got because of this. -- Especially between my sisters and I. It was hard, being a Filipina daughter. We were raised with the “no boyfriends until after college” rule, and the “no dating until after you’re married” rule. And so there were disagreements, and verbal fights. Plenty of them. We wanted freedom. We wanted them to listen to us, listen to what we had to say. We wanted to be treated as American individuals. In the Philippines, it would be considered disrespectful for children not to listen, obey, and take their parents’ guidance. [It is only upon the 18th birthday, a Pilipina debut, that a Pilipina daughter was really considered an adult, really had an opinion.] We just wanted them to trust us. And they did. But they did not trust the American selves we were becoming. Being an American is a contradiction. Though we were nurtured by our environment to be more individualistic, it was within our own Filipino nature that we be family-oriented. Considerate and humble and respectful, never selfish. -- We are told since birth to address our older siblings, older cousins, our older mentors as Ate or Kuya. -- Every elder we encounter, we address with respect and ask for their blessing. Even if we were not directly related to them, they were our Titas and Titos, Nanays and Tatays, Lolas and Lolos.

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Those Filipino customs never left us. -- Even today, I still ask whether I should take off my shoes upon entering a friend’s household. -- And when someone enters mine, I always offer them food. [It’s almost an insult to me if one were to decline.] We take our relationships with others very seriously. Filipinos are very passionate people. My parents had this “tough love” way of raising my siblings and I. -- Mom would give us the silent treatment every time we had a disagreement -- Dad never really opened up to us girls upon growing up I felt a distant love with him. He would leave overseas for sometimes 6 months or even a year at a time for the U.S. Navy or his after-retirement jobs just to support our family, just to send the four of us to college, to ensure that we have a better future than he did. They were only doing their best for us. It had always been within our best interest. And now, today, my older sister has already graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University, -- I am pushing through my final year here at UC Berkeley, -- my younger sister is in her second year at UC Davis, -- and my younger brother is a high school senior filling out his college applications, hoping to follow in our footsteps. And where are my parents? Just last week, they left for Rome, to go on a week-long vacation cruise through Europe with my other Aunties and Uncles – all without the kids and cousins. They deserve it. -- Already, they are planning their lives for after we have graduated. -- Already, they are rewarding themselves for having raised the four of us and putting (almost) all of us through college. We are their legacy. We are here, working hard and pushing through, because of them. It has always been for them.

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Kapwa Tao

by Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor


rowing up in all white schools in a bedroom community beyond the suburbs of Seattle, I never thought much about being other than what I saw – creamy skinned girls, some with blue eyes, some with brown. Some shorter and stouter than me, some taller and more athletic, but we were all girls who wore red, white, and blue plaid skirts, white sailor shirts, and red sweaters, the uniform of St. Vincent de Paul school. We were all terrified of Sister Patricia the principal, and we all loved Aries the golden retriever who sat at our feet when we read books in the library. Being an only child, I wanted to learn the games the others seemed to know much better than I did, the jump rope songs and hand-clap rhythms. One cold November morning, I sat with two of my friends on a concrete pipe as broad as a horse. The cold surface stung my thighs and the wind lifted my hair into my eyes, but it didn’t matter much to me. My friends were teaching me a complicated singsong chant complete with hand gestures. They moved their fingers up and down on their faces,

then brought one arm out and formed the fingers of their other hand into an inverted V, wiggling them as if they were legs. They waved a single pointer finger in the air dismissively, looked very serious, and then clapped each other’s hands, missing on the last beat. They laughed and I laughed with them. “Teach me,” I said. They looked at me then at each other, then shrugged. I followed their movements as they slanted their eyes up and bobbed their heads. “Chi Chi Chinaman, sittin’ on a fence,” they chanted. “Tried to make a dollar out of ninety-nine cents. He missed! He missed! He missed like this!” I missed their hands just as they had done before and laughed.

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But they didn’t laugh with me. They just looked at me, and then whispered to each other. “Don’t tell your mother we did that,” said the blond haired girl. The brown eyes of the other girl looked serious. “She wouldn’t like it.” I shrugged and wanted to know why, but they wouldn’t tell me. I tried to imagine why I’d get in trouble for showing my mother this new chant. There weren’t any swear words, and they didn’t say anything bad about God or the Virgin Mother. To my thinking, it was just a story about a Chinese miner, like the ones we were reading about in history class, who had a hard time making ends meet. I wanted to laugh about how we missed each others hands at the very end, but somehow I knew that they wouldn’t like that, wouldn’t like me doing the chant with them. What I didn’t know then and wouldn’t know for decades, was this chant would be the first time I feel suddenly visible. One moment I was an invisible girl on a concrete pipe, playing with her friends at recess, the next I was that girl of color who didn’t know her eyes were already foreign and didn’t need the help of fingertips to change their shape. They saw me in ways I didn’t see myself because I yearned to be one of them – young, Caucasian, and belonging.



uring the summer, my parents would take me to Filipino Com-

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munity events where I felt a different kind of invisibility and isolation. In the big community halls of Catholic churches or the Center House in Seattle, everyone seemed to have something important to do. Girls floated by in their Mestiza dresses while boys struggled to keep their Barong Tagalog shirts straight over their black pants. Everyone seemed to know the songs that were sung and the dances performed, while to me they seemed strange and outside my own life. No one spoke to me, no child approached me and I followed my parents around as they visited friends. They spoke in Tagalog instead of English, and I found myself often under the scrutiny of someone I didn’t know. They would ask me about school and admonished me to work hard to get good grades. “She’s getting so tall,” a family friend would say. “And her English is perfect!” My mother would nod and respond in Tagalog. They would laugh and look at me again. I tried to guess what was said between them then watched as disappointment changed their friendly faces. “But you don’t know how to speak, ah?” the family friend would say as she shook her head in pity. “American born.” My father would tug his ear nervously and my mother would

chuckle, then explain something in Ilocano to her friend. “She doesn’t have an accent,” my mother would say finally in English, her voice slow as she carefully pronounced each word. “Better for school. She doesn’t need Tagalog for school.” The friend would nod in seeming agreement and continue their conversation in Tagalog. I would begin to fidget and my parents would send me to play with the other children. At larger family events, we child-strangers eyed each other warily. Cousins and siblings clung to each other, sharing jokes only they understood. The rise and fall of Filipino dialects at the event overwhelmed me and made me sleepy. I longed to go home and watch Gilligan’s Island and The Carol Burnett Show on TV in the quiet of our rambler. When the singing and dancing performances started, I hung back from the others, unsure what the songs meant or why they seemed so important to everyone. They had all immigrated to the United States for a better life, so why did they keep trying to go back to the Philippines during these events? Once I was back in my familiar, nearly all white school and parish, it was easy to forget see myself as a US-born Filipina. Being just an American girl was all I wanted. At

least, that’s what I thought as a teen. In college I studied physics and mathematics, but also began looking for something I couldn’t describe to myself or to others. In the early and mid-80s, many of my co-workers at WSU’s Residence Life and Housing were searching too and exploring crystals, channeling, and anything written by Shirley MacLaine. Once again I wanted to know what my Caucasian peers knew, but instead found myself the center of attention. Apparently my ethnicity was a sign of great inherent wisdom and my friends and I were often disappointed when I didn’t seem to know anything about Feng Shui or Zen Buddhism right off the top of my black-haired head. I threw myself into studying Celtic, Native American, and “Eastern” philosophy just to keep up with their conversations. I scanned bookstore shelves looking for anything about Filipino spiritual practices but my searches usually lead me either nowhere or to texts about lost tribes who had no word for war. After a few years of searching, I gave up on finding anything spiritual and indigenous to my heritage and continued living the borrowed life of a person of color passing as white. At one point I went so far as to create a persona based on a woman living in 15th century Scotland in order to participate in a pre-Renaissance re-enactor’s group called the Society for Creative Anachronisms. Even travelling to the Philippines in 1995 did little to ease the longing

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my search had become, a longing of something that seemed both outside myself and inside at the same time. To me it seemed that after almost 500 years of colonization, there was little information about pre-Spanish spiritual practices in the archipelago we know commonly as the Philippines, let alone any current practitioners of those systems. About 5 years ago I came across the term “babaylan” and the work of Leny Strobel. I found both soon after making contact with FilAm prose and poetry artists online. One writer mentioned the babaylan as a mythic figure in their writing, and I wondered if there was a piece of my heritage that resonated with what I’d learned from studying the indigenous practices of Europe, the Americas, and Australia. Others defined the “babaylan” as religious leaders, often women, who were warriors, healers, or psychic visionaries who were killed during Spanish colonization and all record of their existence had been erased. During my childhood, my family and Filipino community never spoke of babaylans perhaps because of their strong Catholic faith. Were babaylans myth or truth? If babaylans existed before the Spanish erased their existence from the culture, then maybe I could at least find stories about babaylans and reconstruct their practices by comparing them to what I knew from other cultures. When I contacted Leny she referred me to several texts, each difficult to find and requiring patience as the inter-library

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loan system shuffled books from one location to another. When the books arrived, I was disappointed to find that they were not easy texts to read, focusing on more on the role of the babaylan in his or her community and not on the practices themselves. I wanted to know the words to chants, the names of herbs and stones they used, and where they traveled in their dreams. I wanted to see images of them in paintings and statues, or perhaps the objects they used in ritual, to have something tangible to confirm a deeper connection to my heritage than I ever thought possible. In 2009 I was excited to hear that Leny and a group of others were planning an event designed to gather everyone interested in babaylans and babaylan practices together. The First International Babaylan Conference was her brainchild and it flourished under her leadership. Like the rest of her work, the conference came about because of the community she created, the core planning group of women with the vision, skills, and dedication to turn a small corner of the Sonoma State University into a sacred place where FilAms and Filipinos could blink away the grime of not quite fitting in anywhere, could shed the cloak of nearly-passing-in-order-to-survive, and raise their open palms to the sky to say Tao Po! I am a human being, as I am now, as I was, as my ancestors were, as we all shall be. She created a space where the practice of kapwa the self in other - could be lived.


efore the conference, the different parts of myself and my previous experiences were like the jumbled tumblers inside a combination lock. From the moment I stepped into my suite and joined a small group of women who I would live with the next few nights, it was as if a tumbler of a worn lock would turn and fall into place. Then another. Then another. A song would be sung. Thunk. A passing prayer whispered. Thunk. A term, a chant, and passing conversation. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. Pieces fell into place that I thought were forever separated because of time and circumstance. Each moment opened the lock that had been set every time I experienced a moment of disconnection from myself and my heritage while I was growing up. At the conference I learned that I just needed a reflection in someone else’s experience to affirm all that I’d known before. I stopped second guessing myself. I stopped feeling outside my own culture. I stopped holding back “just in case” it wasn’t safe to be myself. I stopped feeling isolated under the scrutiny of others and began to feel visible in a new community as I expressed an authenticity of self I felt emerging. I could at any moment join a song or a chant and not be told that

I shouldn’t share it with anyone else because it was a secret that wasn’t mine to share. I could hear the dialects around me but never feel left out or pitied because I could not respond in kind. I could offer my thoughts on dream interpretation, community building, and sexuality without wondering if I had overstepped my place in the conference. There was never a sense of shame or apology about the knowledge shared at the conference. We all shed tears of loss as well as tears of recognition throughout the two days. And most of all we danced and sang together, not in nostalgia for something left behind, but for something discovered as a community, something that had never been lost or taken away by colonization and oppression. By the end of the conference, I realized that what I was looking for was here inside myself and inside the hearts of others. We celebrated as kapwa-tao, like-hearted beings, with a mission to heal each other and to be healed. Publishing under the pen name Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor, Rebecca A. Saxton received her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University in 2012. Her short story “Yellow is for Luck” appears in the anthology Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults, edited by Cecilia Brainard. Her poetry chapbook Pause Mid-Flight was released in 2010.

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ang bagyo sa loob

by Jacqueline Lee

paninigin madalim naririnig ko ang malakas na mga hangin maginaw at maulan maalat, katulad ng dagat sa loob may bagyo umiiyak para sa iyo

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Marian Cordon

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Reflection Internal by Michele Gutierrez

I look in the mirror and imagine the history inside me hair black as ink spilling wounds and scars onto brown parchment paper skin inscribed with the stories of memory eyes churning tears, oceans walked across by so many, tides rising and falling crashing upon unfamiliar shores I look in the mirror and see the history inside me auburn lips quivering volcanoes ready to erupt tongues afire with molten lava spilling forth from deep within

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a sunken belly baring stretch marks spanning the rice terraces of Banaue to the grape fields of Stockton along the march from Bataan to prison camps through the jungles of Mindanao I look in the mirror and witness the history inside of me mothers and daughters knees callused from kneeling in prayer scattered across the Diaspora asking for deliverance feet tired and worn and aching bloodied and cut from fleeing bombs built of rhetoric and mortar devastating spirits and villages and bodies I look in the mirror and feel the history inside me veins throbbing with blood of those who’ve lived and died struggling each beat a reminder from generations still yet to be born into liberation

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PINOYHILL Seward Park, 1957

Armando - Filipino father, early fifties Max - Filipino teen, seventeen Rosario - Filipina mother, mid to late forties Anisa - Filipina teen, sixteen Uncle Eddie - Filipino male, early fifties Scene I (Pinoy Hill in Seward Park, Seattle. 1957. Three picnic tables spread out in a row. A table at one end is marked off with a RESERVED sign. Enter a teen boy and his father. They take the center table.)

by Robert Francis Flor © 2013

See right in front. (Points to the center table.) We get to see everything. The dances. The games. The activities. The roast pig! MAX You mean waste hours of my life. ARMANDO ARMANDO Come on Max. You’re too slow. I want I’m going to pick up your mom and the to get the right table. rest of the family. Have some respect. MAX She’s been slaving over the stove. I’m coming, dad. I’m coming. She’s frying chicken, mashing potatoes ARMANDO and making your favorite… adobo, panYou’re dragging your feet. cit and lumpia. MAX MAX Every year it’s the same thing. What’s Same old food. Same every year. the big deal? BORING! ARMANDO ARMANDO Stop complaining. Once a year, we Well that’s too bad. I didn’t know you celebrate our heritage on Pinoy Hill. were so spoiled. You’re lucky to have Your lola, sisters and Uncle Eddie get food to eat. In the Philippines there together and enjoy ourselves as a fam- are many starving children. They don’t ily. Ever since you became a teen all have families. They’re orphans. This you do is complain. You can stop now. is our family time together. Your job Understand. is small: Guard our table. If you don’t MAX we’ll end up on the other side of the It’s the same every year. Boring. Same park. old dances. Same old table. Same mu- MAX sic. Same faces. BORING! So… ARMANDO ARMANDO I said stop. I need you to hold this table. So we’ll see all the festivities. Everyone Its got the best view of the activities. wants this table. I don’t want us to

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miss out on our traditions. MAX I’ve seen all the dances! The tinikling. Watch. (Mimics the dance of the tinikling.) See. Big Deal! How’s that gonna help me through life? ARMANDO There’s something new this year. The Filipino Youth Activities has a drill team and they’re going to perform. You might be interested. MAX Whoo! Whoo! The team’s just a buncha girls. Big deal. I’ve seen them parading, beating the ground with bamboo poles. Soooo exciting! ARMANDO I hear they’re planning to introduce a boy’s section. Mostly playing percussion, drums…kalingas…congas and gongs…other rhythmic instruments… the kulintang. MAX Yeah. More like pots and pans. Real cool! Can you imagine me in a parade wearing a Moro outfit and pounding on a pot. I’d be laughed out of school? I’d rather die. How embarrassing! ARMANDO Oh, I see. Guess you’re too cool. Max, it might not be your thing. I’m just asking you to watch. MAX I could be cruising with friends. Seeing a flick. Checking out the shops for some new rags. Instead, you and mom are forcing me to watch this table for two hours. ARMANDO Enough! I have to pick up your Uncle. Do a little grocery shopping. Get your mom and your sisters. If you lose this

table, you’re grounded for a month. You lose your allowance. And, you won’t be able to use the car. Understood, young man!? MAX So unfair. You’re punishing me ‘cause I wanna enjoy life and be with friends. ARMANDO Well, life is unfair some time. Deal with it. I’ll be back in two hours. (Leaves) MAX (Lays across the table. Acts bored. Swears.) Why me? So unfair. (Pounds table.) (An older Pinay woman (late-forties to early fifties) enters. She carries a small box with a few bowls and pots. Notices him. She disgustedly makes grunting and grumpling noises and mutters as she puts things i.e. tablecloth, basket, picnic items on the opposite table that isn’t reserved.) ROSARIO Halo! Magandang gabi! (Max doesn’t answer.) Boy! I said “Halo!” MAX I don’t understand Filipino. An’ I’m not a boy. ROSARIO Oh, American-born. I see. I said “Hello. Good afternoon.” MAX (Sits up.) What do you want? ROSARIO Are you saving that table? I would like it. MAX No can do, Auntie. ROSARIO Why “no can do”? You’re the only one there. You use it just for sleep. My family is coming.

