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MAIN SILENT. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RE URT BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A CO LL WI D AN N CA SAY U YO G AN YTHIN NNOT TO AN ATTORNEY. IF YOU CA OF LAW. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT WILL BE PROVIDED FOR YOU. AFFORD AN ATTORNEY, ONE E YOU BUT SHOULD THE STATE FAIL TO PROVID A CHANCE AT A FAIR TRIAL, A PLATFORM FOR JUST CHANGE AND ONE WILL BE PROVIDED FOR YOU.

HEARD. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE TO RAISE YOUR VOICE IN THE FACE OF INJUSTICE. TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE FORMS OF OPPRESSION. EXPERIENCED DAILY, BUT ADDRESSED RARELY.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE CRITICAL. TO CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO AND THE SYSTEMS THAT DO NOT FAVOR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR AND IDENTITIES LABELED “OTHER.” YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CREATE. TO EXPRESS YOUR PERSPECTIVE. PEN YOUR THOUGHTS TO ILLUSTRATE YOUR EXPERIENCE. PAINT YOUR TRUTH. TO USE YOUR ART TO CREATE DIALOGUE AND CHANGE. {M}AGANDA MAGAZINE INVITES YOU TO SUBMIT TO OUR 30TH ISSUE AND BEAR WITNESS IN THIS INFINITE TRIAL OF HUMANITY. ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE WELCOMED INTO OUR MINDS, OUR HEARTS, AND OUR LIFETIMES. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE RIGHTS I HAVE JUST READ TO YOU? WITH THESE RIGHTS IN MIND, DO YOU WISH TO SPEAK THE TRUTH?

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L A I C SP E

S K N THA

PILIPINX COMMUNITY AT CAL, INCLUDING: PILIPINX COMMUNITY EXECUTIVE SPACE PILIPINO AMERICAN ALLIANCE (PAA) PILIPINO ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS, SCIENTISTS, AND ENGINEERS (PASAE) PILIPINO ACADEMIC STUDENT SERVICES (PASS) PARTNERSHIP FOR PRE-PROFESSIONAL PILIPINOS (P4) PILIPINO ASSOCIATION FOR HEALTH CAREERS (PAHC) KAPWA PILIPINO BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION AT CAL (PBA)

FALL 2016, SPRING 2017 {M} STAFF AND INTERNS {M}ALUMNI VICTORIA URBI RENEE MACALINO RUTLEDGE LEAD CENTER PUBLICATIONS ADVISOR, JENNIFER MCNULTY

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{m}aganda 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. We record our lives as “cultural historians,� not forgetting that our forefathers and foremothers have blazed this path for us, making publications like maganda possible. We come from a strong tradition of Pilipinx and Pilipinx American writers, a tradition which includes Dr. Jose Rizal, Paz Marquez Benitez, Estrella Alfon, Jose Garcia Villa, Nick Joaquin, Carlos Bulosan, Bienvenido Santos, N.V.M. Gonzales, Renato Constantino, Jose Maria Sison, Ninotchka Rosca, Jessica Hagedorn, and the Kearny Street Workshop Writers. Because of them, and for the future, we proudly give our community {m}aganda. {m}aganda aims to foster critical dialogue within and across our communities through arts, literature, and education. We come from a heritage of Pilipinx/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. We believe in the necessity of art as a means of influencing social change. We attempt to accomplish this by providing integral spaces and opportunities for all of us to develop ourselves as creatively conscious individuals in our communities.

S N O I S S I { M}

T N E M E T TA 3


30 ISSUES OF {M}AGANDA MAGAZINE SPRING FALL SPRING FALL SPRING

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1990 1990 1991 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

PREMIERE PILIPINO AMERICANS IN THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT SEXUAL ISSUES REVEALED RELIGION AND THE PILIPINO BABAE KA MALAKAS KA FROM ROOTS TO YOUTH HISTORY OF OUR CONCIOUSNESS THE LIVING CULTURE MOVEMENT AND MIGRATION DIVERSITY QUEER VISIONARIES A BLINK, A BREATH, A BEAT, A BEGINNING REVOLUTIONS DUGO WAR RENAISSANCE CHOICE, CHANGE, POWER CRISIS OUR ACTIVISMS LEGAL GENERATE OUR RESILIENCE ANONYMOUS BROKE BAWAL COMMUNITY CRITICAL MASS SINIGANG FOR THE SOUL: CONVERSATIONS ON MENTAL HEALTH


EDITOR'S NOTE Approaching September of last year, election season just began to take hold of its momentum-Clinton and Trump’s presidential rivalry was soon to be loudly showcased at the first presidential debate. At the same time, {m}aganda staff, unaware of what was ahead of us in the coming weeks, landed ourselves on the theme of justice for this celebratory 30th issue of {m}aganda magazine. During these early stages of our process, both mass media and social media plagued our minds with the controversies of the election here in the United States and, as Pilipinx Americans, the war on drugs and extraducial killings in the Philippines under the new administration of President Duterte. Throughout the rest of the year, debates and arguments about these issues and others, such as the #NoDAPL movement, filled conversations, and many of them involved people trying to force their own definitions of justice upon others while neglecting significant and relevant factors involved. This became prominent right on our own campus as well, with #Fight4SpacesofColor, #Fight4Queer&TransSpaces, protests against Trump's victory in the election and Milo Yiannopolous' planned event. These movements and issues accentuate how justice is subjective and dynamic. It is based on experiences and perspectives that develop over time. However, those of power and privilege continuously try to dictate what is just and attempt to impose their versions of justice upon everyone else. Accordingly, we made it our goal to deconstruct justice as a concept that can be defined for all. We dedicate this issue to the movement towards a society that serves more than just those in power and to the oppressed voices that get lost in conversations dealing with justice. We also dedicate this issue to the {m}alumni who, for the past 29 issues, have upheld and maintained {m}aganda's legacy as a platform for artists and a platform for social change. I present to you our "trial" on justice and humanity. JOEMINEL DOCUYANAN {M}30 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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TA BLE OF CONTENT S {M}30 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

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SPECIAL THANKS

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{M}ISSION STATEMENT

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30 ISSUES OF {M}AGANDA

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EDITOR'S NOTE

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JUSTICE HERE AND ABROAD VICTORIA URBI

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DEAR CECILLE FRANCIS C. MACANSANTOS

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PROTEST PHOTOS

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#DON’TJUDGEME ANTH BONGCO

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COME TUESDAY MIRA DAYAL

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WHEN THEY AIM LOW, SWEEP THE LEG MARY ZAMBALES

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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE (RE-EDITED) BRANDON BASA

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A DIFFICULT LESSON MONICA MACANSANTOS

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INGREDIENTS FOR YOUR CANDIDATE BRANDON BASA

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I SENT A LETTER BACK HOME CLAUDINE REYES

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RODRIGO DUTERTE: OUR LORD & SAVIOR NICA AQUINO

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SAAN KAYO NALIPATAN NICA AQUINO

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AUTOPSY REPORT 1 & 2 CHINA DE VERA

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I USED TO WRITE POEMS ERIN JERRI MALONZO PANGILINAN

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REFLECTION BRANDON BASA

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DON’T SHOOT NATALIA ANCISO

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ATE, DIG MY SKIN BETTINA FRANCISCO

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ANG PAGPASLANG KAY REBELYN PITAO NG WALANG PAGLILITIS + TRANSLATION E. SAN JUAN, JR.

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DEAR DIARY ANGELI CABAL

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THANK YOU BECAUSE I DON’T NEED YOUR GAZE ERINA C ALEJO

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DEAR ANAK JAZLYN GABRIELLE EUGENIO PASTOR

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...

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AVERY YEATMAN

HYMN

ANGELI CABAL

TIRED

ABIGAIL BALINGIT

NEXT

DANA LYNN LANSIGAN

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PHILIPPINES: THE BODY ANGEL LI

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LONDON: JULY 8, 2005 JONATHON LEWIS

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LIFE BEFORE MY MA CAME TO AMERICA MALAKA GHARIB

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FLIES AND MILK GENEVIEVE AGUINALDO

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DEAR PINAYS BETTINA FRANCISCO

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IN THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT HEATHER DE GUIA AGUILAR

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SELF-PORTRAIT NICA AQUINO

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BLESSS OUR OWN BRAIDS AVERY YEATMAN

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BUKAS - SAY IT

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A TRIAL IN IDENTITY MOLLY OLIS KROST

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IN MY MIND AARON HIPOLITO

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EXCERPT FROM “THE HOUR OF DAYDREAMS” RENEE MACALINO RUTLEDGE

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LEAGUES WE LONG CAMILLE HOFFMAN

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INTERVIEW - RENEE MACALINO RUTLEDGE

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SEREMONYA SHERWIN RIO

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AUTHOR AND ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

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{M}30 STAFF & INTERNS

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A DREAM I LIVE WITH CAELI BENSON

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FLIGHT HOME FROM THE SUPER MARKET DENNIS ANDREW AGUINALDO

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9PM CHIT-CHAT AT THE SUPERMARKET DENNIS ANDREW AGUINALDO

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JOKULL JONATHON LEWIS

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MAUREEN G. ABUGAN

AVERY YEATMAN

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QUEER TRANSNATIONAL LOVE IN THE TIME OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND GLOBALIZATION ADRIAN ELLIS ALARILLA

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EVERY CHARACTER WAS HIM ZOSIMO QUIBILAN, JR.

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END DATE JONATHAN LEWIS

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Justice Here and VICTORIA Abroad URBI Victoria Urbi was the co-editor in chief for the second and third maganda issues. She graduated from UCB with degrees in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. She worked at the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center as a health educator and then attended California Western School of Law (CWSL) where she received a Juris Doctor. At CWSL, Ms. Urbi was the Executive Editor of her law school's newspaper The Commentary. After law school, Ms. Urbi worked as an investigator for the City of Oakland's Citizens' Police Review Board. Later, she was appointed to oversee the City of Berkeley's Police Review Commission (PRC) as PRC Officer. She enjoys traveling with her family to Philippines and Africa.