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MAX My dad would kill me if I gave up this table. I’m saving it for my family. ROSARIO I will trade with you. MAX Sorry, can’t do that. ROSARIO This one has more shade. MAX You should keep it. It’ll be hot today. ROSARIO I’m older. That table is closer to the… well you know what…activities. I don’t see so well. MAX They’ll be here soon. Talk with my dad. He thinks he’s “reasonable”. If it were up to me I’d let you have it. But, you know how it is: Gotta do what my old man says. ROSARIO “Old man”! Is that how you address your father? Allah! Soooo disrespectful! MAX Okay. Okay, “dad”. ROSARIO He did not teach you manners. He must be from early times. MAX I don’t get what you mean. ROSARIO Came a long time ago. He’s forgotten. Wala kang mga kaugalian. No manners. Like father, like son. MAX Wait a minute, Auntie! What do you know? ROSARIO Those early men….their reputations… very rough.

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MAX He worked hard his whole life. Paid his way. ROSARIO I didn’t mean anything. It’s just…. MAX I’m just doing what I’m told. DAD told me to hold the table for our family. ROSARIO Why it’s so important…the table? MAX I could ask you the same thing. It’s not… at least not to me. I don’t want to be here. I’ve been doing this every year. The picnic… Pinoy Hill…just doesn’t interest me anymore. Nothing to learn. ROSARIO You know everything. No need for you to learn anything about your Filipino culture. MAX Exactly. You catch my drift. ROSARIO Drift? MAX That’s old country. You get “where I am”. It’s a waste of time…looking backward. And, now dad expects me to be interested in marching in parades. In some drill team. Can you imagine me in a Moro costume beating some pots and pans? No way, Jose! ROSARIO Jose? I’m Rosario de la Cruz. You may call me Auntie Rosario. MAX And I’m Maximo Salamin. You can call me “Max”. ROSARIO Max is a strong name. What part of the Philippines is your family from? MAX Dad’s from Cebu. Mom’s from here. She’s American.

ROSARIO Oo, Cebuano. You like to negotiate. I give you ten dollars for the table. MAX You can’t be serious. ROSARIO Okay. Fifteen. MAX Stop, Auntie! I can’t sell you the table. ROSARIO Yes, you can. MAX My father would take away my allowance. Ground me. I won’t be able to drive. ROSARIO What can we do? MAX Nothing. I can’t think of a thing. ROSARIO You’re mestizo. That’s why you won’t negotiate. Stubborn. MAX Yes. Mestizo….mixed. But that’s not it. (Beat.) Where’s your family? Shouldn’t your husband or children be here instead of you? ROSARIO We’re from Illocos Sur. MAX I didn’t mean that. I’m asking why you’re here and they aren’t. ROSARIO My daughter forgot her costume. She went back for it. I came early for a good table. I hoped to get the one you guard. MAX Your husband drove her. ROSARIO No, my husband died a several years ago. MAX Sorry to hear that Auntie.

ROSARIO We get by. He provided for us. We make it financially. But it’s hard being alone. MAX I see. ROSARIO No you don’t. You’re too young MAX I’m sympathetic. What happened? ROSARIO Salamat. That means “thank you”. I know you don’t speak. He was killed in an auto accident. MAX I understood. I know a few things. ROSARIO Oo, mangyari pa. Now, you’re Pinoy at heart. MAX (Struggles pronouncing.) Mangyari pa…? ROSARIO (She says it slowly and phonetically.) Of course….MANG –YARI -PA. MAX Pinoy at heart. I like that. (Enter Anisa, Rosario’s sixteen year old daughter. She wears a Moro Princessa costume and carries a bamboo pole with ribbon attached.) ANISA Hi, mom. Sorry I’m late. Traffic. Parking’s hard… ROSARIO Anisa, this is Maximo…Max for short. Max Salamin. His father’s Cebano. They’re usually so respectful. ANISA Hi Max. Pleased to meet you. (Extends hand to shake.)

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MAX (Max waves his hand at her.) Nice meeting you, Anisa. You’re on the drill team. Nice outfit. ANISA …and the dance group. Keeps me busy. That and school. You know how it is. MAX I’m at O’Dea. A junior. ANISA I’m at Holy Names….a sophomore. Love it. I’m studying for college. Probably go to U-Dub… medicine. MAX Smart. I’m on the baseball team. ANISA That’s great! There’s a softball game later. We could use some talent. I’m playing. You interested? MAX Athletic too. Lemme think about playing. ANISA I work hard at everything. You got plans? MAX Don’t know. Maybe college. Something my dad wants. You performing? ROSARIO Of course. You think she dresses like that everyday! She’s a princessa. She’s not wearing a Moro costume for nothing. ANISA Mom, he’s just making small talk. Isn’t that right, Max? MAX Yeah. ROSARIO Anisa, hold our table. I’ll be right back. Bathroom. (She exits across the field to the bathroom.)

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ANISA Okay, mom. MAX That’s right. Why do you spend time doing the Flip thing? ANISA (Laughs.) The “Flip thing”. I’ve never heard it described that way. But, yes “the Flip thing”. (Beat) Connection to our heritage. Some will be lost in America. I think about the old ways…the gentle, respectful ways. Not like here. MAX You’re romanticizing them. There’s terrible poverty and oppression in the Philippines. Millions go hungry and the wealthy…. ANISA (Interrupts.) You make the Philippines sound awful. Our culture is beautiful even with the poverty. MAX Your mom told me about your dad. ANISA Yeah. Drunk driver ran a stop sign. MAX Sorry. (Beat.) ANISA Why’s the table so important to your dad? MAX He says it’s so we can learn about our culture. But, I found his and mom’s initials carved on it. See! (Points to the surface.) Romantic maybe. ANISA Makes sense. My dad was like that. Mom misses him. MAX She sure wants this table. Even offered money. ANISA It’s next to the reserved table.

MAX I don’t understand. ANISA The Pinoy men play pai gow, rummy…. card games. She wants to meet someone. MAX Ahhh…. ANISA It’s difficult being a widow. MAX I hadn’t thought – ANISA She’s lonely. Not your problem. MAX I guess – (Beat) Would you watch my table for a minute? I need to use the bathroom. ANISA Sure. She’s coming. MAX Thanks. (He exits. Rosario returns.) ROSARIO Where’s he gone? ANISA Bathroom. I’m saving his table. ROSARIO (Thinks a minute.) Help me. (She begins moving her stuff to the table.) ANISA Mom, what are you doing! ROSARIO No one is using the table. We can take it. Help your mother. Quickly! ANISA No, lola! I promised to watch it. ROSARIO Is that so? I didn’t promise. ANISA This is wrong! He’ll be back soon. ROSARIO Don’t disobey your mother!

ANISA Lola, I love you but this is wrong. ROSARIO I don’t care. He’s selfish. ANISA Makinig ka! Listen to yourself. You’re being unfair. He asked if I’d save the table and I agreed. You’re making me look like a liar. ROSARIO Don’t be ungrateful. I asked him politely – ANISA I want no part of this. His father and mother probably fell in love here. Their initials are carved on the table. (Points to the table.) ROSARIO I see…a long time ago. ANISA I’ll leave…not dance today. I’ll…I’ll quit the drill team. ROSARIO I don’t believe you. You won’t quit. You love it too much. ANISA Mah, watch me. I’m leaving. (Begins to walk away.) ROSARIO Honey! Come back. I’m sorry. ANISA Don’t honey me. I know why you want this table. ROSARIO What’s wrong with that? (Max returns.) ANISA Nothing. Nothings wrong with what you want. But, there are correct ways to do things. You taught me that. ROSARIO Tama ka. You’re right. Forgive me. (Max

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returns.) MAX Thanks for holding my table. What’s all your stuff doin’ on it? ROSARIO I was just going to clean off our table. MAX I was only gonna be gone a minute. You said you’d watch it. Your mom ANISA Lola thought it would be a good idea to show someone was using it. ROSARIO Don’t be mad at her. It’s my fault. I wanted MAX Forget it. You’ve given me an idea though.

ROSARIO Salamat. ARMANDO Forgive me. This is my compadre, Eduardo Santiago. (Uncle Eddie shakes Rosario’s hand.) UNCLE EDDIE Kumusta ko. I’m pleased to meet my nephew’s friends. (They shake hands.) ROSARIO Max did not tell me he had such a handsome Uncle. UNCLE EDDIE (Laughs) I stay out of the sun. ROSARIO …and such a nice smile. MAX Dad, could Anisa and her mom to join us at our table? There’s plenty of room. (Armando and his compadre, Uncle Ed- ARMANDO die arrive.) What! (Pauses and looks at them and at Max.) I think I understand. ARMANDO MAX Halo! Who are they? And what’s all Anisa’s dancing and she’s in the drill team. that? It’ll give me a chance to learn something MAX about our culture. Later we’re gonna play Dad. Uncle Eddie. This is Anisa and her softball. mother, Rosario. Mrs. De la Cruz and ANISA Anisa we watching our table while I – You decided! Great! ARMANDO ARMANDO Kumusta ko, Rosario….Anisa. My wife What do you think, compadre? There’s room. will be along shortly. She’s at the car UNCLE EDDIE sorting things out. (Looks at Max who nods agreement.) To ARMANDO include two beautiful guests. Absolutely! De la Cruz. I knew an Antonio de la MAX Cruz. He passed several years ago. Yes! It’ll be fun. ROSARIO ROSARIO My husband. You’re so kind. I hope you enjoy my flan. ARMANDO (She shows them her bowl of flan. They sit A good man. You must miss him. We down at the table.) all do.

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UNCLE EDDIE It looks delicious…wonderful. I can hardly wait. ARMANDO (to Max and Anisa) Let’s go help you mother and sisters. Uncle Eddie and Rosario can watch our table. (Armando, Max and Anisa exit.) (Lights down. End of play.)

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The Superhumans By Krisha Mae Cabrera

I dreamt of h e ro e s that night. Of superheroes, villains, and the ones in between- the a n t i h e r o e s . I walked along cracked pavement bashed and melted and shaken and blown. I was surrounded by flying, rushing, battling entities. But as I looked around, the world became familiar. I was in the world I’d always known. And the people- the zooming, fighting, superpowered people- were my friends, my foes, my family. It was odd, seeing people I’d known take the form of such marvelous beings. And in the flurry of superhumans, it was hard to distinguish between the superheroes, villains, and the ones in between- the anti-heroes.

Someone fell by my feet, crumpled up in pain.

“A r e y o u a l r i g h t ? ” I a s k e d . H e g a v e s l i g h t n o d o f h i s head. But his hair was caked with blood. His gleaming white suit was stained with mud and dirt and his c a p e w a s r i p p e d i n h a l f. A s h e l i f t e d u p h i s f a c e , I r e alized that he had been my classmate. He was the kind of kid who woke up early on weekends to volunteer in feeding the homeless. He lent me a pencil once during m y t i m e o f n e e d . “ Yo u m u s t b e a h e r o , ” I w h i s p e r e d . “Sometimes,” he groaned. Hi s wounds fade d i n to h i s s k i n , a s i f s t i tc h i n g t h e m s e l v e s. H e b r u s h e d aw ay t h e b l o o d a n d d i r t f r o m h i s h e a d .







He looked down somberly and I couldn’t figu r e w h a t h e m e a n t. H i s i n j u r i e s f i n i s h e d h e a l ing and he jumped back into the melee. I wondered who I was. It was like that time I started thinking about whether I’d end up in heaven or hell. Was I a superhero, a villain, or one of the ones in between- an antihero? I tried to remember the things I’ve done wrong, the things I’ve done right. But I didn’t trust my bias, my flawed formula.

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My appearance in the dream gave no indication of my inclination. I was in regular clothes- a gray sweater, jeans, black suede boots- neither knightly nor sinister. I walked around, grasping for a sense of the different sides. I came across my second cousin. He was cloaked in tough, dark cloth and wore leather gloves that glowed with an onyx flame. He threw flaming black bolts at buildings and cars and indiscriminately blasted the flying, running, tumbling figures that passed by. The air around him seemed to suck him in, in a blurry whirlpool of smoke and heavy debris. I ran to him and his personal storm whipped my hair into my face and threw dirt into my eyes. “Why are you doing this?” I asked him. I wasn’t close enough to him to be sure of understanding why he was a villain in this world. We’d only exchanged small talk and a terse conversation about careers. At my question, he brought down his hands and the storm slowed to a halt. The last tongues of black flame left his fingers and his face became clear and still. “Why again.

are you “Why are

doing you

this?” I destroying

asked him the world?”

His eyes were rimmed with tears and his voice shook as he replied, “I have to. Because the world is destroying me.” He whipped his hands up, ripping through the air in a swirl of wind and flame. A dark tornado grew around him and swallowed up his image from view. As the winds grew stronger, I ran for cover, finding it in a desolate diner nearby. It was a diner I used to frequent on Saturdays. They served an eggs and bacon special with a cappuccino.

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My hands brushed away the dust on the counter and the world seemed sepia toned. I climbed up on a stool and waited. For what, I didn’t know. The diner was quiet- isolated from the war around it. “I want to know who I am,” I whispered. “And a cappuccino, please,” I added, echoing the orders I’ve placed in the past. I felt a gust of wind tickle my neck. I looked back and nearly fell out of my stool. Someone had entered the diner. I had entered the diner. I walked towards my doppelganger and she walked towards me. “What do you think?” She asked in her all too familiar voice. “Are you a hero?” At the last word, her body seemed to stretch, until another clone was formed. “A villain?” Me from her being, “Or one of the tihero?” whispered

Number Three asked. Then my fourth clone emerged. ones in Me




“I- I don’t know,” I stammered. “Some people think I’m a hero for some of the good things I’ve done… Sometimes, I think I’m just a hero to myself. Well, for times like those, I guess I’m not a hero at all. And I guess to the enemies I sometimes call villains, I’m the villain. But I’ll tell you what- I’d only like to be one or the other. Because the thought of being the antihero scares me. It’s a conflict for your entire life, never settling for good or bad.” “But what of a hero’s wrongdoings?” asked Me Number Three.