Last year, two controversial Presidents were elected: President Rodrigo Duterte and President Donald Trump. The Philippine President won by more than 16 million votes. President Trump won 57% of the electoral college but not the popular vote. In the U.S., over 90 million or 40% of eligible voters did not vote.

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the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and the increased demand of international English call centers, the harsh poverty of many Pilipinos is still a brutal reality.

Since I came to the U.S. as a 4 year old, I enjoy going back home and visiting family on a regular basis. But I can’t help but wonder how to abate the growing gap between the wealthy and the marginalized. When I first learned about maganda’s The class divide is related to the polititheme of Hustísia or Kinalintég, my first cal and economic corruption of the elite, thought was the injustice of government which has it’s roots in the Spanish colonisanctioned extrajudicial killings of over zation and establishment of the Catholic 8000 Pilipinos brought on by President church as the institutional teacher for the Duterte’s war to eradicate alleged drug dealers. Equally troubling is the nonchalant masses. Thus, I was initially intrigued when President Duterte stated that he planned ethos of many Pilipinos. Some Pilipinos to eliminate corruption. Shortly thereafter, even find the mass slaughter necessary to I saw a video from www.nytimes.com/ wipe out the serious drug problem in the interactive/2016/12/07/world/asia/rodrigoPhilippines. duterte-philippines-drugs-killings. When President Duterte was first elected, A relative who lives in a province far from he won on a platform of stamping out Manila stated that the police came looking corruption. Although he stated that he for a male neighbor, who was being tarplanned on killing criminals, it was unclear if this was mere rhetoric for votes or a seri- geted as a drug pusher. The mayor of the provincial town attempted to protect and ous political agenda. While the Philippine shield the male suspect, so the police apeconomy has slowly improved in the last parently abandoned their efforts and left decade due to the back breaking labor of


the town. It is unclear if the mayor’s attempt to protect the male suspect was for humanitarian purposes or if the mayor was working with the police and was merely waiting for a kickback. The next day, the same police returned and the neighbors cautiously gathered because they knew it was about to happen. The relative stayed home, but heard moments later that the police finished off the male suspect. The mayor’s efforts were fruitless. Recently, President Duterte (temporarily) changed course after human rights groups decried his policies and a South Korean businessman was killed in October 2016 by policemen, who were given unfettered discretion in wiping out the drug dealers. Now, the focus has shifted to getting rid of corrupt police officers. Which group will be next? President Duterte knows exactly what he is doing because he was a former prosecutor and he understands the law and its limitations. He is aware of the injustices of killing mostly poor people, who are afflicted with a major health crisis and need treatment. What are Pilipinos doing about President Duterte’s war on drugs and are the killings causing outrage? When the Philippines experienced the political injustices of the Marcos regime, they defiantly marched against corruption during the People Power Revolution from 1983-1986 and later elected the first woman president in Asia, President Corazon Aquino. More importantly, what is one of the most influential Philippine institutions, the

Catholic Church, doing about these ongoing killings? In February, the Catholic church issued a statement that was to be read during mass. It was a rebuke of President’s Duterte’s drug policy. It remains to be known what the effect of the church’s stance from those who heard the critique or are they living in a state of fear that they may perhaps see their name on that list as the next target? Justice and Youths While substance and alcohol abuse is nothing new in the Pilipino community, it remains a grave issue both in the U.S. and the Philippines. One of my first jobs after graduating from U.C. Berkeley was as a Health Educator for the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center in Daly City. We worked with “high risk” youths, who were mostly Pilipinos and their parents and we facilitated a “life skills drug prevention program” aimed to steer the youths away from substance abuse. If the youths that were part of the drug prevention program lived in the Philippines today and not Daly City in the early 90s, they would have been on President Duterte’s list of targets. Many Pilipinos of all classes and backgrounds may at some point in their lives do drugs; it may be to escape a depressing reality of poverty or abuse, lack of education or for pure pleasure. Drug use is a complex problem. In law school, I learned that there is no short cut to life. Killing drug pushers is a short cut to the problem, but developing lasting, sustainable and compassionate drug pre-

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vention programs will be the challenge and that begins with stopping these killings.

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Justice and the Presidential Elections

female President likely would have been in a position to help those who need it most, because she knew exactly what needed to be done here and abroad.

We are fortunate to live in the United States, despite the weaknesses of the electoral college that was created to prevent the popular masses from electing a President. We have a democratic system in place that temporarily elects leaders for a fixed term. Those 90 million eligible voters who did not vote in the election are the reason why we have a President who needs to be checked by the courts each time he issues an Executive Order that dictates a travel ban.

Justice begins with education. I was not supposed to go to U.C. Berkeley. My parents were not part of the educated Filipino class. They sometimes worked 2 jobs at the same time in order to raise 5 children. My mother and eldest sister’s first job was picking grapes. Later, my mother worked on the electronics assembly-line and was a casualty of the mass electronics industry lay-offs in the 80’s. Since neither of my parents attended high school, the expectations of their children was minimal.

In countries throughout the Middle East and third world countries, the citizenry are under a different pressure because their governments do not allow freedom of expression, but they can exchange ideas, disagree and organize through social media. Then, there is Syria, where the citizenry attempted an uprising against the Assad regime, but they were literally crushed. Those Syrians who tried to change their system were bombed out of their cities. When the world saw the Syrian toddler boy washed ashore on a beach, the ultimate sight of injustice left us aghast with anger.

Education brings about change. And the more we educate ourselves and families, the more people will vote. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution developed a system of checks and balances in response to the English monarch. The separation of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branch was intended so that one branch could not abuse their authority over the other branches of government. President Trump’s two Executive Orders on the travel ban has twice been rejected by the 9th Circuit and a Federal Judge in Hawaii.

In the U.S., we actually possess the power to vote and change the system, but many Americans choose not to participate by not voting in the elections. Imagine if every eligible voter actually voted in the last election. We would have had an entirely different outcome, the political pundits would have been totally correct, and she, our

I commend maganda magazine for exploring the issues of justice. When I worked on issues #2 and #3, where the issues were arts and entertainment and sexual identity respectively, the political climate was much different. Maganda magazine plays several critical roles in the literary, political, legal,


artistic and social context of the Pilipino in the United States and in the Philippines. Maganda’s work is important, because it is one of the few vehicles that highlights who we are, why we matter and how our work is not over in the Pilipino community here and abroad.

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LOS ANGELES WOMEN’S MARCH LA 01.21.17

CREDIT: VENTURE WORKS, @VENTUREWORKSFILM

UC BERKELEY #STOPLUMADKILLINGS CANDLELIGHT VIGIL 09.23.17

HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/EVENTS/396789947183699/

SAN FRANCISCO WOMEN’S MARCH CREDIT: @ANTH012

UC BERKELEY TO OAKLAND UC BERKELEY #J20 MOVEMENT PROTEST AGAINST MILO YIANNOPOULOS 01.20.17, TRUMP INAUGURATION DAY “CONFLAGRATION DE MILO” CREDIT: CLAUDIA MARIE HUYNH, @MISS.CMARIE 02.01.17 CREDIT: @ANTH012

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UC BERKELEY #STOPLUMADKILLINGS CANDLELIGHT VIGIL 09.23.17

HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/EVENTS/396789947183699/

NOT MY PRESIDENT’S DAY RALLY 02.20.17

CREDIT: VENTURE WORKS, @VENTUREWORKSFILM

UC BERKELEY #STOPLUMADKILLINGS CANDLELIGHT VIGIL 09.23.17

UC DAVIS MILO YIANNOPOULOS PROTEST 01.14.2017

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COME TUESDAY BY MIRA DAYAL

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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

(RE-EDITED)

I pledge revolution to the flag of the oppressive state of america, and to the Othered for which We stand, hundreds of Nations, under Our ancestors, indivisible, with color, fighting towards justice for All. BY BRANDON BASA

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INGREDIENTS FOR YOUR CANDIDATE BRANDON BASA

Ingredients

6

lbs of wrinkled orange leather --skinned

1

dead marsupial with faded yellow fur

1

4 cup of primate urine

236 1

lbs of pig fat (unsanitized)

3-inch worm +

2

Roly Poly bugs

A splash of lies

6

oz. of racism

A handful of sexism A touch of narcissism

1

cherry—to be placed on top

Add white whipped cream if privileged

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RODRIGO DUTERTE; OUR LORD & SAVIOR Nica Aquino

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AUTOPSY REPORT 1 China De Vera

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AUTOPSYChina REPORT 2 De Vera

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on the eve of revolution we sat sobbing in our darkened living rooms, hearts dark too on the eve of revolution my baby sister born in the wrong body became terrified for her safety (she would not attend school the next day) on the eve of revolution we laughed in shock and disbelief and our tears were tinted with disgust on the eve of the end of the world we forgot who hope was the morning of the revolution we wore all black and marched, silent sentinels in the fitting rain but the silence stops now as the revolution begins

...