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“And what of a villain’s struggling heart?” asked Me Number Four. “Are they not in an eternal conflict? Never settling for good or bad?” said my second clone. “Are we not, all of us, anti-heroes? Everyone in this world and yours- it becomes hard to distinguish what sets us apart. We the sometimes heroes, the sometimes villains. We the anti-heroes.” The little diner bell rang behind me and I looked to the counter. On it was a cappuccino, aromatic and steaming and bitter and smooth. My Second Clone got it for me and placed the cup into my hands. As my doppelganger’s fingers reached mine, she faded into my figure. The others followed, melding as smoothly into my being as the cappuccino’s steam swimming into the air. At the last breath of my last clone, I took a sip of coffee. I woke up from my dream. I had fallen asleep on my desk. My eyes found the pages of the comic book I’d used as a pillow. Drowsily, I stared at the little dots, the clumps of colorful spots that formed the fuel of my dreams. I sat up slowly, watching the groups of dots melt into the single page. It was a scene of many characters- a broken hero, a jaded villain caught in between an invisible, impossible dichotomy. It was a scene of zooming, fighting, superpowered people- my friends, my foes, my family.

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The Great Projects ABIGAIL K ITURRA

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A Lone Soul By Christian Guerrero

I’m alone. I feel good. That’s what I tell myself. Everything is fine. I’m confident. Pain. Reject it. That’s not real. Smile. Stand straight. Chest out. Be cool. Squinted eyes. Chin up. Look down at others. This is life. This is strength. Drink drink drunk. Smoke more now. Lights dim. Clubs roar. Music is an escape. End of the night. Nothing. Party. Party. Part of me. Sore throat. Tired mind. Gone. Destroyed. Long drive home. Shower. Too much. Too high. Routine. Lights off. Comfy bed. Stop it dude. That’s abuse. Lie down. Relax. Go to sleep. That’s not smart. Please go to sleep. I’m tired. You’re not respecting it. No. Think first. Analyze. Trip out. Scared. Alone. What happened. Why? Please help me. Next time will be better. Sister. Brother. Anyone? Hopefully. Please. They come rushing. Thoughts run. Breathe brother. Steady. Breathe. Tears flow. Om. I have a power. I understand. Relax. I’m alone. This is a trip. This is crazy. Wipe. Rinse. I’m not alone anymore. Repeat. Friends? Something new abounds. New places. New people. A perspective once unseen. I’m swimming in a new pond. There’s other fishes now. A school. And I’m learning. They share. I open up. I share and express. We relate. Their problems are mine. My problems they’ve faced. We share, express, inspire, and grow. It’s a family. Not by blood. Yet connected at the heart. No longer alone. I stand in a new home. Built on the stones of past fears. Scratched up. Imperfect. Rough. Strong.

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Truths of the Modern

Young Population (As I have observed) Amelia Zaldivar

Preface: The following is a three-part memoir written in the first person as I recount my experiences as a living piece of Generation Y, in the second person as I confront my parent figures as the personification of Generation X, and again in the first person as I describe my current situation.

I am your Trophy Kid. I dedicate my life to my sport, talent, and academics. I spend my short life practicing practicing practicing. Practice makes perfect. I run, throw, and kick for hours. I accumulate medallions – gold, silver, more bronze. I collect ribbons – every color. I paint well, recognized at school, certificates galore. At home, my work is hidden. Practice practice practice. I study all day. I master Algebra at ten. I read Hemingway at twelve. I only get As. I will spend thirteen years in the system. I will go to college. I am the child of the divorced world. I am Generation ME. I am the headphone volume up, outside world tuned out mentality. I am a cast down gaze. I am a glance unmet. My eyes illuminate with the flashing pixels on my cellular phone while I type abbrv mssgs lol. I spend hours locked in my bedroom – the world outside isn’t safe for me. I stare at my computer screen all day. I take pictures of me. I stare in the mirror. I delete the pictures. Don’t I see? Don’t I know? About what? Me? Yes. About you? About them? Not a chance. I am a microcosm of a much higher importance than that. Aren’t I? I am the child of the new millennium. I am Generation Y. With a higher education level and a lower paying job, I wear flip-flops to work and then blast brain-melting beats while I drink myself into oblivion on the weekend. I am the reckless driver on the highway and the over-sexed couple in the closet. I run across busy intersections, jump off bridges, and stain my mother’s carpets with blood. I am the new breed. You know I am the hated and detested immoral scum of the earth. You have lost my ribbons.

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You are my beaming parent. You smile as I run, draw, and read. You keep on me: push push push. Pushing is guiding. You cheer as I sweat on the field. You hang my medallions – they all sound the same; they swing and chime on the porch. You arrange my ribbons – in a frame on the living room wall. You place the canvases in the attic – where did they go? Push push push. You give me a desk and a lamp. You hand me a calculator. You build a library. You hang my grades on the fridge. You have me for eighteen years. You will see me off. You brag. You are the witness of the broken society. You are Generation Ideal. You are the open minded, open eared. You are a head held high in the clouds, though still rooted on earth. Your eyes shine with a success made in yesterday’s world, a clean email inbox and paper bills in order. You are out and about – comfortable in the sun. You read the newspaper. You listen while others talk. You watch the news. You see. You know. You are a student of the universe. Aren’t you? You were the child of the past millennium. You are Generation X. With high education levels and secure employment positions, you dress in a suit and hum to Mozart, sipping wine in the evenings to take the edge off. You are the sensible commuter on the train and the conservative marriage in the suburbs. You wait for the light to change, sail in the breeze, and remove your shoes in the atrium. You are the perfect mould. I am your broken cast. You are sought after like gold.

Look at me. I am your quintessential college student. I am passionate about academics, in a constant state of worry about the future, politically and morally critical -- I know nothing about everything. I am the image of the future of America that you’re so concerned about. I am driving the American dream right into the wall. I am your tax dollars at work, taking up resources, taking up space in our over populated university system. I am not your dream. I am not your next doctor. I will not code the next space program. I will not create the next Fortune 500 Company. I will gain a B.A. in English and Media Studies. I might not make a paycheck like yours. I might not become perfect. But, I will make a difference. I will matter. I am exactly what you imagine all of my generation to be, but I have value. And I am yours.

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House of God By Sarah Bernardo

There is silence Unnatural and bored. The pews are just seats Of unforgiv ing wood. The altars f illed w ith frozen statues, Dead eyes look through stone faces A nd peeling plaster hides immortalit y Behind gaudy paint. A mongst ashes and forgotten prayers, Slim f ingers of f ire reach heaven-ward From the w icks of cheap candles. Rusted coins and crumpled bills Sleep w ithin a metal tin— The dues for eternal bliss. The lambs have assembled in this House, To be shorn of their identit y In favor of memorized chants and scripted responses, To be ushered in f locks to spiritual slaughter As they rely on ritual to absolve their sins. From this catatonic Catholic communit y Words are draw n forth in mumbled whispers, Half-hearted and mechanical. They rise and they sit They rise and they sit Like waves on the shores of Eternit y. Nothing can wake the dutiful From their ritualized slumber. They embrace the routine With glassy eyes and upturned palms.

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But their sleep is broken— Interrupted By the straining notes of a piano A nd the opening verses of song. For the f irst time, something Stirs w ithin the soul. The monotone mutters are cast aside, As the low rumblings of the spirit A nd the clear tones of absolution Inter t w ine. One melody, One voice, One body, That rises to the rafters As the most honest offering to Heaven. Each voice a piece of stained glass With their ow n tint and tex ture, Combined into one mosaic Illuminated by an inexplicable bond. The music echoes and builds Into a storm that washes away the suffering That programmed prayers could not. The harmony resounds w ith earnest, A sincerit y f illed w ith the warmth The cheap candles lacked, A body pulsing w ith the life The stone f ig ures lost. The song of the congregation Unites them in one spirit Elevates them in one sound More absolutely than gold chalices Or jeweled crosses ever could. Diminishing like the soft hush of rain, The psalm ends. There is silence.

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A month or so later, the Martinez family who lived next door to Lilong and Lilang in the barrio also immigrated to Carson and moved into Uncle Fred’s home down the street. Uncle Fred was Pop’s second cousin, but had been as old as Lilong Dinong. Uncle Fred had petitioned his son, Freddy, and entire family including his first wife, Eva, whom he had not seen in thirty years! I don’t know how long Uncle Fred and Auntie Eva were married before he left the barrio. It must have not been long as Pop told me courtships lasted a few months and then you were married and pregnant all of a sudden. Auntie Eva was a cute tiny old woman with long gray hair which she usually tied up in a bun. She seemed to be the sweetest lola and mostly kept to herself praying the rosary and putting fresh food on their altar daily. She never married again and only had Freddy. Pop said she was a very faithful wife. “The old man had other children and other wives in America but he did not like them. Freddy is very lucky. They are all very lucky,” Pop clicked his tongue. I wonder if Auntie Eva was ever pissed-off about Uncle Fred leaving her and having other wives and kids. I would be mad. Pop said Uncle Fred always sent money home to the barrio. He just never went back. Now, after thirty years, Uncle Fred petitioned the entire family, and the petition was successfully granted. “Who petitioned us?” I asked Pop. “No one. Your mom and I came on

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our own with the money we saved up. We left everything and took a chance. No one petitioned us,” Pop would say triumphantly with great pride in his voice as if he had conquered Mount Everest. It was exciting to have all these relatives moving from the Philippines. Most of the Filipinos I knew at school were Tagalog and it just wasn’t the same. I knew we did things differently as Ilocanos. The things we ate. Vegetables and seafood. No fried chicken or tocino. Lumpia only at parties. The way Mommy and Pop thought that it was a waste of money to buy a Mercedes Benz or a pair of Nikes or a nice dress. Most of the Tagalog kids in my class had parents who drove a Mercedes Benz. And almost all of them owned a pair of Air Jordans, which they showed off every Tuesday and Thursday during PE class. “You wear uniforms so no need for a big wardrobe. Who needs a Mercedes? A car is a car is a car. As long as it runs. And your feet are growing. I’m not going to spend $65 on a pair of shoes you’ll wear a few times before you can’t fit into them anymore. Dios ke! Those Filipinos who spend on all that stuff don’t know what’s important,” Pop would remind me. Even Kara Rodriguez, whose parents had been behind in paying tuition, owned two pairs of Air Jordans!

Her family owned the Filipino restaurant next to our school. I found out about her parents being behind in tuition when Kara got called out of class to the principal’s office. Everyone thought it was weird. As far as we knew, Kara was the sweetest person and we couldn’t imagine she had done anything wrong to be called out of class. It was Liliana who sat across from me and whispered that her parents hadn’t been paying tuition. Everyone knew her parents had been struggling but no one thought it was that bad. Kara had Air Jordans after all. I felt sad and out-of-place for not having those things, which I guess made me even more of a target for the Tagalog kids at school who enjoyed picking on me and calling me poor simply for being Ilocano. I knew Pop and Mommy made a lot of money as they never worried about not being able to pay for important things like the house and the electricity bill and the phone bill and tuition. And they took us on fun road trips up to Big Bear when it snowed and also to Oregon and Washington to go hiking in the mountains in the summertime. They don’t like to spend on unimportant things. They never have. And Air Jordans and nice dresses were certainly unimportant to them. “We are paying to make sure you have the best education. What could be more important than that? You are going to Harvard one day,” Pop would say when I asked if I could buy a new dress for first Friday when the entire school would dress up in fancy clothes and attend morning Mass the first Fridays of every month. Anytime when Sister Emeline Lux had us think about where we wanted to go to college, I couldn’t help mentioning that

my dad said it was important for me to go to Harvard like he did. The rest of my classmates had no comment and rolled their eyes at me but none of them could say their parents ever went to Harvard. Then there was the way Mommy and Pop yelled in Ilocano when they were excited while my Tagalog classmates thought that my parents were scolding me. “No, they’re just calling me to eat dinner,” I explained over the phone to Liliana once who thought I had gotten into trouble for talking on the phone. I knew we were different. Are different. When Manong Freddy and his wife, Auntie Isa, finally arrived from the Philippines, they were very excited to see Lilong Dinong and Lilang Mishang again. Manong Freddy had told us how much of a father Lilong Dinong had been to him since he had no father while growing up. Manong Freddy and Auntie Isa had a son, Miguel, about Anna’s age whom she had often played with in the barrio. They also had a toddler son, Noel, and baby girl, Jennifer. Uncle Fred’s reunion with his family was short-lived as a few months after they had all arrived, Uncle Fred died of a heart attack leaving his entire fortune to Manong Freddy. None of us had really gone to Uncle Fred’s house before the Martinezes arrived. Pop had gone over often attending weekend mahjong parties hosted at his house. Uncle Fred had lived alone. I knew he had many other children and a few wives, but we never met any of them. Uncle Fred had been a cranky old lolo who liked to keep to himself. Manong Freddy had always lived in the barrio and never met his father.

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Uncle Fred had left for the United States when Freddy was still a baby. Pop said Uncle Fred was special, that he was part of a generation called, “The Manongs.” That sounded strange. Uncle Fred was an old man and whose older brother was he? Pop said Manong Freddy and his family were very lucky for having the chance to leave the barrio. Nobody just leaves, but Uncle Fred left Freddy his house and entire fortune, which Pop said he earned through his underground cockfighting rings. At Uncle Fred’s funeral, there were about two hundred people in attendance, mostly men. Pop explained many of them were Uncle Fred’s clients. At Uncle Fred’s burial, there were a large group of men talking and laughing so loudly that the priest couldn’t complete the final blessing and had to tell them to shut up. When it was time for everyone to throw a flower stem onto the halfway lowered coffin, Auntie Eva had stood so closely to the edge, wailing and crying and wailing, that if someone hadn’t been standing by her side, she might have lost her balance, or worse, thrown herself on top of the coffin. It was all very theatrical. I did feel terribly sad for Auntie Eva as it hadn’t been even three months after being reunited with her husband after thirty years and he had to die of a heart attack. She wailed in Ilocano. I understood a few of her words while she cried and wailed through her handkerchief. Her wails were like a song that flew in waves across the cemetery. I won’t see you anymore . . . . no more . . . . You are gone . . . . You left me . . . . my old man . . . . answer me . . . . I will not forget you . . .

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Lilang Mishang and Auntie Patsing joined Auntie Eva in the wailing, standing next to her, all of them holding their black handkerchiefs to their mouths, their heads covered in beautifully laced black veils. Wailing. Wailing. Wailing. Their wails echoed up and down the cemetery, wave after wave after wave. I am not sure if Lilang Mishang and Auntie Patsing did it to keep Auntie Eva company in her wailing, or if they really missed Uncle Fred. As far as I knew, Lilang Mishang and Auntie Patsing weren’t close to him as I had never even seen them have a conversation, even at family parties. Their voices sharply rose and then slowly descended like a Gregorian chant at Mass, and inbetween they would sob, catch their breath, sob again and start again with their voices at a screeching high note. They wailed like this for what seemed forever. Mommy sighed and muttered under her breath, “Ag dung dung-aw ni apo baket. This is what you’re supposed to do at funerals in the Ilocos. Only the Ilocanos do this. It’s tradition. The Tagalogs don’t. This is how you’re supposed to say goodbye.” “You mean this is an act?” I asked. “Well, it’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s like singing poetry to the dead. In the Ilocos, they even rhyme,” Mommy giggled, covering her entire face with both her hands so it almost looked like she was crying. “The things they say make you want to laugh,” she had whispered. “Like, ‘How come you left me? Rise up and sit next to me, please.’ Can you imagine if that person rose up right now, everyone would run,” she giggled, again covering her mouth. We were standing away from anyone to really hear us. Still, I knew we

shouldn’t be laughing. Not at a funeral. I had known that since my first funeral at five when I attended a very distant relative’s grandfather’s funeral, and I have no idea how that relative is exactly related to us. No laughing. No playing. No running through the cemetery to play tag. Period. But we couldn’t help laughing at that point. Not that I think anyone would’ve noticed as Uncle Fred’s funeral was the noisiest funeral I had ever been to. Even in the midst of the dung-aw, you could hear the murmuring, rustling, whispered conversations in the background, creating a droning musical accompaniment to Auntie Eva, Lilang Mishang, and Auntie Patsing’s wailing. Mommy laughing made me want to laugh that we started to have an attack of the giggles. Mommy grabbed my arm and made me walk with her away from the crowd. I could tell the giggles were about to explode so we walked and walked and walked until we were way out of earshot where no one could catch us laughing our asses off. “Oh my, the things that your aunts and Lilang were saying!” Mommy and I laughed and laughed and laughed. I couldn’t understand every word they wailed in Ilocano, but you could hear them wailing their songs to Uncle Fred, their wails hitting us like waves where we stood. You couldn’t escape their wails and Mommy and I couldn’t escape our giggles. “Patsing is all over the place. There is a crescendo and decrescendo. There is a proper way to the dung-aw. They even hire people to do it at funerals!” Mommy and I continued to burst out laughing until Sam joined us wondering what was wrong with us. By the time he reached

us to call us back, my stomach was tied in so many knots and I had never felt so tired or so relieved after an attack of the giggles. Mommy wiped away tears before we returned to the crowd. You’re supposed to stay until the last mound of dirt has been shoveled into the grave. We waited for the workers with their hard hats, dirty jeans, and orange vests to gently lower the coffin all the way down. We waited for the arrival of the big yellow machine with its humongous shovel to pile dirt into the grave. The machine’s deafening roar as it scraped and dug up the earth. The avalanching of soil. The pelting of small rocks on top of the coffin. The high-pitched beeping as the machine reversed, then jerked left, then right, attempting to position itself beside the hole in the ground while we’d stand there, chatting with each other, fanning ourselves, taking photographs, eating bibingka, kutsinta or puto. Then, the big yellow machine retiring, its work done, we would be back to the murmur of our voices while the workers would shovel the last pieces of dirt and smooth out the surface like smoothing out creases in a quilt. We’d finally leave, having made sure Uncle Fred was properly laid into the ground. We did this at every funeral, even when it rained. Mommy said Tagalogs didn’t do this at funerals. It was an Ilocano thing. The wailing. The waiting. The watching until the very end. Only Ilocanos. I knew we were different. Are different.

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babae ka, malakas ka you are woman, you are strong. your life: prolonged, made immortal, and breathing, through


Grace Asuncion

an {m} spoken word collaboration by aleli balaguer & jacqueline lee

our thriving community. your thriving community. thriving and alive, we breathe; we are safe, protected and accounted for today, because of you. your sweet care for your friends and your family --loving sister and daughter, loving roommate, loving friend; for your passion in guiding peers struggling with classes --providing mentorship and valuing education; for your devotion in building community and forging bonds between buddies --continuing on now as the Kuya/Ate/Ading program; for your commitment to reconnecting with our culture through art --dancing traditionally in PCN and working collaboratively with {m}aganda magazine; for your aspiration towards the health, care, & wellbeing of others through PAHC, and for the future of Pilipinos and Pilipinas, we breathe; we mobilize, we move; we act, because of you, Grace Asuncion, we are you, your strength your presence, embracing us, we, your community like your Malong round you we wear with pride as we remember you alive, living, because of you.

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Map face NYC By: Mira Dayal

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A SLICE OF THE AMERICAN PIE By Lulu Rivera Growing up in Mandaluyong (now a city), in the suburbs of Manila, transients flourish in our area as they make their living in the Marketplace located in Kalentong. You can imagine the noise and unhealthy smoke belched by passing jeepneys and tricycles 24 hours a day. There was no peace and quiet. When Martial Law was declared by President Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972, we were uncertain of our future as a family. Louie and I married in 1973 and blessed with 2 daughters (Laurice and Lara Louise). I remember Louie telling me he had a pending U.S. application filed back in the late 1960’s. I initiated the follow up as Louie was uncertain whether or not he wanted to go. To my surprise, his application was approved in 1973. Louie headed for Chicago while I was 6 months pregnant with our 2nd daughter. It was heart wrenching at the thought of leaving my family behind. Therefore, Louie decided to migrate ahead of me and our 2 daughters to try to inhabit our roots in the

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U.S. My father suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on the left side a year before Louie left in 1976 and unfortunately my dad died on Nov 28, 1978. It took a few years for our petition to be approved so we joined him 3 years after. I preferred Los Angeles, CA rather than Chicago and thankfully he obliged. With our 2 girls and mom in tow, we started in Atwater, Los Angeles, then to Mariposa, west of Hollywood. After a year of renting in the U.S., we managed to save enough money, along with a generous contribution from my parents, and bought our first home and settled in Hacienda Heights. Hacienda Heights is an unincorporated area – not a city, located about 20 minutes from Los Angeles and our work. Our neighborhood is comprised of the first track homes built back in the 1950’s. We learned from our broker and some of our friends that zoning is important as well as choosing an area with a reputable school system. The ethnic population was balanced with mixed cultures and was close to schools, hospitals, police and fire departments, library, church, theaters, a mall, eateries and more. We continue to be blessed with multiple luxuries so close at hand. The park is nestled a few yards away from our doorstep as well as the elementary and high schools. The

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park has been such a tremendous commodity to our neighborhood. The park contains multiple exercise equipment for everyone to enjoy. Seniors and residents are able to walk on the cemented pathways that are lighted in the evening. The community feels safe thanks to the patrol cars that ensure our neighborhood’s safety. The senior center offers lunch for seniors for an incredible price of $2 for a well balanced meal. For a small fee, the senior center offers trips, casino theaters, plays, exhibits, free movie Mondays, Tai-Chi, ballroom dancing, line dancing, ping-pong, billiard, karaoke, computer lessons, bingo sessions every Friday, offering cash prizes. What is amazing to me is that our city hosts an annual Fourth of July parade which ends right at the park. We patronize local businesses in our area and the parade gives us all a chance to meet the people in our community so we are well aware of the representatives in our area. As for our neighbors, they are friendly and accommodating. To our left is an Japanese American family; to the right, a Hispanic American family; across the street is a Hispanic family with twin girls and a Hispanic and French family. Francois (across) is a volunteer at the senior center every Friday for the bingo as well as the checker (Nellie) and the front desk volunteer. It is also at the Senior Center we

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cast our vote (major & some locals). Everything is nearby and they are the type of neighbors that are NOT interested in gossip. A simple “hi� and waiving of hands is how we communicate. No long talk. We provide help to one another when needed. I walk my grandkids to the playground. They offer free snacks at 3pm for all children to enjoy at the park. When I became disabled 9 years ago in 2007, the daily walk in the park, the local line dance, activities at the park, the sun, etc. gave me back most of the strength I needed to survive thus far. With the aging process, I find our place, our church and the people surrounding our community a true a blessing. I am still alive, kicking and continue to blessed every day. I cannot ask for more.

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my eventual survival by aleli balaguer I write for survival that mind to idea to pen to paper to word written and read heard and received ––

I was born incomplete challenged with making myself whole second-hand nostalgia for a country I crave to be mine in a country that craves to never know me

translates my existence validation for my survival

my ultimate sacrifice acceptance of an incomplete hyphenated wholeness

in 1992 I was birthed between a hyphen and I didn’t know it yet my being neither did my parents know it yet my survival they will never know I write that when they crossed that ocean and I read away from a Third world future my true existence the American dream for their family for the eventual they never would have known opportunity opportunity to be known foreign living and to know meant their erasure myself for our survival the ultimate sacrifice like the passyon of Jesus Christ my parents left their native land sacrificed their love for their country sacrificed the authenticity of their children for a better future larger than what they were promised

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Ehgs Ehgs

Mira Dayal

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NOUR ISH MENT 102 community

By Synequeen Alasa-as

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“Where I come from, stories are best told through food.�

- Synequeen Alasa-as

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google bus

White blight Light sweeping Across sacred skin

by Tony Robles

Impersonal hum Of a dronew Scarring the eyes Searing the skin With words: Eviction and displacement Behind tinted glass, Digital colonizers With eyes that are neither Half full or half empty look For vacant space Back and forth, Up and down Cutting across Our skin and into Marrow and bone

Our Epitaphs written in Invisible digital ink On the steps and walls And floorboards and Pots and pans in the Murals of our bones Songs Crying out from The soil Not to be seen In the drone of white Blight light Or in An App

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Bones Abigail K. Iturra

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s l o w by Tony Robles This black brother walked In to my office (That really isn’t mine) And said he was glad To see me

And then he said He hoped the computer class Could help him because he Is a little slow when it comes To picking things up

How you been my brother? He asked

And his words, undoubtedly Inspired by some school, hung Around his neck like a brick faced Book

And I tried To place his Face It is December and He wore a red and Black sweater and Gold chain and one of those Fur caps designed for the snow A santa of a different kind And he asked me about The computer class that Our organization offers and I Told him that space was available And he smiled and Said that he is Playing his music (He is a percussionist) And he spoke of Santana (Not Santa) And got a bit teary eyed

And I smiled and said, You know, slow is best I mean, when you eat a Pot of stew, you want To savor it …s l owly You don’t want to Do it like you’re Trying to catch the Amtrak Train out of town And he smiled And I smiled And our laughter Simmered

s l o w l y

© 2013

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southside anonymous

home Dress in colors, in size

enjoy The view chill, cold wind sharpening of despair, disownment Not my life, not my world O ne s tep for w a rd


Down down down town

StepS Back

Downtown south side Downtown south side down Downtown Where everything goes down in the south of town Where the truth is exempt, extinct Disappointment lays fears, doubts One taken as right brain wash, brain dead Manipulated, misguided, mistreated

South South south south of down down down side

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The downside creeps, overpowers society Live what is granted, grown Touch, bullied, shot through the skull, heart Neighbors whisper, writes your story Of knock out, pass out, knock up A society build to fAil fAil fAilure fAiling fAll fAlling fAlter fAlsehood Death rate is equivalent to incarceration unemployment Few receive high school diploma college graduation Teenage pregnancy is high standard of living is otherwise No need to reach or try to beat the standards Standard of standards created by a system of systems Categorize as ghetto, gangster, ratchet, and hood rat; Call you names. fight live fight rise stand learn; Because there is hope And an upside to the downside Of my Southside Downtown

my home.

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Death Range By Tony Robles

Mr. Brogan always Seemed younger than His almost 70 years And his sporting Hip hop pieces of Clothing made him seem Closer to 50 than his actual age He was nearly 6 feet Tall with taut tendons And a sharp keen mind that Stoked his thoughts and formed Words with a quickness of tongue That shaped sayings and phrases That could later be coined He was involved in community Equity and justice struggles And proclaimed once at a Rally, “I’m so broke I can’t afford To go window shopping” And there he stood at the Memorial of a friend who’d Recently died And he was close to the Deceased, remembering things

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Such as his love of singing and his Genuine concern for people He looked out at the people Gathered, most of whom were His age, more or less’ And he looked at his peers And said, “You know, most

Of us here are in death range”

And the gathering was


And Mr. Brogan’s voice Was a song, line blending Into line until a song


Within the range Of Poetry Memory Ritual Music and everybody joined him finding their


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thethehouse houseisisnot not mine mine

By Jake Soiffer

Sundays as the fog licks up I’m sitting in the ribcages of churches, tonguing aged brimstone and praying to some blue-lipped god I never believed in only wanted to see naked His eyes are all blazed blood and I come shifting to the balls of his feet. The halls open in rifts of notes juggled and chorused from the lips of fingers and velcro-headed little-leaguers dance with their fathers. My father in communion 1960 lifts his chin spitting pomegranate into the soul of his palm We barely look alike but I used to pray to his shadow on the bedroom wall, nested among sand paintings and anal portraits so modern unlike his mothers’ hands, which he hates because they are old and smell like shitstained 112 community

rosaries and biscuits and white brick and sunlit monument. They smell unafraid of death, mirrors, god empty parking lots etc. while his fumble with my collar afraid to see me look older afraid of the confessions rubbed into balsam chains, tightening around his boyish neck and twisting his eyes into the blue nothings of some forgotten priest His generation left the church for riots and sex and flowers and new age gin purple sin beautiful vegetarianism and glaring, tremendous things. I am his hangover, stumbling back sunday mornings and carving my fingers into the stained glass of a new great altar every week, praying not with words, but the taste of angels nude community 113

Home in Diaspora

bY MIkael RosaRY De leon You know why I dream of a Queer Caribbean? I dream of being able to go home unashamed, proud, happy, content; no fear, no sadness, no longing. I dream of fields lush and ripe with potentiality, rain showers of joy, rivers opening flowing in to the sea, mingling hope, home, and happiness.

At the tender age of 10 or 11, I had already begun moving through a world hardened by gender and laced through with a bonding glue of sexuality. I vacillated between groups of friends, boys and girls. Both were harsh and unforgiving. Both were strident in their beliefs and surety of exclusion, lines not blurred in what was an acceptable way of expressing love and to whom. No longer were we able to drift along; the harsh waters of the binary had turned frigid, strangling, and real.

Then came the 7th and 8th grade. There was a line drawn. I had begun to exhibit a femininity that was unbecoming. My friends were all girls, I was a stone amongst gems. There were many times that male teachers would approach me and inform me of the proper ways to exhibit masculinity, and it was definitely in casting my lot with gravel; I was deserving of being “ma'am’ed” by teachers, of being called a faggot and an antiman. That line had become a trench.

I live at the boundary, the merging of land and sea. Like foam, I exist at the meeting of sand and water. Like a wave, I want to come crashing through. But self-preservation always holds me back. I know who I am. I’ve been threatened. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been told over and over NOT that who I am doesn’t matter, But who I am frames everyone else as better.

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I had just transferred from one university to another. In that instance I became physically planted in the diaspora, though I did not know it then. I had moved away from warmer seas, but soon I found others like me that had seen turbulent times of thunderous waves and felt despondent ripples marring placid waters. I had found wind makers and wave breakers. And in turn was able to provide the same. But like four points on a compass, they pointed ever outwards. But in that time I saw determination to help, anticipatory helping, empathy, sympathy, respect and learning.

struct narratives of binary, admit our internalized racist ideologies, foster conversation?