“

�

Avery Yeatman

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“Don’t Shoot “ Natalia Anciso 21


ANG PAGPASLANG KAY REBELYN PITAO NG WALANG PAGLILITIS --E. SAN JUAN, JR. Naibalita sa Internet, kamakailan, na hindi raw gaganti ang NPA sa pagpaslang ng gobyerno kay Rebelyn Pitao Ngunit ito ba ang hinihingi ng masa? Humihingi ang masa ng hustisya at accountability: Sino ang mananagot sa krimeng ito? Naunahan na tayo sa sagot ng NPA... Nailinya na ba ng partido ang damdamin lungkot pait sakit pagpigil ng galit ng masa? Nailinya na ba kung paano magagalit o matutuwa? Nailinya na ba kung kalian dapat mapoot at kailan dapat umibig? Nailinya na ba kung paano dapat maging mapaghinala o mapagtiwala? Nailinya na ba kung paano maging mataray o masuyo? Nailinya na ba kung paano dapat maging matalino o maging tanga? Nailinya na ba lahat ng hindi pa nararanasan? Kung nag-aapoy ang galit, masusubhan ba iyon ng tubig ng panghihinayang? Hanggang saan dapat umabot ang pasensya? Noong digmaan ng Filipino’t Amerikano noong 1899, na kumitil ng 1.4 milyong Filipino, itinanong sa U.S. Senado ni Gen. Robert Hughes na kumander ng US Army sa Bisayas kung bakit pinarusahan din ang mga sibilyan, mga babae’t musmos, sa pagsugpo ng Amerikano sa mga rebelde. Pakli ni Gen. Hughes:

“The women and children are part of the family, and where you wish to inflict a punishment you can punish the man probably worse in that way than in any other.”

Ay, naku, di mo akalain-- Natuto pala ang militar ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo! Natuto pala ang AFP at mga para-militar na bayaran. Itinanong ni Senator Rawlins si Gen. Hughes kung iyong ginawa nila ay “within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare.” Ang sagot: “These people are not civilized.” Ayon, Mare’t Pare, ayos! Sa kabila ng isang siglong pagitan mula sa madugong pagsakop sa atin ng Amerikanong imperyalista, isangkot na natin ang mahabang kolonisasyon ng Kastila at maikli ngunit mahapding karanasan sa kalupitan ng mga Hapon, totoo palang hindi pa tayo “civilized,” wika nga, di kuno?

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The Internet bore the news, of late, that the NPA will not avenge the government’s murder of Rebelyn Pitao. But is this what the masses demand?

`

The masses demand justice and accountability: who will pay for this crime? The NPA’s answer has already preceded us… Has a rule been decreed by the party on sensation misery bitterness pain control of the masses’ fury? Has a rule been decreed on how to get furious or laugh? Has a rule been decreed when it’s correct to hate and when it’s correct to love? Has a rule been decreed when it’s correct to be doubtful and to be trusting? Has a rule been decreed on how to be obnoxious or obsequious? Has it been decreed how it’s correct to be smart and to be stupid? Has a rule been decreed on all that has yet to be experienced? If fury is smoldering, can the waters of disappointment douse it? How long should patience last? During the Filipino-American War in 1899, which killed 1.4 million Filipinos, the US Senate asked Gen. Robert Hughes who was commander of the US Army in the Visayas why civilians were also punished, women and children, so that Americans could suppress the rebels. Gen. Hughes’s reply:

“The women and children are part of the family, and where you wish to inflict a punishment you can punish the man probably worse in that way than in any other.”

Ay, naku, you wouldn’t guess—Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s military did learn! So the hustling AFP and paramilitary did learn. Senator Rawlins asked Gen. Hughes if what they did was “within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare.” The answer: “These people are not civilized.” There you go, friends! Despite almost a century of intervening time from our bloody occupation by the American imperialists, we might as well include the long Spanish colonization and the short but painful experience with Japanese brutality, it’s quite true that we’re not “civilized” yet, as you might say, wouldn’t you?

THE EXECUTION OF REBELYN PITAO WITHOUT --E. ANY TRIAL SAN JUAN, JR.

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THANK YOU BECAUSE I DON’T NEED YOUR GAZE

The center of my 19-yearold heterosexist world was you, my professor. Your banter, ardor and libretto entertained illusory security, belonging and sensuality. Your gaze and intimations confused me and enthralled me. But just like that, I lost your affection. Was I captivated because of your “revered” attention? Was it because I desired your White Male Gaze on my Brown Being, like in the movies? Just like in those perfect cisgender and heterosexual worlds of films I studied, in which the male gazes to the female from afar with intense yearning, prescribed by camera angles, lighting and sound design designated by scripts written for colorless, “neutral” characters that perpetuate Whiteness in American cinema? So that the cycle of codependency among Colored Girls like me and White Male Gazes continues without consequence? Is there not more to Colored Girl empowerment beyond Laura Mulvey readings assigned by white feminist TAs in media courses? Months prior to my decision to enter therapy, post-entanglement, I blamed myself and thought mine was an individual problem. I continued to imbibe and write about those perfect cisgender and heterosexual worlds. I fantasized being the female protagonist in those perfect movies scripted for distressed [white-privileged] girls who suffered heartbreak because [white-privileged] boys directed their gazes elsewhere. I festered in my state of self-victimization.

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I began to forgive myself through therapy. I learned to not be apologetic and ashamed for feeling you desired me. My white female therapist, whom I embraced as my ally, helped me recognize the intersectionality of my race, class, gender, age and other identities that affected my acquiescence to and infatuation of you. But she also reminded me that you as my professor, were an adult responsible for upholding policies that drew boundaries between teacher and student relations. She encouraged me to report you, but I felt ashamed and fearful to recognize my entanglement with you as sexual harassment. And, I continued to sit in the front seats of your courses. You stood three meters from my front seat, lecturing, working twice as hard to disregard my presence. I strived and succeeded in your courses. I told my therapist and roommates that I wanted to ask you, “What happened?” but they returned, “Are you going to get the answer you expect, or wish for?” So, instead, I persisted and channelled my wishes into my art making and subsequent community organizing. I think to my initial silence, and your continued silence. I think to my reclamation of those lecture halls where I discovered my calling. “Our silence will not protect us,” reminds Audre Lorde. Two generations into this American life as a Fierce Colored Girl, I hold more agency and tools to subvert White Male Gazes Like Yours, more than my mother, ancestor-turned grandparents and other immigrant families had when they first migrated here. You did not deserve to desire me with your gaze. I did not give you my consent and I never will, even in our graves. My standards are exceptional-tell your little boys and others that they will have to earn the right to gaze upon my beauty, ferocity, intellect and heart. Because I never needed you and your gaze to make me know, body and soul, I’ve been whole.

Erina C Alejo 25


hymn by

Angeli Cabal

god loves me, this they say. this is supposed to comfort me a muddy-eyed child of god who cannot bear to sit in her own skin when the lights are off.

god loves me, like a pearl moon mantra a saltrub prayer sunset manic seizure

god he loves me while i burn a hole where i sleep rubbing against myself  just to keep warm.

god loves me so much he helps me pretend god is my best friend god loves me so much he helps keep my secrets see, me, i only scream on the inside

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and god, he hears me but god, he don’t say a word see, i think god understands the emptiness the aching divide. he created it. conjured the depths of it then stuck it in all our souls like a door prize. see just how far you can run from me, god says before your knees give away. because when people tell me that god loves me, i remember:

we did not walk out of eden we we crawled. crawled.


Eyes brimming with regret, They’ve become encrusted with salt crystals. And the skin around them has become so puffy that I can’t see the world with as much shiny wonder as before. Tear-soaked, the rain has nothing on me. The pain you’ve caused me has Sent me into a tailspin I’m hydroplaning and I can’t stop. The sobs are of the uncontrollable kind that remind me of When I was a kid and I would hiccup in between moments of gasping for air.

Can’t. Can’t. Breathe. Breathe. The stinging makes the apples of my cheeks feel raw. It hurts to blink because crying rubs salt into my wounds. I am cleansed; I am stronger; I am renewed. Yet, the tears still roll without any signs of slowing down. I handed you my heart on a silver platter But I should have known you would take advantage of it. Because I’ll never get over the fact that You were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. I’ll wave my white flag, but not because I’m giving up on me. I’ve given up on you. I’m tired of fighting a long-lost battle when I’ve tried so hard to figure out what crime I’m guilty of To deserve this punishment. My hands are tied... You didn’t even give me a fair trial.

Tired by

Abigail Balingit 27


Next

DA N A LY N N L A N S I GA N

At five she knew what she wanted to be. She looked at the ones before her: Lovelace, Franklin, Goodall, Rubin, and she knew she wanted to be one of them. She knew she had to be strong. She knew it would all be hard, the math, the science, the essays and the papers, everything she would have to do to prove herself. She knew she had to be strong because she knew she’d be alone. So she learned. Math, science, everything. She learned to be smart, to be persistent, to be alone.

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She learned to fight, how to punch and where to kick, just in case. She learned it slowly, silently, just to protect herself, just in case. She learned to think, to think for herself. She did a lot of thinking, what she would say, how she would say it, but never when because she knew she would never. It was all just in case.


But most importantly, she learned to smile, and she learned to do it so well. She learned in kindergarten when her teacher asked why such a sweet girl like her preferred the Lego cars over the Barbie dolls. She learned in high school when her father warned her that drills weren’t girls’ toys and her brother should do that part of the project instead. She learned in college when her classmates told her she got in because she was a girl, when her labmates didn’t trust her calculations because she was a girl, when her coworkers thought she was the new secretary because she was “just a girl.”

And she learned the best smiles were the quiet smiles. Smile after smile, thought after thought, she worked hard and now she’s here, exactly where she wanted to be Since she was five. Best of all, she never had to fight, because she smiled a lot. Because she’s strong. But not the girls who came next. Not her best friend from kindergarten. Not her little sister. Not her classmates. She got her strength from being alone, so she was strong only for herself, not for anyone else. If more people fought for them, if more people smiled less often and learned to be louder, they’d be where she is now, for quiet smiles helped her, but not the girls who came next.

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Dear Cecille

By Francis C. Macansantos

At eight, dear Cecille Was every bit the wunderkind Playing before small-town gentry At the Silliman gymnasium The townsfolk culturati agape, Alarmed by the exuding passion So untamed it was scandalous, It rose to the eyes, to near tears. But she looked even more curiously at them Than they her, and at everything around her, At another child, for instance, in the audience, Sucking at a bon-bon, or twisting a ribbon On her dress, or in a yawning little space of boredom Looking up at the rafters that held up the roof

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All while her fingers descended With unnerving precision and power On the keys that responded With an equally assured timbre, Rising as though from under Her very self, abysses of ages Of human feeling, recalled only when sounded— No, not Pandora, but that, too, Whenever called for. What did she know of what she knew Just by touching, or diddling, though often By resolutely pounding, setting up explosions? An incendiary child whose gaze wandered While her hands found anchorage in depths That rose to confirm their being.