To survive in diaspora requires a merging of land and ocean, the melding of separate bodies and souls to create a home where none existed before. To exist in diaspora requires memory for it exists as much in the past as it does in our present. To experience diaspora is to experience the feeling of being torn away, forced away, abandoned, left for dead. It is to experience resistance, growth, temerity, and being in the face of adversity. It is remembering the curving land, the blooming flowers, the storm Am I the sea or the island? winds, sands crunching beneath your feet, water splashing at Do I embrace or am I held? your shins, diving to the depths and rising up into the sun. It is What do we learn to hold? Do we remembering warm embraces, come together out of shared anismiles, bonesearing love, pecks mosity or love? How do we insulate and kisses, midnight cuddles and one another away from hurts and conversations, sharing ice cream pains? How do we learn to love one and wine and laughter. another for the same reasons we were forced into diaspora? How do I remember being 19. It was the we tear down colonial tools, decon- second year I had ever spent away

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from home. It was a time when I learned of shifting plates, how diasporic homes crumbled, how they in turn created mountains on disparate plains. It was a time of emotional learnings and leanings, a time of connectedness. Vulnerability is the cornerstone of trust. In order to create worlds that exist alongside, not within or against, hegemonic structures we must find ways to trust and give of ourselves, not wholly at first but piecemeal, taking the crumbs of who we are and mixing it together to form the basis for the land that we walk on. The truth I have to ask myself is, “Have I always existed in diaspora?� For a child whose expressions

had always been different, whose bounce and step had too much of the wind and sea coursing through, life became desperate and unsafe. There were no places safe and nurturing. Elders hid, sometimes in plain sight, but the fear and reality of needing to hide blocked access to what could have been a saving grace. If to create home in diaspora is to be able to merge separate souls and bodies, what is it to be born into homelessness? Community in diaspora is to create fields to sow, fields to reap. Community in diaspora is to provide homecoming. It is to provide hearth and home. To find community in diaspora is to find a balm to salve the soul.

So I keep dreaming. I keep dreaming in hopes that one day I can return and Not straighten my walk, Not deepen my voice, not hold my hands at my side but Up to the sky in reverence and Joy of who I am and always will be, unabashedly.

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San Francisco - Aliya Charney

The manic headlight of the locomotive revolving lazily into infinity beneath the somewhat sleeping conductor’s bent forehead reminded me of home when I’d hop into the yellow Volkswagen and pick my father up from the station Forehead bent beneath a wool cap identical to all the other wool caps that stepped off the train just as the maroon darkness decided to set in on those early winter nights that curbed my childhood dreams of finding a place that tasted like lavender and lemon and fresh baked salty bread. I am on board my father’s train the one whose wail would pierce the darkness and bring the men back home from war tethered to their mini mansions where they ignore their wives and wrestle the neighbor’s kids where they dream of stepping off the high-road and leaving it all for Bermuda or the Carolinas or anywhere they don’t ask you your name. I’ve seen it all before on the faces of the men coming home from work I’ve seen it written on my own face in the headlight of the reflection off a bald man’s sweaty brow I’ve seen it in my mother’s measly cooking and the formation of the pillows scattered on the couch:

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I hear it now in the wailing of the locomotive that masks the wailing of the schizophrenic and the jokers on the cross with cats perched atop their shoulders whose laughs are somewhat stifled by clouds of marijuana anyway as we pass into town. The weight of our bodies-the runaways and the immigrants heading for the back alleys of restaurants and clubs in San Francisco and myself-scatter the mass of steel-toed pigeons that loom around the tracks in the dead of night. I hear myself when I am sleeping: the rustle of the cornfields the distant super highways that sound like seashells greasy bags of french fries, slamming doors at midnight, lily buds and masturbation. The distance exposes the skyline I’ve seen it all before but this time it’s illuminated in the twilight of my sleeping mind I awake to the sound of bodies exiting the train heavy and creaking under the pressure of worn out knees that’s bent like lighting that strikes the ground whenever they move through space I bolt past my father’s ghost and the memory of those men that perish every day in their steel and concrete cages I rummage through the fog of perspiration of condensation and of smoke I catch a glimpse of the stillness of the city in the maroon of night when the air smells like salted bread and fresh cut flowers by the Pier. Lay down in the street and close your eyes; feel the vibration of a million souls beneath you.

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my heart with you

by Holly Calica

omateo I think that’s how they say it a new year

azteca mexica danzantes feathers twirling g o o d w o r d s lingering from warrior woman and longwalker of the Dakotas and a new song given from an elder I wish I remember his name but the song whispers to me repeated 5 times for the human & so nice the spirits of he told us 4 ohlones were there for the elements their invitation to join the bear dance and 7 for the spirits I couldn’t resist & even the song was bursting forth from my voice I didn’t know I remembered it but it must’ve been etched in my heart like grampa babe called lolo by leng and akon by his granddaughter who blesses each dancer with copal 300 danzantes t w i r l i n g in the sacred center

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& simple friendships made & rekindled new friends Tlingit gifts de nanranjas, jabon y una aguila para mi & a promise to share blueprints for carving a canoe to leng leng so funny how things are falling into place one puzzle piece at a time masterfully u n f o l d i n g by creator and the connections that we are making or were already made long ago by ancestors who laid the groundwork for us to cross paths & a small child con ojos chinitas un poco frio este tarde wrapped up in the Wa She Shu blanket my arm embracing her from the northern winds I am so glad to be here so glad to know you and so glad grampa babe taught me, “Ina'lum'qotmi (I must go but I leave my heart with you)�

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parents M I R A DAYA L

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Tales of an Oreo and a Twinkie by Bernadette Lim Originally published in The Harvard Crimson. Adapted for {m}aganda magazine. Last year, I was one of the lucky freshmen who quickly met her best friend on move-in day. It had almost seemed like our identical personalities had led two lives in different bodies that grew up on opposite coasts. I am a FilipinoChinese American proudly representing the suburbs of Los Angeles, while my African American friend hails from a suburb near Washington, D.C. After discovering uncanny parallels in our scathing, sarcastic humor and secret love for Dancing with the Stars within two weeks of our first encounter, we easily became best friends. As the year went along, our friendship, aided by late night adventures with our main group of friends, helped us maintain sanity against the piling pressure of biochemistry problem sets, extracurricular commitments, and homesickness. Moreover,

as our friendship grew deeper, so did our conversations, reflecting our growing comfort in expressing our personal opinions, critiques, and concerns with each another. Looking back, one of the greatest moments of our friendship was the night after we both attended our first freshman party—Rush Hour (yes, fitting). After laughing at encounters with awkward freshman boys, Alexis casually told me: “I really don’t know how to dance to ‘ratchet’ music; in high school, I was always called an ‘Oreo.’” She went on to explain how she had attained the Oreo label through her inability to connect with the black community. She was a black woman who embodied “white” characteristics. As our conversations continued throughout the year, she

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pondered whether it the holidays. Unlike the Adapted for {m}aganda was her preference for societal stereotypes magazine. alternative over and a Twinkie of Asian-American Tales of rock an Oreo by BernaLast year, I was one of hip hop, penchant women, I suck at math, dette Lim theastronomy, lucky freshmen for or who can’t understand CS quickly met her best in The Harvard Originally published Crimson. inability to “twerk” to save my life, lack friend on move-in day. that reinforced this the ability to speak It had almost seemed designation that still Cantonese or Tagalog like our identical perheld personal sway as fluently, and embrace sonalities had led two she tried to come to public speaking. I lives in different bodies terms with the person never gave much thatshould grew up on opposite she become in thought to my status coasts. I am a Filipicollege. By the end of as an Asian American no-Chinese American these conversations, after living my life proudly representing the she reached the in the diversified suburbs of Los Angeles, conclusion that she suburbs of Southern while my African Amersimply did not fit into California, yet my ican friend hails from a the societal mold of freshman year forced suburb near Washinga modern day black me to reevaluate this ton, D.C. After discoverwoman in America. identity—speculating ing uncanny parallels in whether my disinterest ouranscathing, sarcastic As Asian American in joining Asian humor who and secret woman has love cultural groups on for Dancing with the similarly been labeled campus failed to make withinintwo weeks aStars “Twinkie” high me “Asian enough.” of our first school, I canencounter, relate to While many of my we easily became best Alexis’s frustrations. friends have pressured friends. As the year I was seen as an me to become more went along, our friendAsian American who involved in these ship, aided by late night personified “white” cultural groups, I have adventures with our qualities. Though my politely declined; I fear main group of friends, mom is an immigrant that my associations helped us maintain from the Philippines with my Asian heritage sanity against the piling and my dad is fluent aren’t strong enough for pressure of biochemistry inproblem Cantonese, me to truly fit in with sets, my extracurassociations with ricular commitments, my heritage andAsian homesickness. are limited to our my friendMoreover, as grandmas’ undeniably ship grew deeper, so delicious Filipino/ did our conversations, Chinese food reflecting ourduring growing

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these organizations. Was I an Asian American woman who failed to “live up” to my own culture? If I failed to adhere to the stereotype of Asian women, wasn’t that a good thing? In order to reinforce my “Asian-ness”, must I spend time with Asian people? I noticed many individuals settling into racially segregated social groups outside of classes and extracurricular commitments, and I hesitated to devote more social time to the exploration of my Asian-American identity. While joining these groups would allow me to be seen as “more Asian” in appearance, my hesitation would have inevitably me led me to be even more disillusioned in thought. I embraced my closest friendships with friends like Alexis, as I felt our diversity breaking down the natural segregation of social groups on campus. As we explore sophomore year together, Alexis and I have sought to pursue various avenues to help us identify with our cultures. Alexis has expressed interest in possibly being involved in more black cultural groups after being enthusiastically welcomed by student leaders at the activities fair. I’m taking a WGS class on Asian American feminist literature and the popular class on classical Chinese philosophy. While I aim to explore my Filipino and Chinese roots through an academic standpoint this year, I am still hesitant to explore my ethnicity through more extracurricular involvement. After living with the label of being a “Twinkie” for so long, I cannot help but be anxious as to whether I will truly be able to develop a holistic understanding of my identity. Amidst the many sophomore struggles that have already arisen, the tales of my roommate and me—the “Oreo” and the “Twinkie”—continue to unfold together.

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Its Sunny

Slippage Mg Roberts It is in slippage that I begin. Sullen and graphed. In pieces, a collage of palmed lines spread across sky/dirt/ bumps/ smoke/ clusters. A laminar flow. The beginning. The flat vastness before the slope of something. I’m flying over the Great Plains. How epic. I’m thinking of the way in which plates shift over: X X over X over X under X An earthquake is slippage. Rejection is the X on the threshold of the wall. An wall. A wall. Which wall? The trace of a fence is a perpetual illusion. Its borders scar even the neighbors. I’m thinking the of the body’s fascia. How to press against its scar tissue? I run the tip of my tongue at right angles—trace its failure. It’s dangerous to live too close to water’s edge.

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Its Sunny

Hitch Mg Roberts

An ocean is a wet barrier ) ( )

to gulf to engulf to yawn into

As if suffering did not exist.

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Its Sunny

Hiller Drive Mg Roberts Between here and there: skin I chew over sky and watch columns of birds lift. Off. Wings belt into sky. I stop the car. Feathers eclipse horizon. A syntax mistaken for what we wanted: )

each sentence


(to enter)


our skin.

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Its Sunny

As in geology one must break apart in order to change. Sure, my split verbs could’ve been sharper steadily resembling my two daughters. How they grow fractal like eroded coastlines. Yes, there’s something about an ocean where x pushes up from under, punctuating even water—a condition of becoming. Of former fire. Like these hills. The gulls scoop up more red as they fly away. We lift our arms, gulf horizon: billboards, more stoplights, graffiti, sun. We pull off the road and look down at the Bay, a wide margin of blue fabric. We’re late for school again. Somewhere below: A palm tree grows despite concrete, it writes in brown and deep red. It writes, DON’T EAT THE FISH.

Mg Roberts

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poetic non-fiction / lyric essay

A Love Letter to the Other

by Marcos Cuevas-Hewitt

I commence by posing the question of community in relation to that of love – not romantic love, but love in a political and ethical, though I would hope no less erotic, sense. Implicit in each kind of self-identified community are particular values concerning who it is admissible to associate with, to become friends with, to love. ‘Some of them might be nice people’, conceded the xenophobe to her more immigrant-friendly colleague one evening on my television screen, ‘but it’s not as if I’m gonna be friends with them. That’s not how the world works’. It is scarcely questioned that we should so often be drawn to people in whom we find something of ourselves. Communities have become veritable

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extensions of the Self, with love reduced, meanwhile, to the love of sameness. There is nothing inevitable about this. Perhaps the link between love and homophily, the preference for associating with one’s ‘own kind’, may be nothing more than an enculturated habit; one that would seem to demand a serious reconsideration in light of our twenty-first century global context. The ethical question ‘How are we to live together?’ takes on a whole new importance as hybridities proliferate and alterity is felt ever more keenly in our daily lives. Two hundredodd years of concerted efforts by nation-states to manufacture ideal national subjects have not been without their effects, although today, any ideology that persists in equating community with homogeneity cannot but be regarded an anachronistic liability.

From the moment that such background assumptions are brought into the foreground of our thinking and scrutinised anew, a whole string of pressing ethical questions ensue: Might we be able, as Julia Kristeva (1991: 1-2) asks, to live with the others in our midst as others, ‘without ostracism but also without levelling?’ Might it be possible, as Giorgio Agamben (1993) contends, to build novel collectivities on the very basis of diversity, rather than on its negation? Might we conceptualise diversity beyond, as Ien Ang (2001) puts it, the mere ‘living-aparttogether’ of liberal multiculturalism and instead forge a more radical ‘togethernessin-difference’? Would it at all be possible to break love’s deeply ingrained association

with sameness and couple it instead with alterity? What would love for, or friendship with, the Other even look like? ‘There is a lost shoe on the bottom of the ocean... right next to a claw-foot bathtub’, writes poet Richard Garcia (2009: 22), obliquely dealing with questions of this exact nature. Although ‘in some poems, the shoe and the bathtub would not speak to each other’, the shoe, despite obvious differences, ‘thought it had a lot in common with the bathtub, both being hollow, singular, and somewhat out of place’. (Garcia, 2009: 22) Indeed, in some poems, the shoe and the bathtub are in love. A love premised not on conformity to certain essences but on an ‘inessential commonality’ (Agamben, 1993: 18) that subverts the assumption that sameness is a necessary prerequisite for community. Affinities are built across differences, albeit not in a way that would dispense with heterogeneity –

just as with the symbiotic relations between wasp and orchid in a common ecological community (Nadaud, 2006: 11-22); just as with the African American defectors in the Philippine-American War who fought alongside Filipinos in a common ‘community of struggle’ (Holloway, 2005: 208); just as in all cases where one refuses imprisonment within the confines of Self and allows oneself to emerge reconstituted from an engagement with the Other. From the perspective of radical politics, love for one’s own has historically served as a crucial means for galvanising an oppressed community against its perceived source of oppression. At the crux of the matter, however, is a question posed by Leela Gandhi (2006: 25) in Affective Communities: ‘Does loyalty to “my own” liberate me of ethical obligations to all those who are not of my own nation, family, republic, revolution?’ If the history of twentieth century nationalism has taught us anything, it is that homophily has a tyrannical flip-side. Inwardly, it glosses over internal differences; outwardly, it regards the stranger, if not as an

enemy, then at least as inimical. For the homophile, the friendenemy distinction maps isomorphically with the dialectic between Self and Other, sameness and difference. Homophily and xenophobia are therefore but two sides of a single coin. The concept of xenophilia, meanwhile, may be one way of denoting the alternative possibility of friendship between mutual strangers; of love for, and ‘crossidentification’ (Gandhi, 2006: 138) with, the Other. Crosscultural and other forms of transversal collaboration have been evident throughout history, but in recent centuries have tended to remain subordinate to the prevailing political value of homophily. New, liberatory forms of community are already emerging in the current era, but the work of scholars, activists and artists is needed to help further cultivate and expand them. Naming xenophilia as a new political value around which we might organise may serve as one small step in this direction.