God sets them out too early— What could she have known Of blood on the floor-boards From where speeches had been hurled, Of workmen buried under collapsed wings Of cultural palaces hurriedly built To beat a deadline, Of humming aircraft ferrying bodies, From poverty-ridden, bullet-ridden, God-forsaken hamlets in the countryside? Instinct, God-given, pitiless instinct told her, Though God must have spared her the facts.

But for that matter How can anyone remember all The centuries of agony For a breath of free air, Of untold time under the boot, The sword, the gun, Of all the passion and sweetness and beauty, And the pressure of all that rising, From under the great fingers of a Vladimir To rival even the bombs Bursting all around the concert hall Making even love and longing Rise and loom above the earth and reign.

Dear Cecille, What you say is true Though maybe you don’t know it. We shall live, We shall survive it all again.

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# D O N T J U D G E M E Anth Bongco

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DON’T JUDGE ME for my brown skin. Epidermis unstainable and unobtainable. For standing out in the crowd. Because I say it loud, “I’M BROWN AND I’M PROUD.” DON’T JUDGE ME for my hxstory or lack thereof. For I remember my roots But can’t trace my own hxstory From waves of victors overwriting The stories of our own people. DON’T JUDGE ME because I can’t speak, Tagalog, Illocano, Visaya. Just because I am not fluent, Doesn’t give you the right to say “You are not Pilipino.” DON’T JUDGE ME for my anxiety, For my fear of over-analyzing And caring too much. Even if you care for the people you love. DON’T JUDGE ME because I did not go through education normally. For failing that opportunist SAT And stickin it in college in community. For I was not a valedictorian, But I got through to get it. Lastly, DON’T JUDGE ME, because you consider me “Pushover.” So you can use slurs and aggressions Mr. Trump openly models. Because I’d hate to tell you. “I’m no pushover.” I will protect myself and others like me. People can justify their entitlement With their fists and words. They can try. But you know what. JUST. DON’T.


When they aim low, sweep the leg Mary Zambales Dignified I refused To be so In the face Of blustering Hate Kakistocracy Endorses it Their ilk’s emboldened “Alt-right” salutes They shout: “AMERIKKKA!!!!!” Codeword For White Supremacy, Neo-Nazis

Or lack theroef Saves them: Privilege Includes their impunity Heinous acts Rationalized Under “mental illness” Their vision Of The “race card” “Woman card” Or The safe spaces Trigger warnings That

I refuse dignity As a Response No high road For me I Sweep the leg Aim the Crotch Make ‘em feel That burning RAGE They forever stoked Since Day One

Brutality Against those Who contain pigmentation

They so despise But when Judgment

Let them suffer What they Created:

Break the purity Of Whiteness Terrorism

Is against them They can’t Admit

A MONSTER Bent On destroying them

At its core And yet Color

Guilt Insensitivity is Their own shield

The same way They destroyed Me.

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Teachers always told me I was a quiet and well-behaved child, so getting detention came as a surprise to me the first time it happened. I should have seen it coming because Mrs. Lambert, my first grade homeroom teacher, was eyeing me the day before she sent me to the detention room. She was a stern, corpulent black woman who came to class in long, flowing dresses with wild, earth-colored prints. She had a deep, sophisticated voice that took on a certain weight whenever she read aloud a word she wrote on the board or explained an important concept to us. I don’t remember her scolding us verbally; her cold, unforgiving stare was enough to freeze us in our tracks. She usually sat with us in the school cafeteria, eating her lunch while keeping an eye on her wards. I remember feeling infected by the laughter of my classmates at lunchtime the day before I got detention since I laughed more heartily than usual, lacking the restraint adults normally have. Her cold, distant stare should have warned me to behave. At that age it’s difficult to restrain oneself, especially when one hasn’t been taught a lesson in propriety. The next day I spent five minutes of what should’ve been my recess in the detention room, sitting before a cold white desk, my head bent under my folded arms. The two blond boys sitting beside me giggled in their seats while I kept my head down without making a sound, using those five minutes to figure out what I did wrong. I resolved to keep my behavior in check, guessing that everything I

34

A Difficult


did the other day was bad. After five minutes I left the detention room and joined my classmates in the playground, my tardiness labeling me immediately as a girl who had been on “time out”. For some reason, I had chosen to tell my dad about it instead of keeping it to myself. After all, an adult had sent me to detention, so an adult perhaps could explain to me what I was being punished for. My dad had just been fired from his job as a burger flipper at Roy Rogers (he cooked the patties slowly, Filipino-style) and spent most of his hours writing poems that never got published in American literary journals and entertaining me when I came home from school by making my stuffed toys talk. My dad was baffled as I had expected him to be. “I want to ask your teacher why you were punished,” he said, holding my hand as we walked home from the school bus stop. The next day he spoke to Mrs. Lambert who told him I had been talking at the table. Her clipped explanation didn’t answer all of my questions because I was the only girl at that boisterous table who had been sent to detention. I was also the only Asian at that table. One of the more vivid memories I have of Mrs. Lambert was the time she showed to our class the framed graduation pictures of her sons. Both of them had gone to college, she said, and both of them landed well-paying jobs after graduation. It was only later that I realized what this accomplishment truly meant to

Lesson

by Monica Macansantos 35


her. Dressed in blue and gold togas, her sons beamed in their pictures, perhaps reaffirming their mother’s belief that the struggles she endured were not in vain. The second time I went to detention was in second grade, and this time I received no explanation for the punishment I received. All I remember was the shock on my homeroom teacher’s face when she was told I’d spend my entire recess in the detention room. It wasn’t any of my teachers who had decided to put me in detention, but a woman who was in charge that day of taking note of who misbehaved on the school bus. That morning, she had asked us to quietly file out of the bus and to form a line on the pavement. I remember that it was one of the first days of spring, and I was happy to be wearing a skirt for the first time in months. Like the rest, I stepped quietly out of the bus, but as I walked towards the pavement I couldn’t help skipping, feeling a lightness in my feet as my skirt danced in the spring wind. When the drill was over, she read aloud the names of those who had misbehaved. These people would spend the entire recess in detention, she said. A pair of black boys who had almost come to blows with each other in the line and a blond girl named Hillary who had badmouthed the bus driver were in the list. When I thought this woman had finished reading her list, she spat out my last name, as if it were the name of an inconveniently misplaced object that was to be put in its proper place. I remember reacting in disbelief when hearing my name being included in this list. I had gotten used to having my name included in lists such as the honor roll, not in lists such as these. I knew my name had a strange ring to it, and that my classmates could never say it right, but it occupied a permanent spot on the

36


honor roll nonetheless, nestled between the Clarks and Smiths and Thompsons. I’d be the first to speak up in class, the first to turn in my homework, the first to memorize the Star Spangled Banner and sing it in front of the entire class. I was always identified with the teachers’ pets and math wizards, not with these troublemakers who bullied me in the bus and tore my report card upon seeing it covered with A’s. I sobbed the entire time I was in the detention room, unable to wipe my tears because of a rule that forbade us from raising our heads. Near the end of my detention, Mrs. Kirby, my petite, gray-haired, honey-voiced homeroom teacher, put a hand on my shoulder. “Monica, I’ll ask her why you got detention. It’s all right. Don’t cry.” It was comforting to know that one teacher was on my side. When I got off the school bus the next day, I saw Mrs. Kirby at the school entrance chatting and laughing with the woman who sent me to detention, as though they had never spoken of anything serious that morning. Mrs. Kirby never mentioned anything about my detention to me again. A previous incident should’ve warned me that the woman at the bus stop wouldn’t take my skipping to the sidewalk lightly. If I remember right she was a science teacher who met our class once or twice a month. She may have been a part-time employee of the school, someone who was never able to secure a permanent appointment, because I don’t remember her giving us any grades. The building where she held classes was called the Science House. It was an old, musty house full of jars, aquariums, and yellowing posters in a wooded area beside our school. For one class, she gave us sheets of white cardboard that we were supposed to fold into boxes and decorate with drawings using colored pencils she provided. 37


She gave us a time limit, and I used up some of my time teaching my clueless classmates how to turn these sheets of cardboard into boxes before I resumed working on my box. I was still working on my box when she announced that time was up. “Throw it in the trash,” she said, pointing to the trashcan at the corner of the room. “But, I was helping—“ “Throw, it, in, the, trash.” After throwing my box (which I had decorated with crooked seaweed and multi-colored fish) in the trashcan, I joined the circle that had gathered around her. A classmate I had helped, a bronze-haired, blue-eyed girl named Colleen, talked about the flowers she had sketched on her box. I listened to my other classmates talk about their boxes, ashamed that the voice I earlier used with such confidence and authority in the room had been silenced. I got detention several more times, learning after a while not to expect any explanation for these trips. The faces of those who spent time in the detention room during recess became more familiar to me, and I became a familiar face to them as well. Most of those who got detention were black kids, while there would be the occasional white kid with worn clothes and unkempt hair. After my detention sessions were over I’d walk to the playground alone, and I’d know from the way my classmates moved around in seemingly impenetrable groups that they had formed alliances while I was away.