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It has become commonplace for postcolonial and globalisation scholars to characterise cosmopolitanism as a sensibility entailing an openness toward the Other (e.g. Gilroy, 2004). The concept of xenophilia must necessarily go further. Where the cosmopolitan engages on an equal, nonoppressive footing with her cultural or racial others, the xenophile does likewise, albeit with others of all kinds, including those in the realms of gender, sexuality, class, and so forth. Radical ecologists might even extend xenophilia to encompass the ‘morethan-human’ (Abram, 1996) world. ‘The eyes of the axolotls’, pens Julio Cortázar (1985: 6), ‘spoke to me of the presence of a different life, of another way of seeing’. To love is to become. That is to say, new possibilities of who we might become can only emerge through an engagement with the outside, with the Other. In learning to love the axolotl, in ‘becoming

animal’ (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987: 256-341), we unfold on to the constitutive outside of the human such that the small, provincial world of humanity might become charged with new impetus for further creative evolution. Likewise, in becoming cosmopolitan, we unfold outwards onto that everpresent ocean of flux and intermixture that rigid identity-constructs purposely obscure in the interests of their own self-perpetuation. Before nation-states, for instance, the South Pacific was a world ‘in which people and cultures moved and mingled, unhindered by boundaries of the kind erected much later by imperial powers’. (Hau’ofa, 2008: 33) This is cosmopolitanism not as apogee, but as substrate. Consider too the whole ecology of anatomies and attractions that exist prior to that moment when regimes of power corral them into the domesticating grids of male and female, straight and gay. It is the work of Power to fix and to classify. It cannot rest, writes Roland Barthes, until it has ‘injected into reality some purifying essence

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which will stop its transformation, its flight towards other forms of existence. And these riches, thus fixated and frozen, will at last become computable’. (Barthes, 1972: 155) Incalculable multiplicities are corralled into numerical, and therefore manageable, pluralities. Incalculable potentialities are reduced, meanwhile, to a set of predictable, preordained possibilities. To love the Other is to refuse the boundaries within which we are shepherded; to irreverently transgress the classificatory regimes that interfere with our flourishing. To be deprived of our outside is to be cut off from that which gives us life. Indeed, the surest way to kill something is to erect a wall around it. Where homophily is premised upon lines that divide, xenophilia operates instead along lines that connect. Xenophilia must be flexible enough a concept, though, to allow an embrace of both internal and external otherness. In loving the otherness

inherent amongst those we consider the same – allowing, for example, diverse expressions of what it means to be a woman, without demanding conformity to a single, over-arching ideal – we subvert the ‘Self’ side of the inherited SelfOther dialectic. And in loving the otherness of those already designated as different from us, we subvert the Self-Other dialectic altogether. There is, in short, a defection from two related, equally outmoded ideas: Firstly, that community has to equate with sameness, and secondly, that it has to mean segregation from others. In recognising diversity or internal otherness within such categories as ‘woman’, ‘black’, ‘queer’, and so on, perhaps it is also incumbent upon us to go even deeper and learn to love the otherness within ourselves. ‘We are a part of all we have met and all we have met is already a part of us’, expressed Jeanette Winterson (2007: 90) in Sexing the Cherry. And yet, we seem to

have become all-tooaccustomed to Gottfried Hegel’s (1807) conceit that one’s identity, or the identity of a thing, can only come about through a negation of the Other. We define music in such a way so as to keep birdsong out. We define art in such a way so as to keep the elaborate sculptures of Satin Bowerbirds out. Humanity versus nature, man versus woman, straight versus gay. But if we strip away the ideology that tinges every difference with an air of aggressivity, we come to realise that we are all already intimately entwined with one another. To love the Other is, at the same time, to love that which is other within ourselves. Conversely, xenophobia may actually be a form of self-hate. The otherness within is that which has retained something of our constitutive outside. It is that germ of unrealised potentials that persists even in spite of our having convinced ourselves that we are locked into such and such coordinates on the social grid. At this point, the caveat must be made that xenophilia can only really exist in the absence of relations of force. It would have been extremely

hard for a Jew in 1930s Germany to love a Gestapo officer. Or for an Iraqi prisoner of the Abu Ghraib detention facility in 2004 to befriend any of his Anglo-American captors. As Congolese revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba (cited in Jacobs, 2010: 2) once commented, ‘friendship’ – or love – ‘is impossible in a relationship of subjection and subordination’. In Lumumba’s day, such sentiments became alibis for a politics of homophily, but today can help motivate an anti-hierarchical politics in which difference can thrive. Being equal should not have to mean being the same. If we find ourselves in a dominant group, then surely the onus is on us to work against the grain of our own inherited privileges. Aspiring to love the subordinated Other perhaps first of all means listening; allowing those with whom we wish to ally to define themselves on their own terms. What it does not mean is imposing a romanticised ‘theyness’ or otherwise demanding ‘unity’ –

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often code for enforcing conformity to the standards set by the powerful. Should we find ourselves in a subordinate group, meanwhile, I grant that we still need safe, autonomous spaces to retreat to when the daily realities of oppression become a little too overwhelming. What needs to be mitigated, though, is the risk of selfghettoising to such a degree that our only friends are those who think or act or look as we do – that, as well as the related risk of engendering internal outsiders through the policing of overly rigid definitions of what it means to belong to the group in the first place. Possibilities for cross-fertilisation across difference, for co-learning and cobecoming with those not of our immediate circles, are what is lost when notions of love and friendship are reduced to relations of ‘the Same with the Same’. (Blanchot, 1988: 3) The idea, at least as old as Aristotle (cited in Gandhi, 2006: 28), that the ‘friend is another self’, that sameness is

the necessary basis for affection, is now yielding, finally, to new kinds of relationships comprised of a ‘co-belonging of nonidentical singularities’. (Gandhi, 2006: 26) ‘We must give up trying to know those to whom we are linked by something essential’, writes Maurice Blanchot (1988: 291). Rather, as with the shoe and the bathtub at the bottom of the ocean, love and friendship must hinge on the recognition of what he dubs a ‘common strangeness’. (Blanchot, 1988: 291) The beauty of this formulation is that singularity and commonality are held in dynamic tension, neither effacing the other. Here, one might draw a connection with Invisible Cities, where Italo Calvino (1974: 69) writes similarly of a ‘city made only of exceptions, exclusions, incongruities, contradictions’. Can we imagine such a city? Dare we dream of a ‘community of singularities’ (Nancy, 1991: 28) not measured against any baseline concept of ‘normal’? Dare we assemble a viscous hanging-together of diverse elements not subordinate to any overarching whole?

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If communities of whatever shape or form are but clusters of relationships, then the kind of love we practice or friendships we forge are of immense political and ethical import. For as long as we treat love and homophily as synonyms, we remain complicit in the very operations of power that hold us in check and keep reality from proliferating. In contrast, forging xenophilic bonds across difference means laying the basis for new forms of community that, in their unruly diversity, become utterly ungovernable. ‘What the State cannot tolerate in any way’, affirms Agamben (1993: 86), is that ‘singularities form a community without affirming identity, that humans co-belong without any representable condition of belonging’. National societies – indeed all forms of community premised upon sameness and homophily – fulfill state imperatives, but autonomous communities composed only of efflorescent singularities in free cooperation certainly do not. To cultivate xenophilia is therefore

to undermine institutional and political control. Anarchists have long opposed hierarchy in all its manifestations, but have been much slower to develop a critique of Power’s treacherous homophilic logics. Hierarchy and homophily function together in not so arbitrary ways within the nation-state apparatus, a form of community that has become somewhat of a template for communities in general in recent centuries. The nation side of the nation-state conjunction effectively functions to delimit horizontal space, thereby instituting homophily; the state side of the conjunction meanwhile delimits vertical space, thereby instituting hierarchy. With space rationalised and compartmentalised thus, what ultimately emerges is an asphyxiating, threedimensional grid of power. Early German anarchist, Gustav Landauer (cited in Gordon, 2008: 27), claimed he did ‘not proceed in the slightest against the fine fact of

the nation’; only ‘against the mixing up of the nation and the state’. Today we know better; that any collectivity founded upon homophily will only reproduce, from the outset, the precise mechanisms of domination that anarchists claim to oppose. Not only is it our work to dismantle the rungs which separate rulers from the ruled, but also to dismantle the system of borders which separates friend from enemy and Self from Other. Differences then cease, not only to be hierarchised like so many rungs of a ladder, but also to be compartmentalised like so many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. What we are left with is an ecology of singularities freely interacting upon a common plane. Contemporary anarchists like Richard Day (2005: 178) are given to celebrating emergent forms of community that, by way of what he calls ‘affinity-based relationships’, embrace the different and the nonself-similar. Nevertheless, homophily continues to persist in anarchist circles in insidious ways. Consider the all-toofamiliar phenomenon of radical groups that end up being excessively insular

or hermetic, detached from the very society they propose to change. Radical feminist and environmentalist Lierre Keith (cited in Lohan, 2011: 3) put it well when she commented in an interview: ‘Right now on the Left, what we have... is a kind of subculture where you can withdraw from the mainstream and hang out with people who think pretty much like you... I think this is a place where a lot of political movements go to die’. One alternative to a subculture or movement of like people is the ‘collective production of unpredictable and untamed “dissident subjectivities”’ (Pindar and Sutton, 2005: 14). Or, what the innovative anarchist collective, El Kilombo Intergaláctico (cited in Herbst, 2008: 2), felicitously describes as ‘the construction of permanent spaces of encounter, where no single subject (immigrant, student, industrial worker) is believed to be the principal agent of change, but rather where encounters across subjective positions allows for the creation of new

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collective habits’. Xenophilia is intrinsic to precisely such efforts. Beyond the tyranny of homophily lies the permanent encounter of singularities from which all newness springs; a wellspring constantly replenished by the pleasures of remaking ourselves in interaction with others. To love the Other, to embody xenophilia as a value and institute it as a practice, is to refuse the stifling demands of political similitude and participate in the joyful co-creation of other, more convivial and more expansive worlds. Reference Abram, D. (1996) The spell of the sensuous: Perception and language in a more-thanhuman world. New York: Vintage.

Calvino, I. (1974) Invisible cities. Orlando: Harcourt. Cortázar, J. (1985) ‘Axolotl’ in J. Cortázar, Blow-up and other stories. New York: Pantheon Books. Day, R. (2005) Gramsci is dead: Anarchist currents in the newest social movements. London: Pluto Press.

Jacobs, S. (2010) ‘Enjoy poverty: Interview with Renzo Martens’, posted 1607-10 to Africa is a country. [http://africasacountry. com/2010/07/16/poverty-forsale/]

Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari (1987) A thousand plateaus. London: Continuum.

Kristeva, J. (1991) Strangers to ourselves. New York: Columbia University Press.

Gandhi, L. (2006) Affective communities: Anticolonial thought, fin-de-siècle radicalism, and the politics of friendship. Durham: Duke University Press, Durham.

Lohan, T. (2011) ‘Do we need a militant movement to save the planet (and ourselves)?’, posted 05-08-11 to AlterNet. [http://www.alternet. org/environment/151918/ do_we_need_a_militant_ movement_to_save_ the_planet_%28and_ ourselves%29/?page=entire]

Garcia, R. (2009) ‘Tristes tropiques’ in R. Garcia, Chickenhead. Kanona: Foothills Publishing. Gilroy, P. (2004) After empire: Melancholia or convivial culture? Abingdon: Routledge. Gordon, U. (2008) Anarchy alive: Anti-authoritarian politics from practice to theory. London: Pluto Press.

Agamben, G. (1993) The coming community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Hau’ofa, E. (2008) ‘Our sea of islands’ in E. Hau’ofa, We are the ocean: Selected works. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Ang, I. (2001) On not speaking Chinese: Living between Asia and the West. London: Routledge.

Hegel, G. (1807) Phenomenology of spirit. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Barthes, R. (1972) Mythologies. New York: Hill and Wang. Blanchot, M. (1988) The unavowable community. Barrytown: Station Hill Press.

Holloway, J. (2005) Change the world without taking power: The meaning of revolution today. London: Pluto Press.

Herbst, M. (2008) ‘Arriving now, forward to section three, otherwise known as another theory section’, posted 2210-08 to Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Issue 6. [http:// www.joaap.org/6/another/ marcforward.html]

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Nadaud, S. (2006) ‘Love story between an orchid and a wasp’ in F. Guattari, The Anti-Oedipus papers. New York: Semiotext(e). Nancy, J-L. (1991) The inoperative community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Pindar, I. and P. Sutton (2005) ‘Translators’ introduction’ in F. Guattari, The three ecologies. London: Athlone Press. Winterson, J. (2007) Sexing the cherry. London: Vintage Books.



by Marco A. Cano

Prologue Friday, 2:00 A.M.

‘ ‘

Have you ever had that feeling of losing control? I’ve had it twice.

‘ ‘

The first was when I was young and barely entering 6th grade. I had no friends and was eager to make some any way possible. And that’s where Kapono and Tony came in.

They had told me that if I rode my bike down from the top of Lowell Mountain Road all the way to the bottom without crashing, I could be part of their group.

This road had more winding paths and steeper climbs than an actual mountain, but I was more scared of facing another year alone than this. So I met them early morning at the top.

I sat there on my bike trying to play off that my body shaking was from the cold than from fear, when a thought creeped into my mind. community 137

The thought that the minute I kick off, my life would change.

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

And with that in the front of my mind I pushed off.

That feeling of losing control came a few moments after that initial push when I felt the handlebars shake. That tremor slowed time down as my mind tried to convince me that I was fine. But the knotting tight grip on my stomach told me that I was doomed the second I felt the first shake. I ate asphalt a second after and scraped pieces of skin off my forearm and knees.

Kapono and Tony had rushed down and helped me to my feet, shocked apparently that I had actually done it. They walked with me the hour trip to the bottom and then to a nearby diner in order to make a bandage out of napkins and tape.

We had been like brothers since that day.

Now I have that same out of control, going to eat asphalt feeling. 138 community

‘ ‘

I stand with the smell of rain and gunpowder heavy in the air and I’m trying hard to remember what could have possibly led to this. To me standing in the pouring rain between a bloody Tony and a bruised Kapono, with a smoking gun in my hand. I can’t help but feel that if I had just decided to not get out of bed yesterday, or not tried as hard to find the tape, that maybe things would have worked out differently and I wouldn’t have to be standing here with a horrible ringing in my ears.