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Every time I got detention I resolved never to get detention again. I lowered my voice, muted my steps, and cast down my eyes, thinking this was the way to look well behaved. I never told my parents about my visits to the detention room, determined to be the sweet, well-behaved girl they thought I was. One day, my Kindergarten teacher, Miss Cameroon, happened to walk into the detention room, and recognized me with my head face down on the desk. “Monica, why are you here?” she asked. Then she turned to the teacher who was watching over us that day, and said, “This child is so well-behaved. Why is she here?” “Well she’s here for a reason,” the teacher supervising us that day snapped from behind her desk. A few months before I returned to the Philippines with my family, I met a girl who had been my classmate in the first grade. We were in the advanced readers group in first grade and although we talked to each other a lot, we never became regular playmates. All her playmates where white, while most of my playmates were Hispanic or Asian. Gillian had deep red hair, pale freckled skin, and green eyes, and I sometimes had the feeling that her outer prettiness represented a certain inner perfection I would never attain. We were waiting in a line in front of the library and for some reason I asked her how many times she had gotten detention. “Me? Detention? I’ve never gotten detention,” she said, raising an eyebrow. Her shock cut a wedge between us, as though her perfection and innocence were qualities I’d never recover. 39


ES Y E R NE I D U A L C

t n e S I

e m I was back home o H k c a where everyone was B r e t t e ...and everyone wasn’t L a no one answered everyone was somewhere

“I want to go back home” SPOKEN WORD - VIDEO

and now I’m somewhere else

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https://vimeo.com/148681817


SAAN KAYO NALIPATAN

Nica Aquino

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I used to write poems I used to write poems as a series of pasts. I realize now, poems are a reflection of my presents (presence). And that each poem threaded together composes a chapbook of me for generations for the future to unwield my stills of moments in time, my compositions of thoughts.

I imagine my future daughters and sons to deconstruct each line like sequences of code. Philosophical thought patterns intricately placed with specific rhyme schemes only understood like Iron Man prose, teleporting the reader or viewer into environments to explore in dreams and virtual and augmented realities.

The last time I went on stages and performed a lot I used to write poems about past loves broken pieces of my heart I tried so desperately to put back together how every time I would hear the beat of a song composed just for me I flashbacked to an old memory and the pain would come again and then fade away slowly like a decrescendo. I used to write poems about the loves I would imagine in my mind who I would be with like what qualifications they would have the lists of nonnegotiables and must-haves how the boys I loved before would play video games with me or how we would make hip hop tracks as often and as deeply as we would make love.

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I used to write poems about every struggle or revolution take on every fight with a verse attack it with plays on words to practice the concept of metaphor or literary device to convey a pun a message the punchline to rock the crowd and mic to get that call and response chant flowing to get that organizing call to action.


I used to write poems that were a reflection of who I would want to be An aspirational poem describing me as some tech CEO mom investor entrepreneur with a family And a firecracker energy of a daughter to play with 3D blocks to build her digital universes paint the sky sing the wind and mold the earth. I used to write poems that were a reflection of who I used to be Idealistic activist student filled with hope wanting change in 2008 Girl heartbroken wants guy to love her and be together forever Angry Asian girl broken and empowered and guilty from bruises and scars of abusive relationships 2010 til God knows when, how too recent of a time. I used to write poems idealize and glorify the 60s past commemorate the 80s 90s good times Then it became about my need to write poems Even write code that would make my dream of the Jetsons future a reality Any words or matrix of sequences that would Disrupt a train of thought

And I stopped Because some days I want to write poems to live in the now that frames the scene of me absorbing the sunlight and warm walks around a lake

that takes joy in sculpting pixels into beautiful form manipulating light and dark time and space and animate mixing sound to bring energy and atmosphere to film to use my tech to tell stories in new and not so obvious ways beyond gameplay or entertainment to make work fun again to live life fully

43


Some days I want to write poems about how I just love myself the universe Grateful for the intricacies that make me me make my family my family make my home my home and how lucky I am to live it This Silicon Valley privilege Filipino American strength anti-stereotypical woman of color atypical refusing to Hollywoodify my body to sell it off for parts and I treat it as a temple prize my mind and spirit to channel and share my energies with the world. This light radiance This free-thinking This grit hustler organizing nature that never leaves me This hunger to be better This need to relax! Need to just chill to that hip hop jazzy instrumental beat Need to stress less about diet cleanse Need to do that Netflix binge, Need to build during that hackathon sess and video game jam, instead of getting primped up for the club Engage with negative ass poser thinkin Tinder dating mentality shallow foursquare check-in social media obsessed game addicted to likes instead of being this disconnected from the physical world junkie. Some days I want to write poems for celebration not just for rallying cries for civic actions or death commemorations Like I’ve been asked to perform dozens of times throughout many stages I’ve traveled over the years

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Instead I want to write poems Simply for the love of life For all we have are what seems like endless strings of moments we can freeze in lines I used to write poems To capture stills in time Transcribed on pages Spoken at open mics Performed on various stages In between each poem I live life So when I perform It presents a new gift A newborn thought from all the lot of life I lived In between each poem I live life So when I perform It presents a new gift A newborn thought from all the lot of life I lived

A poem is a just a medium To share my life with you

words to describe moments on a page on a mic.

-Erin Jerri Malonzo Pangilinan

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REFLECTION NOITCELFER

BRANDON BASA ASAB NODNARB 46

A mirror image in eyes, hair, and habits The high pitch voice that sways all the girls Athletic and Competitive Gold Medals and Beers Sharpshooter from deep with bullseye aim 8-ball in, I was your prodigy You are just like your dad they all said But how can I be so similar to a man who lies and cheats and cripple the childhood of an innocent kid? Deception that played a kid’s mind like a Nintendo 64, fire that burned down a kids dream of love and family, the tsunami that raged from all of our eyes I became a guitar untuned, untouched. With no one to play me or hear me. Just put away in a case for no one to even notice. How can I be like you if I feel so alone while you feel another girl? How can I be like you if I hurt so much while you have the time of your life? How cancause I be a he mirror of areflection man whoasisme. breaking the glass? It’s funny has image the same This I cananever be apart of.your new son. But itmirror looks shattered, like you made new mirror with But it looks like you made a new mirror with This mirror shattered, I can never be apart of.your new son. It’s funny has image the same How cancause I be a he mirror of areflection man whoasisme. breaking the glass? How can I be like you if I hurt so much while you have the time of your life? How can I be like you if I feel so alone while you feel another girl? Just put away in a case for no one to even notice. With no one to play me or hear me. I became a guitar untuned, untouched. the tsunami that raged from all of our eyes fire that burned down a kids dream of love and family, Deception that played a kid’s mind like a Nintendo 64, and cheats and cripple the childhood of an innocent kid? But how can I be so similar to a man who lies You are just like your dad they all said 8-ball in, I was your prodigy Sharpshooter from deep with bullseye aim Gold Medals and Beers Athletic and Competitive The high pitch voice that sways all the girls in eyes, hair, and habits A mirror image


Ate, dig my skin and tell me one more time: “Ay, I’m such a bad sister...” Ate, dig my skin and tell me one more time “I’m sorry I pushed you away after your child passed away...” Ate, dig my skin and tell me one more god damn time: “We just dont share the same water anymore...” Ate. Are we not interwoven cloths? Are we not quilted with our parents dignity? Are we not sharing the same stitches? Are we not sharing the same wounds? Ate. I say I am hurting. Ate. You say you do not know how to hold... But Ate. little did we know that we are a shared people: a stitched skin, love built-in, evolving with the wind, reconciled kin, forgiveness over sin, People.

Ate ,d ig my ski n

BE

TTI

NA

FR

AN

CIS

CO

As much as we are unbearable, we are equally unbreakable. So, Ate. dig. my. skin. and you will find you.

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dear diary by angeli cabal dear diary, my mother has quit smoking for the second time. this means that she no longer sits outside in the shaded sun for her daily smokes and a side of vitamin D. and i no longer find her cigarette butts crushed cartons stashed away labeled HOPE. i used to forward her ominous smoking stats and relay dubious warnings, like: your cancer will come back. it will wake up in another part of your slumbering body. this time, it will turn all of the lights out. i was in the second grade when my mother found out she had cancer. we were still fumbling, wounded babies on cold, American pavement. i imagine the phone call. i imagine my mother holding in her sobs until she steps out into the sun. i imagine the sun beaming down on her on the darkest day of her life. “there is the fountain i cried at,” she points out to me. it is beautiful, old, and circular, right outside the entrance of where she used to work. “where i thought, ‘dear God, what will happen to my babies?’”

48


there is no second grade class on cancer. no one explained it to us. there was only my brother’s teacher, pulling us aside afterschool, asking us if our mother was okay. if we were okay. and we dumbly said yes. yes, we are okay. yes, our mother is okay. she shuts her door when she doesn’t want us to bear witness to her body’s betrayal. she doesn’t mention radiation. we hear her vomiting in the bathroom. she goes to the hospital and comes back sicker. and we do not yet know what any of this means. so yes. yes. we are okay. because no means death. no means something even more unfathomable. dear diary: my soft, strong mother survived and i think i was asleep for it. now there is a black ring where her ash tray used to live. bad habits always leave behind their shadows. but my mother no longer sits outside. she no longer looks up at our eucalyptus trees and thinks about how tall they’ve grown. and how she’s lived long enough to measure. how beautiful and wild and hopeful. how sad and terrifying and sweet. yes, we are okay. yes. yes. yes.

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Dear Anak

by Jazlynn Gabrielle Eugenio Pastor

A visual ethnography on the lasting impact of colonization and imperialism.

One day, I will tell my anak: I am sorry. I am sorry that the moment you leave my womb, you will be colonized. You will have an American first name with Spanish last names. As your hair is being washed for the first time, your mouth will be scrubbed too. Your Mother tongue will cease to exist from that day on because mine was cut off too. You will pray to the God they address as “Him” and “Father,” forgetting we had a “She” we called “Bathala” in the beginning. My kaluluwa was ripped out of me, and the Holy Spirit was shoved down my throat. You will wonder why you are drawn to the Earth while you sit inside the Church. When our people did not take the cross, we took the sword. You will not know how the sky is the realm for our deities and gods. You will not know the Moon goddess is Mayari; that Haik is the god of the sea; that the trees are filled with Diwatas;

50


that Kapwa will be what connects us once you leave my womb because “I am not me without you.” You will be born into a world that will not tell you these things, and for that I am sorry. But I promise I will tell you in stories.