‘ ‘ ‘

My hand shakes from the cold as well as from the weight of the heavy revolver. I wouldn’t be standing in the middle of that same mountain road in the dead of night holding the gun up to Tony’s head. Then it hits me, why things had to turn out this way, why I have to do now what I wish I didn’t have to. It’s all because of what happened yesterday.

Yet still that same out of control feeling doesn’t leave. That tightening of your stomach as you face the fall. The only difference is that now there are no handlebars gripped in my hands. There is only a revolver, and this time my hands are not shaking as I push the barrel against Tony’s forehead. community 139

b y Mir a Da y a l

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b y Mir a Da y a l

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prose / short narrative

Musings on the Magic of the Arts and the Mysticism of Growing Up by Nicole Fronda

Even discounting the usual holiday events that beget family gatherings – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years – I would say I visit home more often than the usual college student. No, I’m not homesick, or without a dull college social life (at least I don’t think so). I don’t return home with the sole purpose to get laundry done or to stock up on home-cooked meals. I usually go home because there’s a concert, a concert in which my brother and/or sister will be performing, specifically, and I hate missing those concerts. My brother is a clarinetist, a pianist, and a budding composer. My sister is a professional cellist, and likes to sing her heart out whenever she has the chance. My parents aren’t as musically talented as my siblings. They enjoy karaoke, singing along in the car, and my mother played a little bit of piano in her youth. But otherwise, they participate simply by listening and appreciating. I myself play drums and piano and sang in choir in high school. Lately, though, I’ve been doing more of the listening and appreciating.

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And listening and appreciating were my big plans tonight, for tonight was not just any concert. Tonight was the night of the Magic of the Arts. Magic of the Arts was the biggest, most anticipated, most spectacular event of Fresno, CA’s University High School performance season. For one night and one night only, the William Saroyan Theatre would be packed to the brim with students’ family, friends, and large population of music and arts-loving Fresnans, all eager for two and half hours of musical numbers and comedy skits performed by smart, spiffy, and talented high school students in their choral ensembles, orchestras, chamber groups, jazz bands, and show choirs. Truly a tremendous celebration of talent and music and art. I looked forward to an undoubtedly entertaining evening. When I was in high school, as my brother is now, I looked forward to the occasion for different reasons. Performing on a stage in front of hundreds of people was a thrill, performing with my friends was a joy, and performing a show-stopping finale alongside 400 of my schoolmates was an epic experience. However, it was the antics backstage that I loved the most. Magic of the Arts was a day-long ordeal for us students. We’d arrive in the morning. Practice. Practice more. Have lunch. Practice even more. Do homework. Hang out. Get dressed. Eat dinner. Hang out. Squeeze in some last-minute warm-ups and practice one last time. Then… show time! And in between acts would be more hanging out and/or practicing. It was a whirlwind of fun. This time, however, I didn’t experience any of that. This was my first time to see Magic of the Arts as only an audience member. It felt rather odd.

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The show was still a wonderful and memorable one. The theme was Hollywood, and I for one enjoyed the sounds of the Music Man, Phantom of the Opera, Grease and many more. But while I tried to remain attentive to the action on the stage, I could not help but notice rushing get backstage before her call time, a couple clarinetists chatting as they watch from the shadows in by the sound man, the nervousness from the stagehands as they move chairs and microphones around onstage, all these small reminders of the things going on backstage that I was missing. It was a stinging reminder that I was no longer part of that community. I had outgrown it, in more ways than one. I was no longer a student of University High School. I could scarcely call myself a Fresnan anymore. Years without practicing likely put me leagues behind these new, young musicians. And I was probably too mature for whatever shenanigans that occurred backstage. I understood then that I did not come home for my brother’s performance, or for a festive and musical evening. Not entirely. I came for nostalgia. I came to once again spend time in a community I had left behind for a new and completely different one. And just as it always is with nostalgia, it just didn’t feel the same. I left home and resumed my usual routine as a college student, realizing that I’ll soon be outgrowing this community as well. It’s sad that growing up is a process that cannot be stopped no matter how hard I try. Though, I can always go home and try to pretend… Thankfully, I’ll never outgrow my family. And I’ll never outgrow my love for music, and concerts, and the magic of the arts.

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who do you think byyou are? Imee Cuison We sat around the kitchen table eating pan de sal, pancit, and adobo. They talk about their children. Bobo is potty trained now. Rina is walking. I ate more dinuguan. I had nothing to contribute. The women who surrounded me were bobbing their babies on their laps and brushing the hair out of their toddlers’ eyes. I had an empty lap. “Mimi is the only one that doesn’t know what it’s like to be a mother,” Queenie said between bites of ube; the purple yam in her teeth. They laughed. The youngest, Joye, only fourteen with a newborn, dropped out of high school to be a mother. Her eyes were alight with pleasure. She was a woman. A month ago, I graduated from Berkeley. They had never heard of my school. They had never heard of cum laude before. My tongue was twisted with American words and a fancy education

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from a California school no one here had ever heard of. Goose Creek is a small suburban city about a half an hour away from the Charleston Naval Base in South Carolina. Here we were, progeny of Filipino men who served in the US Navy in exchange for citizenship, sitting comfortably in this well lit home with the comforts of central heating and air, three televisions running at one time with no one watching any of them, and piles of food neatly arranged in a kitchen with modern appliances that buzzed, hummed, and soothed us. In the Philippines, our extended family members, not lucky enough to come over, were likely doing the same thing, sitting around a table joined in conversation and good food, but without the latest gadgets and constant AC. It had been ages since I’d come to one of these get-togethers. My life, up until recently, consisted of lectures, exams, and long hours in the library. We grew up in the same city, same ethnic background, and the same Catholic Church, but I was no longer part of their same cloth. I had no knowledge of giving birth, of pleasing a husband, or of keeping a

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good house and home. My childhood best friend, Christie, turned to me and said, “What did you learn out there in California that isn’t here?” “I got a degree in Psychology,” I said with a shrug. “But no man, huh?” The women clucked their tongues and shook their heads in agreement with her. “Isn’t it funny? You were always the pretty one, but no one loves you,” she said with a smile. She patted my hand, and then went back to eating her fried rice. I looked at my old friend. She looked so pleased with herself and her life that she made. “It is funny, isn’t it?” I replied. After that night, all communication with Christie ceased. I never saw her again. Years later, in my thirties, I remain without a husband, children, or a home. I travel frequently and live out of my suitcase. Around Christmas a few years ago, I saw Queenie at Publix in the bread aisle. “No man? No children?” she asked leaning on her grocery cart straining to see my hands for a ring.

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“Nope,” I replied holding my hands up plainly for her to see. She shook her head as solemnly as she did fifteen years ago. “Don’t you think it’s time for you to settle down? Your poor mother. There must be some Filipino men where you are?” “Maybe someday. How’s everyone? How’s Christie?” “She’s great. She’s doing just fine. We are all doing just fine.” Our conversation quickly came to a standstill. “It was good to see you,” Queenie said. “You too,” I said. She pushed her full cart away with her two children in tow. I pushed my nearly empty cart towards the wine section. I imagined I had supplied Queenie with enough chismis to fill another get-together that I would never again attend. Well into my thirties without a husband, a child, or a home I had to keep, who did I think I was? Even at my age, I didn’t know yet. I would leave that quandary up to them to puzzle over and discuss without me, while munching on their slices of bibingka and jellyroll. Tonight was a Pinot Noir night. That was the one and only goal I cared to accomplish for now.

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Accompanying Media Mind Body Project by Lek Borja audio Bones by Abigail K. Iturra visual art ehgs by Miral Dayal visual art Hamog by E San Juan, Jr. visual art map face nyc by Mira Dayal visual art nourishment by Synequeen Alasa-as photography parents by Mira Dayal visual art Photographers for Balik sa Dagat Journey by various photographers

Bamboo and Bangka by Mylene ‘Leng Leng’ Amoguis Cahambing

Bayanihan Bangka Turnover by Leny Strobel

Bugsay Dance by Nestor L. ‘Te’ Perez Jr.

Carving with Lola by Michelle Luna Semet

Future with Bangka by Michelle Luna Semet

Mini Paddle Making of Pistahan Summer 2013 by Baylan Megino

photos of Laga Weaving Circle by Caroline Cabading-Canlas photography Community: a photo collage by Richard Solar photography Taggers in Kapitbahay by Angela Efe visual art Relief, Recovery, Rebuilt by Angela Efe & Aleli Balaguer visual art The Cross by Sonia SyGaco and Godwin Alf Ciriaco visual art The Great Projects by Abigail K. Iturra visual art KKK by Tilde Acuna & Dennis Aguinaldo visual art untitled by Mira Dayal photography Untitled by Mira Dayal photography Untitled by Mira Dayal photography Untitled by Marian Cordon photography Little box in Tagatay by Marian Cordon photography Bataan Legacy by Cecilia Gaerlan film

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Author & Artist Biographies Nat Pardo

pardonatalie72886@gmail.com Nat Pardo is a Philippine-based writer. She has worked for several government agencies writing press releases, messages, and speeches. In times of confusion and solitude, she seeks refuge in poems and good stories. Some of her poems have been published in the previous issues of {M}aganda Magazine, TAYO Literary Magazine, and other publications. She maintains a blog: iamadriftingsoul. wordpress.com. The poem, ‘Traces’, is her expression of sympathy to her kababayans in the Visayan Region who are recently rattled by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed hundreds of lives and left the region devastated.

E. San Juan, Jr.

philcsc@gmail.com *Taken from University of Hawai’i Press - An internationally renowned literary and cultural critic, E. San Juan Jr. directs the Philippine Cultural Studies Center at Storrs, Connecticut. He received his degrees from the University of the Philippines and Harvard University.

Eileen Tabios

ertabios@aol.com Eileen R. Tabios has released 25 print, four electronic and 1 CD poetry collections; an art essay collection; a “collected novels” book; a poetry essay/interview anthology; and two short story collections. Her most recent poetry release is the multi-genre collection SUN STIGMATAS (Marsh Hawk Press, New York, 2014).

Robert Flor florbob@aol.com

Marco Cano

marcocano@rocketmail.com I am Marco Cano and I have been writing since I was 7. The first thing to get published was a poem called “319” in an anthology book titled Acclaimed. When I’m not writing I play bass guitar in a band called Knights in Shining Courdroy. For more info contact me at facebook. com/savejune.

Jean Teodoro jabbetheo@gmail.com

Marian Cordon

marianmcordon@gmail.com Junior transfer from Dublin, CA and majoring in psychology at UC Berkeley. Bubble tea addict. Likes to convey things that are hard to communicate to others through photography, both film and digital. Aspires to be an amateur foodie and professional facebooker (#kiddingbutnotkidding).

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Amelia Zaldivar

azaldivar@berkeley.edu Amelia is a first year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley in the College of Letters & Sciences. A self-proclaimed “student of life,” she spends her days learning from everything around her in a constant search for the truths of the world and the Great Beyond. She is half-Pilipino and halfCuban.

Author & Artist Biographies Tilde Acuna

arbeen.acuna@gmail.com Acuña is an Araling Pilipino graduate student at College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman. He writes, draws, and contributes visual and literary works to publications and projects. He received his bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from UPLB - College of Arts and Sciences. Aguinaldo teaches literature in the University of the Philippines, Los Banos. He was awarded fellowships for fiction by UP, UST, La Salle, and Ateneo. His works have been published in magazines and anthologies. With luck, his daughters will grow to the fullness of wisdom without having to endure a single word he has written.

Dennis Aguinaldo

dennisaguinaldo@gmail.com Aguinaldo teaches at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He received fellowships from UP, University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle, and Ateneo for his short works of fiction. His work has appeared in anthologies such as the Sunday Times Magazine’s The Literary Life and the PEN collected volumes.

Bernadette Lim

blim@college.harvard.edu blim@college.harvard.eduUniversity studying Human Evolutionary Biology and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is a Filipino-Chinese American originally from the greater Los Angeles Area. She regularly writes content regarding global health, women’s empowerment, race, and/or gender for Huffington Post, Harvard Crimson, Girls’ Globe, and Seventeen Magazine.

Sonia SyGaco & Godwin Alf Ciriaco ssygaco@gmail.com

Lek Borja

lek.borja@yahoo.com Lek Borja is a multimedia artist and author based in Los Angeles, CA. Her decision to pursue writing and art was triggered by a 2-year music collaboration with a fellow musician, which culminated in their first independent album, The Fall; this was released in Feb. 2010. Her writings have appeared in national and international journals: Lantern Review, San Francisco Press’ Lady Jane Miscellany, REM Magazine, Society for Curious Thought, among others. Her chapbook of experimental poetry, Android, was published in April 2011 by Washington D.C. based publisher, Plan B Press, and was acquired by the Yale University Library for their special collections. She has exhibited or will be exhibiting her art works in L.A. and out-ofstate galleries and art festivals: the Loft at Liz’s, the Hi-Lite, FrontierSpace. She can be contacted at www.lekborjastudio.com

Michi Ferreol

mferreol@college.harvard.edu Michi attended the International School Manila for high school as a Filipino Scholar and graduated salutatorian in 2011. She is a current junior at Harvard University, studying Sociology and Global Health. In 2012, she co-founded a student-run college mentoring program called CAMP Philippines and currently its Business Development Coordinator.

Grace Villarin Dueñas pinaymujer@gmail.com Grace Villarin Dueñas is Tagalog/Ilongga queer Pinay lesbian, babaylan-inspired feminist peace activist, public health advocate for women and children, visual and performing artist, photographer, theater producer and student of ancient wisdom and indigenous spirituality. She is co-founder of the Endangered Species Project, a women-centered independent production company.

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Author & Artist Biographies Caroline Cabading-Canlas Daryna Loch ccabading@comcast.net She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and vocational Certification in Multimedia Programming. She is an Energy & Sustainability Program Specialist, professional musician, dancer, and documentary filmaker who produced, “Rise of the I-Hotel” for the Manilatown Heritage Foundation and “The Mindanao Experience” for Kulintang Master Artist Danongan Kalanduyan.

Paul Joseph Vistal

baliksadagat@gmail.com Paul Joseph J. Vistal currently works as a development writer for the provincial government of Bohol, also a creative poet, primarily in Sugboanon Binisaya, in a conscious effort to reclaim the literary heritage of his ancestors. He has also begun writing Binisaya children’s stories. Paul also teaches Arnis.

Vanessa Deza Hangad baliksadagat@gmail.com Vanessa Deza Hangad left the corporate world after fifteen years to return to her writing roots and start a family. Published works in an anthology called “The Very Inside” (Sister Vision Press) and Maganda magazine (UCB). She is working on her first novel and putting together a manuscript of poems.

Mylene Amoguis Cahambing pinaymujer@gmail.com mylene amoguis cahambing, anak ni adelia bernales walwal amoguis cahambing taga bukidnon at baclayon, bohol, atsaka anak rin ni laribo abordonado cahambing taga cebu city, cebu. ako ay balik- urban bisayan. an immigrant from maynila, currently settled in the san francisco bay area searching for roots in this journey.