I am sorry you will have to scavenge for your culture like I did. You will have to dig deep to discover our roots and wait for family parties to taste our foods. You will have to search through bookstores and museums to find the artifacts made by our people. You will have to turn corners to find the hidden streets named after our heroes. You will have to write down and record everything you know because you will not learn of these things in your classrooms. Our history has been overwritten with Alibata instead of Baybayin. The delicacy of our homeland has been commercialized, calling “Ube” the “new Matcha,” calling our womxn “Miss Universe” when they used to call us “dog-eaters.” calling our curls “exotic” and our colonized bodies “Mestizx.” calling us “Mail Brides” to fulfill male needs. People have stepped on my back, and I have carried them. I have fought hard to keep our resistance alive – to decolonize our minds. I will share with you all that I have, and I hope it will be enough so that one day when you

51


find the treasures made by people who look like you, you will feel empowered and whole. You will be born into a world that will take our ethnicity for granted, and for that I am sorry. But I promise I will show you the “pearls of the Orient.”

I am sorry that the most you may get from your homeland will come in Balikbayan boxes. I will not know all of Papang Mariano‘s stories of how he grew up in the Philippines. You will have to work 10 times harder in school because of your skin. Mama Judy will tell you college stories that you will not know of its location. Please be patient when we are at the airport sending off our pamilya; value those hugs and thank them for the pasalubongs they bring back. There will be times when we will have to be on the frontline for our communities, but I will be standing there beside you. These are the tales I will tell you – Of when I thought of you long before you were born, Because I know my Mother thought of how she would love me one day too. These are the trials you will face as a Pilipinx. These are the trials you will face being brown. These are the trials you will have to face, but our family has faced them before.

52


And I promise, you will persevere. You will be resilient. You will rise. You will be born into a world that will not honor your Pinxyism, and for that I am sorry. But I promise, I will celebrate your life every day.

53


This is a story about colonialism Look at my body Do you not see my landscape in a background of war and love greed and charity destruction and salvation corruption and purity In my flesh lie the deep rooted voices of varying spirits and their truths Moving mountains where people pray for grand, big mountains to be moved From my mountains flow the milk that heals all of those broken roots Bittersweet, suka(vinegar) and honey, come flying pesky flies to my milky pools

"Philippines: The Body"

I have been tainted as they touch my virgin lands with foreign tongues & they pollute My native air With the sour smell Of Spanish & English Rum We drink their poison Consume their customs Until we pay with beads and gold And then we sell Our natives sister For native brothers Whose souls are sold mixing foreign blood In my native veins with foreign weapons for foreign gods My native blood Sheds warm like rain & down virgin legs

Poetry by Angel Li

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The streams run hot But no one feels My body's pain I lower my face as I lift my skirt I wear a veil To hide my shame So that my children Don't know I hurt I am a foreigner In my own body As cancer spreads The blood now stains A young body Copes with the trauma The trauma of A young body's rape Now stained The robes of Catholic monks American Army uniforms Broken hymens & broken dreams Of boys and girls In a body torn numb to hurt I'm numb to how how I have changed A different whole Because although you rape this body (x2) I wear my chastity in my soul that although this body was soiled By the spoils of an Imperialistic romance The white man's burden Has left this body To decay into fertile land In it grows roots With new tongues, New stories, And new truths


The young will climb into my caves Lifting a veil of the past Before these Cobble roads were paved Before my people inherited kingdoms from a foreign spirit thrust Upon this body Force-fed and tortured With the words White God we trust Before when gold paved this Brown beautiful landscape Before this love was shamed By european modesty We fought like warriors Yet we were hunted like beasts There will be no peace, no harmony As long as my children starve in city streets As long as my children take their own lives As long as my children are taught to hate their own As long as my young are raised with foreign lies As long as my heart should feel the sword My children carry their crosses only to be crucified As long as my children know where they come from This body Oh this body! Oh this beautiful.. Torn Torrid Scarred Strong Brown Body Will never... Never... Never die

"Life before my ma came to America"

Cartoon by Malaka Gharib

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Dear Pinays Bleed‌ When we scream our throats get slit.. When we dream our bodies abruptly a w a k e n And when we seek our destiny we find it being held captive to our families prophecies..

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Bettina Francisco

How do we fight for our bodies when we are only given a double edged sword that slits our skin open every time we are on battlegrounds‌


v

Self-Portrait Nica Aquino 57


buKas - Say It MAUREEN G. ABUGAN

ACT I, SCENE 8: SAY IT All the Pinayz come together. Larissa, Gabriela, Constance, Keyshia, Sheryl, Mylene, Emelda and Ymelda are standing in a line, facing the audience.

GABRIELA And the day came-

LARISSA When the risk it tookEMELDA To remain tight YMELDA And closed SHERYL In the bud CONSTANCE Was more painful MYLENE Than the riskKEYSHIA It took to bloom. EMELDA & YMELDA More painfulMYLENE More painful than the risk SHERYL It took to bloom. Pause. SHERYL To change

58

KEYSHIA, MYLENE, CONSTANCE, GABRIELA, LARISSA, EMELDA, YMELDA (excessively polite and animated to Sheryl) Oh hi Share-ill! How’s it going? SHERYL Not this town, not this house. (beat) AloneSHERYL, YMELDA & EMELDA In a crowded room (beat)

SHERYL There is no hierarchy in pain. But it feels as though I’m the only one feeling it. (beat) You must not be HEARING me! SHERYL Sometimes I feel like whenALL WE GABRIELA areCONSTANCE supposedLARISSA toEMELDA be-


YMELDA talking,

KEYSHIA Now what

SHERYL It is just-

LARISSA Now what

SHERYL & MYLENE ME

YMELDA & EMELDA Now what?

SHERYL who is talking.

Pause.

MYLENE How did this happen? KEYSHIA, GABRIELA, CONSTANCE, LARISSA, YMELDA & EMELDA Word. Pause. CONSTANCE (with swag) EXCUSE my ambiguity (beat) sittin around large rectangular sets of tables with different groups of people talkin about everythin you could want but nothin you could do. sittin around a large circle of chairs with the same group of people talkin about -isms and feelins about society and intensity goin crazy, bein real and callin us all out as crazyGABRIELA, LARISSA, MYLENE, SHERYL, YMELDA & EMELDA PG! CONSTANCE -tches. (beat) Women who keep oppressin each other for the dumbestYMELDA Shooooot! CONSTANCE When it shouldn’t be that way. Pause.

GABRIELA Making mistakes learning from said mistakes, and changing actions from said learning. MYLENE YouLARISSA, SHERYL, YMELDA & EMELDA WEMYLENE have the power to do so much. GABRIELA So much KEYSHIA (softly) Power... CONSTANCE Bein inspired and rejuvenated by ME. Loving ME, Owning ME. SHERYL Me. MYLENE Me. GABRIELA (more mouse-like/scared/ surprised than confused) Me? The other Pinayz turn on Gabriela. They close in on her, yelling and acting as her family members.

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LARISSA What do you mean you’re busy? SHERYL What are you always doing there anyway? CONSTANCE You’re a girl, you’re not supposed to do those things! GABRIELA (barely audible) Please stop... I’m just trying toMYLENE Why are you dressed like that, huh?

GABRIELA I’m fine. KEYSHIA It’s fine. From their respective positions on stage, everyone stands up. ALL We’re fine. Pause.

YMELDA & EMELDA You’re doing it all wrong!

LARISSA I read it somewhere. Of a woman,

GABRIELA No! I didn’t mean to-

GABRIELA & CONSTANCE Coping.

Gabriela closes her eyes and covers her ears, retreating into a ball. Keyshia snaps out of her “performance/other” trance, and moves out of the line. She yells at the others.

LARISSA She would wake up with rhinestones etched on the corners of her mouth.

KEYSHIA Wait! She didn’t do anything! Are you even listening to her?!

LARISSA I wish they were rhinestones.

GABRIELA Stop yelling! Keyshia goes to Gabriela’s side, touching her shoulder. Gabriela flinches. KEYSHIA Gabriela... GABRIELA I’m okay.

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CONSTANCE, LARISSA, SHERYL & MYLENE Gabriela...

KEYSHIA, GABRIELA & CONSTANCE They feel more like white flags. (beat)

Pause. KEYSHIA Why don’t I like it when people ask me how my day’s going? EMELDA I don’t wanna say anything of substance to you because what you’re doin and sayin makes me feel very much hurt and sad and sometimes angry but I-


YMELDA Don’t wanna put myself out there as vulnerable to you be cause I’m afraid of you judgin me and thinkin badly of me and well damn. KEYSHIA, MYLENE & SHERYL It’s scary bein real. Fade in Explosions In The Sky - Inside It All Feels The Same. KEYSHIA Inside, it allKEYSHIA, YMELDA & EMELDA Feels the same. Pause. Gabriela steps forward.

Pinayz continue to step forward, with each person moving further apart from one another.

GABRIELA Ako, si Gabriela. (beat) CONSTANCE Constance. I, am a proud sista. LARISSA Larissa. I bleed strength into my words. I am conviction.

KEYSHIA (beat) Keyshia. (beat) I am reclaiming my voice. My fear, my hurt, my sad, my mad, my hate, my Pause. GABRIELA, CONSTANCE, LARISSA, MYLENE WillGABRIELA, CONSTANCE, LARISSA, MYLENE, YMELDA & EMELDA power. KEYSHIA (to herself) Will power. Is that even what I need right now? “Power”? (beat) I don’t think it is. KEYSHIA I need love. ALL

I need love.

KEYSHIA Will love. That’s what I need. Lights.

Mid-scene transition to modern lyrical dance.

YMELDA Ymelda. I, go there. Every second. Every minute.

Quick change as stage crew removes set, except for Keyshia’s jacket which is left onstage.

MYLENE Mylene. I cry because I care. I care because I cry.

Dancers enter. Cue modern lyrical. Dance ends.

EMELDA Eh-melda. I, bring it. Every hour. Every day.

Keyshia returns to the stage to retrieve her jacket.

SHERYL Sheryl. I, will not, cannot, refuse to be forgotten.

Lights.

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Aaron Hipolito Aaron Hipolito In Mind InAaron MyMy Mind Hipolito

In My Mind

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I’m currently living through a college student’s version of a midlife crisis (midundergrad, in this case), filled to the brim with existential dread. And as generic and cliche of a self-observation as that is, it is one that is incredibly consistent and real. Constant examinations about the reality of being and the truth never cease to arouse my imagination, to the point where it manifests itself into distraction. I have yet to even reach my second decade & fears of supposed incoming catastrophe and paranoia seem to plague and stagnate much of my inner being. I know that regardless of the happenings of the world, I have to continue to create and uphold a certain work ethic in order to achieve in what I believe in. But it’s hard. It’s so damn hard. Self-doubt and deprecation, the insecurity, and falling into the trap of thinking this all is pointless is easy. It’s as hard as trying to cut off the brief, addictive, spike of dopamine that social media grants. It is as hard, as it is easy to fall into the depression that that same social media allows for. How does a platform that’s sole purpose is to enhance social interaction serve to divide us even further? The growth of social media and the advent of Donald Trump’s presidency (as well as the events leading up to it) have only served to layer atop the incessant pondering of existentialism. It adds a colossal weight to my already nomadic mind. The instantaneous stream of news, political opinion, memes, and the toxicity of it all deters in volumes and serves to curb my own sense of wonder and imagination, and I can’t seem to grab hold of focus. I want to immerse myself in life and passionate work already, without reservations. I’m tired of the anxiety. I’m tired of living in fear of the future, and I want to be ready to face the world head on. I’m coming to grips with the world being the way it is. In what way can I contribute to the cause? How can my actions make a difference? And in what way can I execute this vision? How can I help create dialogue? My mind is erratic. To quote Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram, “I was interested in everything and committed to nothing.” One moment I’ll be immersed in the rich lyrical and musical content of Frank Ocean’s Blonde, seeing sounds & painting visions of creating emotionally piercing works of music. Then, I’ll look to everything Donald Glover is doing and think about becoming supremely proficient in writing art and music just as he is. Contrary to that, I’ll sometimes take a step in a different direction, watch one of Elon Musk’s presentations on making the human race multi-planetary,


And I haven’t even started on Donald Trump. Life is truly something else. Here’s to 2017, everyone.

take a step in a different direction, watch one of Elon Musk’s presentations on making the human race multi-planetary, and thoughts of changing my major to gravitate toward aiding in the further discovery of our vast universe appear. Hell, the activism of my peers led to an introductory Public Policy class and consider a minor. They all inspire, and I want to do work that is great enough to inspire others. And I deeply understand that these are all questions that I have to answer for myself and decisions that I have to make for myself. I know I can’t do everything, but why does the world have to be so interesting? It all gets muddled sometimes. I’ve been talking a lot to my dad lately and he says that I think too big and too much. I do have a tendency to overthink ambition to the point of inaction. At times, I’ll start something, but be afraid to fully invest time in it because I’m afraid it’ll divert time away from other interests. This mentality is madness, pure madness, and I’m trying to break free. I’m still learning how to believe in myself. Much of this frustration stems from the nature of instant gratification that social media has been embedded within me, and the distraction that it has become. It has regressed me to insecurity. Of cheap means of approval in the image of a pixelated heart. The sea of depression memes that seek to deflate the mood or rile up the individual. The hesitance of even adding the previous line due to the sheer lunacy of that observation. It teaches how speak generalities and summary into black and white, instead of paying attention to detail and seeking the gray. Social media is the central hub for the world’s anguish, self realization of absurdity, and feeds the anxiety of human beings. It teaches others even further how to hate because of differing ideals and beliefs, instead of productively communicating empathetically with other human beings. Emotion and the truth cannot always be conveyed in 140 characters. It relegates serious feelings and issues to parody. It is not an intuitive form of communication, therefore making connection between others cumbersome. But its easy. And its addicting. The world is and has always been a messy place, and staring at the fires of the world, without proper context and education, will only paralyze and distract one from putting out those fires. It causes individuals to become misinformed about not only the issues of the world, but the reality of how people are truly wired. It breeds narcissism by allowing users to become self absorbed with their online personas, and their thirst for approval from other people comes at the expense of one’s sense of self. Its becoming too important and it’s making people dislike each other. I’m guilty of it all myself. The simplest thing would be to delete everything, but what about everyone else? How can I help everyone else? It is truly a conundrum that stagnates and distracts. I just want to learn how to focus again.

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LEAGUES WE LONG

Camille Hoffman

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S E R E M O N Y A SHERWIN RIO

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A Dream I live With Caeli Benson

I don’t remember when I started running. I’m trapped in a maze with a man who wants to kill me. I round each possible corner trying to shake him, But he is always a few paces behind me. My body comes to a halt in front of a yellow traffic sign that reads “DEAD END.” And then he is there. He doesn’t break the silence between us. My heart pounds through my chest, screams RUN. But my feet are planted to the ground, Rooted in a paralyzing fear. He lets out a sigh as he walks over, As if he’s about to embrace an old friend. My eyes well up, blurring his frame. He runs his fingers where my tears would fall, Then clenches my throat in his hands.

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The first year, I shrunk into the freshman that fell for him. Even after he continuously talked down to me, Picked at my insecurities Like the apple he took from my hand that day, Biting into it before giving me the remnants. That night, I held back my tears, kept my cries in my throat Until I could shut myself in the bathroom. I spat out his chewed gum, his parting gift to me, Brushed my teeth and tongue until I threw up the Denny’s. The mirror reflected the self-hate I shoved into my loose clothing. I made a run for my room. Lied to my parents, told them I was just tired. Deleted his number from my phone, removed the battery so it wouldn’t ring. Moved my bed away from the window so the tree didn’t look like his body staring down at me. Screamed into my pillow and cried myself to sleep.

The first year, I kept the events of that night to myself. Never put the words “sexual” and “assault” in the same sentence This is only a dream, my mind assures me, To describe what happened in his car. If you want to wake up, open your eyes. When I began to talk about it, I made it as fairytale as posMy eyelids are heavy and refuse to open. sible. My body shuts off the circuits to limbs that would fight back So when my friends called it “just a bad time,” I resorted And my lungs give up the rest of the air they have, paying to silence again. a ransom they can’t afford. It used to be so easy to wake up; The last thing I remember was the smirk on his face. My body would jolt awake at any sign of him. I wake up to a November sunset in a room 87 miles away When thoughts of him kept me awake, from him. I questioned why I blamed myself for not fighting back I begin to recover the air I lost in the dream. Instead of him for taking what wasn’t his to begin with. His presence lingers in a room he’s never stepped in, will never step in The second year, the nightmares were no longer conYet I feel unsafe in my own skin. fined to my bed. They followed me on walks to campus. It’s no coincidence this boy has occupied my nightmares I could hear his tone in men’s voices who told me to For the past three years. smile more, His voice, his glare could yank the lightness out of my heart. Listed the things they’d do to me while I was waiting to His hands were spiders, making my skin crawl cross the street, And leaving bruises where they touched me. Called me a bitch when I didn’t acknowledge their “compliments.”


I heard his misogyny in the voices of women Who thought it was a bummer that a frat lost their partying privileges Due to a sexual assault case against them. She said, “It’s messed up they’re being punished for something women lie about all the time.” And I couldn’t find the strength to tell her “No” then either. That year, I started to find a strength in myself. It wasn’t perfect, but it was mine. I found it in my voice when my brother blamed “female privilege” For my father losing his job after a coworker accused him of sexual harassment. I laughed sarcastically, “Women are damned if they report, and damned if they don’t.”

I began to accept the pain for what it was, and refused to let it define me. When he invaded my dreams, I would turn on the light and search for a pen and paper. I wrote down everything I needed to say. I scribbled in the pages of math notebooks and used envelopes Until I could no longer hold the pen. I would read it in front of the mirror. I could hear my voice shaking, stumbling on each syllable. His voice would pop into my head, critiquing every grammatical error I made. I looked up at the mirror and my reflection smiled back, Encouraging me to finish on my own terms.

That summer was filled with countless arguments about My reflection soon took on the faces of my friends, feminism. Who taught me to accept my truths before I looked My brother argued, “You weren’t even a feminist until you for it in others. went to Berkeley.” Who never let the conversation end at the words And when I told him I was sexually assaulted, let him hear “sexual assault.” the pain in my voice, I found love in survivors who held me up when the He put his hands over his ears, “Not listening.” weight became too much. He asked if I reported it, then called me “nothing more Who told me my voice was the only weapon I’d ever than a statistic” when I said I didn’t. need. My father asked, “Why are you so quiet?” I lifted at the corners of the Band-Aid that kept my mouth closed, The pain still healing, and I told him. My father shrugged, as if “boys will be boys” was his defense for my brother. And I never felt as alone as I did the last few months of high school. This past year, I tried drowning every thought of him in the alcohol I consumed, Inhaled smoke to fill the air with a substance less toxic than he was. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t control when the triggers showed up. I felt like his hands were on my throat again, Suffocating in a room with everyone as my witness.

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FLIGHT HOME FROM THE SUPERMARKET

DENNIS ANDREW AGUINALDO

Sit t ight, now Discolorat ion is a t h i ng How t hey ought to behave “Imag i ne i f I took it w it h you” Black, wet eyes Consider i ng t he papaya From t he i nside cool.