Ranna Ricci Iglesias rriglesias@berkeley.edu

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daryna.loch@berkeley.edu My name is Daryna Loch and I am a first generation student at Cal. I was raised by my mom and dad who were refugees from Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge. I am also the middle child of two sisters and I grew up in the city of Oakland, California.

Terry Bautista

pinaymujer@gmail.com With a BA in Humanities and Interdisciplinary Studies from UC, Berkeley, she is a longtime community activist, advocate, educator, and cultural worker. She currently works at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, but has decades of community work with the Asian American community of the East Bay.

Holly Calica

pinaymujer@gmail.com Ilocano and Pangasinan, she is an Herbal and Community Arts Educator, Performing Artist, Painter, Printmaker, Poet and Mixed Media Artist. Cofounder of Laga, CA Weavers Circle, she currently studies weaving with Jenny Bawer Young, ACTA Master Teacher in Laga, Kalinga Backstrap Weaving.

Jenny Bawer-Young

pinaymujer@gmail.com Jenny Bawer Young is the daughter of Maria and Cirilo “Sapi” Bawer (Culture Bearer of Indigenous Knowledge, Skills and Practices of the Kalinga people). Dancer, weaver, consultant and cofounder of Laga, CA Weavers Circle, she is recognized as a Master Weaver by the Alliance for California Traditional Artists.

Author & Artist Biographies Lulu Rivera lou_lou73@msn.com

Baylan Megino

Michelle Luna Semet baliksadagat@gmail.com mother of two girls, dancer, novice carver, a great cook.

baliksadagat@gmail.com Marketing & Business Strategy: http://www.WLAGlobal. com Coaching, Profiles & Gallery: http://www. BaylanMegino.com Media: “Filipino Daily from the U.S.” http://bit.ly/filipinodaily “COLLABORATE: Be the light that others can come to with their ideas, visions and dreams. Never doubt that blending your talents with those of others can change the world.” Successories, LLC

Nestor L. ‘Te’ Perez Jr.

baliksadagat@gmail.com Nestor L. ‘Te’ Perez Jr. is a meditation teacher, somatic therapist, ch ne tsang adn shiatsu massage practitioner, stress management consultant and holistic lifestyle coach.

Leny Strobel

baliksadagat@gmail.com Leny Strobel is Project Director for Center for Babaylan Studies and a professor at Sonoma State University. She speaks Kapampangan, Tagalog and American English. Her views: “Set your sariling duende free!”

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor

rsaxton.wordbinder@gmail.com Publishing under the pen name Rebecca MabangloMayor, Rebecca A. Saxton received her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University in 2012. Her short story “Yellow is for Luck” appears in the anthology Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults, edited by Cecilia Brainard. Her poetry chapbook Pause Mid-Flight was released in 2010.

Krisha Mae Cabrera

krishamae.cabrera@yahoo.com I spent my childhood in four places: the Philippines, Saipan, Guam, and the United States. I am a little bit of each culture, and a lot of how I see the world. I am an adventurer and a raconteur in the way that my story unfolds and I retell it.

Tony Robles

tonyrobles1964@gmail.com Tony Robles--San Francisco born poet, nephew of carabao dreamer Al Robles, storyteller of the Manilatown Manongs of the I-Hotel. Author of children’s books “Lakas and the Manilatown Fish” and “Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel”. Co-editor of POOR Magazine, a poorpeople led, indigenous people revolution--www.poormagazine. org. Currently working on novel “Fillmore Flip”, based on his father growing up in San Francisco’s Fillmore neighborhood.

Aliya Charney

acharney@berkeley.eduMy name is Aliya Gabrielle Charney and I am a fourth year english major at UC Berkeley. I’ve been involved in many poetry organizations on campus such as CalSlam, CLAM (staff member) and The Berkeley Poetry Review (current Associate Editor). I have been published twice in CLAM as well as write and direct stage productions for Theater for Charity at UCB. The piece that I am submitting, “Night Train to San Francisco,” is a poem about my own experience of leaving the seeming comfort of a small, midwestern suburb to discover my own true meaning of home in a strange city.

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Author & Artist Biographies Sarah Bernardo

sbernardo@berkeley.edu Sarah Bernardo is a freshman student at UC Berkeley who is pursuing a degree in English and Legal Studies. She enjoys politics and writing. Her involvements on campus include work-study jobs, serving on the committee for The Berkeley Project, and interning for {m}aganda magazine. Her hometown is Sugar Land, Texas.

Christian Guerrero

christian.j.guerrero@gmail.com Christian Guerrero a simple dude who likes art and writing poems. Started off writing raps then tried some spoken word this year. Still a beginner and working on the craft. Hoping to get more active in creating other pieces of art throughout this year.

Marco Cuevas-Hewitt

anamarcana@gmail.com Marco Cuevas-Hewitt is a Filipino Australian writer, cultural theorist, lapsed anarchist, and would be blimp pilot currently based at the University of Western Australia. Works-in-progress include overcoming political depression, numerous artistic collaborations, and a PhD thesis on transnational activism between Manila and San Francisco.

Michele Guiterrez

michelegutz@gmail.com Michele Gutierrez is a second-generation Filipina born and raised in Long Beach, CA. A graduate of UCLA and a VONA alum, her poetry is featured in Field of Mirrors, an Anthology of Philippine American writers. She is currently working on a collection of memoir-based short stories.

Abigail Iturra

abigail.iturra@berkeley.edu My name is Abigail Iturra, I am a freshman at UC Berkeley planning to double major in Physics and Cognitive Science. I love painting and drawing and wish I had more spare time for it. I also really enjoy looking at art, reading literature and poetry, and even if I’m pretty keen on the technical studies, I still very much love the humanities. My older sister, Elishba, was a major influence and inspiration when it comes to making art.

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Maria Vallarta

mariatvallarta@gmail.com Sarah Bernardo is a freshman Maria Vallarta is a recent graduate of Cal and former editor of {m}. She is currently living in Los Angeles, praying for acceptance into graduate school and reacquainting herself with her family and hometown. She loves to read, write, and drink sangria.

Tony Daquipa

mrt916@yahoo.com Tony Daquipa is a musician, artist, photographer, parent/ playdater, recovering bureaucrat, wordsmith extraordinaire, urban homesteader, farmer, amateur hair model, and all-around grown-@$$ man. RAAIDERRS!

Nicole Fronda

nfronda@gmail.com Nicole is UC Berkeley student graduating this coming Spring 2014. When she’s not busy with school or work, she likes to try her hand at creative writing and blogging. Otherwise, she enjoys reading, catching up on a variety of TV shows, playing games, and exploring new flavors of coffee.

Mary Zambales

mezambales@yahoo.com Mary Zambales is the youngest of six children. She was born in the Philippines, and she still works in immigration law. She has contributed to Maganda in the past.

Author & Artist Biographies Ferdinand Ross Cacho

ferdcacho@gmail.com My name is Ferd Cacho and I am a 4th year. My submission “Rifts” was an assignment for the Contemporary Issues of Filipino-Americans: History, Identity, and Politics DeCal from Spring 2012. In the DeCal, I learned how my identity is inextricably tied to the history of those who came before us and that it is our responsibility to advocate for our communities.

Richard Solar rchrdsolar@gmail.com

Mikael Rosary De Leon

michael.rosario.998@gmail.com Mikael Rosary De Leon is a queer, transfeminine PoC who aspires to be more like Ursula from The Little Mermaid. You can usually hear them belting Poor Unfortunate Souls and cuddling their boo, Kitty, while figuring out their place in the world, building community with QTPOC, and constantly having Queer Caribbean dreams.

Cecilia Gaerlan ceciliagaerlan@yahoo.com

Jake Soiffer

soiffer@berkeley.edu Jake Soiffer writes, drums, prays, protests, and hails from Brooklyn, New York, and Berkeley, California. He is a freshman at UC Berkeley with no idea what he plans on studying or why, and that’s OK. He believes in justice, mystery, jazz, and other unusual things.

Imee Cuison

imeetwelve@gmail.com Imee Cuison is a freelance writer based in Charleston, SC and Brooklyn, NY. She is the creative executive for Intrinsic Value Films, an independent film production company. Her prose and poetry work have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies such as Psychic Meatloaf, Tayo evalmidi@yahoo.com My works have appeared in local literary journals such Literary Magazine, and Phatitude Literary Magazine. as Maganda Magazine, Tayo, Make/shift Magazine, Burner Magazine, As/Us, and the Asian anthologies Field of Mirrors, Walang Hiya, and Same Difference. m.ali.mahyari@gmail.com I have a BA in Literature from UC San Diego, a JD from Syracuse University, an MFA in Creative Writing Ali is a fourth-year Architecture from Mills College, and am a long-time member of the major at UC Berkeley from Concord, CA. He is a MexicanPhilippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. based Iranian-American and a Muslimin San Francisco where I have performed numerous Catholic-Believer, among other readings throughout the Bay Area. things. His goal in life is to dedicate himself to serving those in need, whether they be from his family, his community, or beyond. His relationship status with the universe is complicated and difficult, but satisfying.

Elsa Valmidiano

Ali Mahyari

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Author & Artist Biographies Blesilda Carmona

Blesilda Carmona is a freelance writer, tutor, astrologer, and tarot reader. Currently she writes the weekly horoscope and a metaphysical column, “Pilipinasblitz Forever,” for the MANILA MAIL. She is the first FilipinaAmerican Board member of the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR)-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, an organization devoted to astrological education and research.

Jacqueline Lee

ohhellojackie@gmail.com Jacqueline Lee is a Bay Area born and raised Tsinay. She is graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology this Spring and moving on to a full-time job as a copywriter for a tech company. Her writing is influenced by her experiences growing up in a mixed household trying to make sense of her identity and the difficulties of trying to connect to multiple cultures she calls home and family. She hopes to continue writing and improving in it after college.

Aleli Balaguer

alelibalaguer@gmail.com Aleli Janine Balaguer is a Filipina-American daughter, sister, and womxn originally from Southeast San Diego. Aleli is a graduating senior at UC Berkeley, with a major in Architecture and a minor in Social and Cultural Factors in Environmental Design. While Aleli enjoys designing, she finds herself expressing herself through art and writing; She hopes to work within our communities, upon graduating.

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Angela Efe

aefe@berkeley.edu Angela Efe is a Bay Area artist studying Practice of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. Her art is influenced by street art, graffiti, music, and takes inspiration from contemporary urban culture. As a female artist, she aims to break the boundaries between gender norms in hip hop community.

Mg Roberts

emgee_roberts@yahoo.com Born in Subic Bay, Philippines, Mg Roberts teaches writing in the San Francisco Bay area. She is the author of not so, sea (Durga Press, 2014) and the chapbook Missives of Appropriation and Error (Adjunct Press, 2008). She is a Kundiman Fellow, Kelsey Street Press member, and MFA graduate of New College of California. Her work has appeared in the Stanford Journal of Asian American Studies, Bombay Gin, Web Conjunctions, Shampoo, GALATEA RESURRECTS and elsewhere. She’s currently working on an anthology of critical essays on avant-garde writing for writers of color.

Staff, Interns, & Contributors Aleli Balaguer

Synequeen Alasa-as

Editor-in-Chief Binhi ni Idiyanale Community is support and strength and overcoming individualness. Community is to know you are NOT alone.

Public Relations Batingaw ni Malupon Community is HOME. synequeen@gmail.com


Wayne Jopanda

Jacqueline Lee



Director of Human Resources Batas ni Bunag Community is investing time, energy, and care in one another. Community knows no boundaries or borders, but recognizes struggle and perseverence. Community challenges, grounds, critiques, and loves you simultaneously and will never stop to do so.

Layout Editor Binhi ni Bathala Community can be a place you come from. Sometimes it is a place you find. it is always, a place you make your own. A community can make you, but you can also help to shape it.

Mira Dayal

Finance Director Bagwis ni Idiyanale Community is your family, your friends, your loved ones, your home; the group of people you feel most comfortable with, the group of people you feel most challenged and supported by; your experiences as they connect to the experiences of those who you choose to surround yourself with.


Marian Cordon

Intern Bandila ni Bathala Community is a means of support and a foundation for which I can spread my wings. I truly want to thank my family, my friends, and the Pilipino community for helping me make my transition at CAL this year a relatively smooth one; and I’m so glad to have met so many great people who inspire me and encourage me to keep growing. I hope you know I love you all with all my heart. <3


Aisha Joshi

Intern Bandila ni Lidagat ajoshi@berkeley.edu

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Staff, Interns, & Contributors Ashley Hirasuna

Contributor Balon ni Minaden Community is a network of people you can rely on and you like you be around. It can be as small as a group of friends and as LARGE as a race of people as long as we all have some kind of unifying factor. {m}aganda is a new community I joined within the larger community of CAL and granted I don’t know everyone in neither {m}aganda nor CAL it’s still a group of people I can relate to. Thank you for the experience I had a lot of fun designing! ashleyhirasuna@gmail.com

Tracy Chan

Contributor Balangaw ni Lidagat Community is the people that constitute and support your world and enhance your life, as you do the same for them. chan.tracyw@gmail.com

Kate Masancay Contributor


Joan Tionko

Intern Balon ni Linamin at Bulag joantionko@gmail.com

Jeremy Curtis

Contributor Batingaw ni Mayari Community is that common bond that we can have with people that makes us feel like we’re not completely alone. It can be anything, such as our locations, our families, or our passions. thejeremycurtis@gmail.com

Jennifer Huynh

Contributor Binhi ni Apolaki Community is comfort, safety, security, love, a family. jensaver2000@berkeley.edu

Angela Efe

Intern Balon ni Bathala Community provides unity within a group of people with common interests, goals, and aspirations that support one another. angelaelacioefe@gmail.com

Nicole Arca

Literary Editor Batingaw ni Sumalongson Community is any group where you can be yourself and do you, and still be loved completely. nicoleaarca@gmail.com

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Sarah Bernardo Consultant Batas ni Lidagat sbernardo2013@gmail.com

{m}aganda mission statement {m}agandå magazine is a student-run academic publication based at the University of California, Berkeley. Founded in 1989, it has evolved from its beginnings as a bi-annual magazine, and is now a diverse anthology of submitted work that is published once a year. We serve as a vital forum for the presentation of diverse experiences and opinions through all platforms for creativity – including art, prose, poetry, film, music, journalism and scholarly writing. {m}agandå aims to foster critical dialogue within and across our communities through arts, literature, and education. We come from a heritage of Pilipino/ American artists, writers, and cultural historians, but we extend our hands and voices to any and all who own truths that need to be spoken. Contact us: maganda.eic@gmail.com magandamagazine.wordpress.com FB/TW/IG: @magandamagazine

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Acknowledgements Associated Students of the University of California Pil-endorsed ASUC Senator Sean Tan Pilipino American Alliance Pilipino Cultural Night Pilipin@ Academic Student Services Pilipino Association for Health Careers P4 - Partnership for Pre-Professional Pilipin@s Pilipino Association of Scientists, Architects, and Engineers

Kapwa Intervarsity Christian Fellowship UC Berkeley Pilipin@ Community Multicultural Community Center CalSLAM Hardboiled Asian Pacific American Student Development Dewey St. Germaine Tita Joi Print Papa xxi community


{m}aganda magazine | University of California, Berkeley | 2014

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