9 PM CHIT-CHAT AT THE SECRET CLINIC

DENNIS ANDREW AGUINALDO

Used d iapers a re buns A nd t he opposite of bread Her u nder wea r should n’ t ta ke a l i fet i me to dr y L iqu ids a ren’ t created equal as Only God ’s had per fect t i m i ng Don’ t play ha rd to get yoursel f It ’s not called a wa iver for not h i ng Look a l ight source i n t he mout h

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Jökull

JONATHON LEWIS

Eyes to the wind, I watch your hands skip stones across the rippling sky. Behind the lake with iceberg clouds, the glacier lays its massive paws and scores the shore with cobalt claws. I turn to find you on a cairn, calmly perched, an elf on its porch. “I used to work trails in Vermont,” you say. All the posted signs forbade us to pass. The great jökull looms, glowing under dirt like a giant black fox with a white tail. “Some hikers are dumb and don’t read,” you add. “If we push on, then we’re the dumb hikers.” Our shoes pause at the sharp crevasse split by sparring trolls, the tales say. Below us, the luminous mirrored sky; you reach for my hand, we sink into wind.

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A very Y eat m a n

And when i love wome n we climb mountains, when i love we reach o men we fly ur hands ba high like Ica ck to lift eac ru s h other to th , his arms b When i hav ri e summit n g in e loved wo g m e c loser and c men we ha lo se v r e smiled in to the burn And in fron silence for h ing sun and t of men m o melting wa u rs y hand raise x s to cover m Under any y m o u th influence m y body spe lls your nam I have neve e with desire r met a wom , floods my an i didn’t o mouth with ne day find pheromone And i see b b e a s and moan u ti ful, even in eautiful wo s envy men everyd ay And my min d does not follow men in the stree I guess i thin t home to a k of you tou sk them ho ching me w their day went just to But not only catch their with your h eyes ands, there ’s e y e s a n And every e d thoughts mbrace is b and words urned into m y sk in, and the But women fire is douse do not seek d with your to burn me sweat and sp They sooth it and seme e me like alo n e once i’ve sp e nt too long I wish i nee baking in yo ded only th ur eclipse em.

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QUEER TRANSNATIONAL LOVE in the time of SOCIAL MEDIA AND GLOBALIZATION A film by Adrian Ellis Alarilla

“In this theoretical study in video form, the filmmaker analyzes the possibilities and unsustainability of queer, transnational love. Using found footage, he retraces the story of his love with the research subject in an effort to work through the trauma of ending a relationship.” Watch at: https://vimeo.com/210015797/34435a4425

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Every Character Was

Him

by Zosimo Quibilan, Jr. He didn’t give it much thought when he first heard it. He had a slight buzz after all. His mind was busy making mental note not to wash down Bulleit Rye with Ballast Point IPA Sculpin Habaùero again. At least hold off of the rye for once. Or ignore the hipster brews and just guzzle on good old Miller Lite. But there's no end to that distinct sound. A few minutes later, the hisses coming from the showerhead started to become more audible. He would hear a few words here and there but he couldn't be sure. As the words flowed more frequently, he decided to take a few deep breaths and later on concentrated on the sound of water spraying, crashing. Sure enough, the hisses turned out to be distinct voices - children chanting nursery rhymes as if they were playing around the next block.

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They were laughing and screaming. Having the time of their lives just like when they have fun without any grownups in sight. The rhythm suggested they were skipping ropes or playing some rounds of hysterical hopscotch. They were counting. They were telling each other stories that he made up as a kid. Red Dragonfly with Three Blue Wings. A Fish Pen Tilapia After a Storm. The Headless Political Activist Under The No U-Turn Sign. The Boy Who Wore Dirt For Basketball Games and its sequel Mudkicks to the Championship. He knew every single character in these stories and every character was him. The voices called him every time the name of a character was uttered. He moved slightly out of the spray and the voices died down. He could still hear them but now the sound was faint. He stepped away, waded through the water that had collected and submerged his feet completely. He was making another mental note to pour Drano into the sink later when he started hearing the water crashing to the flooded bathroom floor. The sound was louder, duller as if the stagnant water was a thick soup. Water trickled down from his hair, arms before crashing below. Again, the sound started to turn into voices – teenagers at a rave beatboxing different beats all at the same time. They sounded like techno music from the late 90s. Drum and Bass. House. Acid. Relentless Darkambient. He listened to the cacophony of beats and voices, periodically moving under and away from the showerhead. It was found music. Recovered memory. The rhythm guided him. It told him to squirt shampoo first before the conditioner. It told him to turn the knob a few notches to the left. It gave him the sensation that the water was changing color. The light flickered a different hue each time opened his eyes after soaping and rinsing and soaping again. The bathroom seemed to expand exponentially. He thought the water was rising higher and he panicked. He didn’t realize that he was lying on the floor and the foam of the body wash covered him like a blanket. The same one he carried everywhere since he was a toddler up until he became a teenager. The blanket was warm and fuzzy. It drowned out the sounds and only then he felt relieved.

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End Date by Jonathan Lewis

He scribbles her birthday on the napkin between the pack of camel reds and the coffee cup. Waits. Thinks. Her full birthday. Ink on paper. Then, with reluctant ceremony, he adds the date of her passing. He contemplates it, and then proceeds with a minus to solve the equation of a person. 24 years. He doesn’t like the answer so he tries the math again: this time with exactitude. It buys her months, several weeks, a few days. It’s not right. She’s still reduced to numbers. ~ What’s strange is her not being here. He blinks hard, unscrews the pen in his hands. It’s not like she’s in New York, or in Paris. He laughs. Eyes water while he laughs. It’s not like she’s thousands of miles away from me. One hand grabs the other. I can’t know that her heart is beating somewhere on this earth. Eyes unfocus. Fingertips drum the tabletop. Because if it were anything else – He grits his teeth. I could deal with this. Cold breath exhales through teeth. I can deal with this.

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A city knows it must return. The trains are full, conductors skip the tunnels where bodies lay entombed in rubble. Commuters board double-deckers not unlike the bus that drove yesterday, became a burnt-out shell; today it’s a memorial displayed in the jagged road, ensconced in barricades to hold back crowds or hold passengers now gone. Flags are at half-mast. Carry on. The rainy summer afternoon brings a woman to Trafalgar Square, three hundred pigeons in her hair as they swoop toward the bursts of seed falling and beaks darting and the endless scurrying feet. The small ones circle round her lightly brushing past her raincoat with their rectrices and pebbled feet. A sudden signal inspires each bird to take flight, and the noise is percussive: thumping of a million pigeons beating up a frenzied wind that whips past her face and coat with wings, and wings, and wings. A woman stands alone, listening as the city shares its song. Carry on.

London: July 8, 2005 by Jonathan Lewis

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Flies and Milk Genevieve Aguinaldo

“We’re late”, she says as she ushers her husband into an empty seat. She just had a child. Barely a week old. And though it was still painful to walk, she manages to bring her husband and sleeping baby to hear mass. It was her chance to give thanks for the life God has decided to extend. She had but two hours of sleep. Her husband, three. Their baby had kept them awake, for feeding did not come easy. Her breasts are now swollen, nipples cracked and wounded. Even the slightest touch of fabric makes her cringe. Nevertheless, bottle-feeding was not an option. She too, looked for an empty seat and started to feed before her baby started to cry. She tried covering herself with a cloth diaper as she listened to the remaining part of the Homily. She was aware of the sudden movement near her. The man beside her coughed. Someone rolled his eyes, and someone else suddenly needed something outside. While she continued to feed, parts of her breast and side exposed, her eyes fell on four church ushers who were carrying shawls. They were roaming around the church like flies on meat. She was surprised when one of them looked at her and started to whisper at the other usher. She decided to ignore them and focus on the mass as each look made her uncomfortable.

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When it was time for the communion, she gave her child to her husband and joined the others who will receive the host. It was then that she saw the ushers. Each one near the laymen and priest slowly folding and unfolding their shawls. When she was near the priest, one of them wrapped a shawl around her shoulder. “You need a bra to receive God.”, the usher whispered in her ear and left. She could feel the usher’s triumphant smirk on her shoulders. Managing to bring back her dignity, she dropped the shawl on the floor and faced the priest. He was caught off-guard and for a second she knew that he was searching for his ushers. “The body of christ”, he said obviously annoyed. “Amen,” she said with indignation. With all the fuss at home, she had put on a white shirt instead of a darker one that she already prepared. Fighting back her tears,she went back to her seat, ushered her sleepy husband outside the church. She will continue her prayers at home. Before the final blessing, the priest reminded everyone of the dress code in church.

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In the Absence of Light by Heather De Guia Aguilar Just keep going There is a glimmer within Filtering through the darkness Conquering the shade Awakening joy and spirit Hope and love The quiet roar Nestled at the Base of your tongue Beckoning for you

To live who you are. Your heart beats, brave one Your soul has been fighting For generations, brave one And when morning comes The sun will melt into your skin Like crimson branches Beaming in the horizon Scars shift and rise like ashes.

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Breathe in You are alive Breathe out You are beautiful Each breath You are powerful Every minute You are enough Every day You keep going Because freedom Is born in moments We persist Where we demand to be heard Where we demand to be seen Where color radiates from our being Restoring the world with life You keep going Breathing love and light.


Bless Our Own Braids

By Avery Yeatman

Only there are nights where you must call upon your own hands to braid your own hair and smooth it down all the while; when it relies on others hands it can grow wild from neglect You laugh loudest in a crowd And cry long, spindly tears alone But rub your own eyes and pinch your own cheeks Find the time to find yourself in the mirror, no matter how long it takes Don’t give up on your reflection, even if she only began to love you recently But when foreign hands reach out to tangle your locks in their fingers, remember your own braids first, then relax your head into their blossoming fists

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L A I R T A Y T I T N E D I IN by MOLLY OLIS KROST

Whenever I meet someone new there is a test. Questions are posed and my answers are their evidence. They try to uncover the truth of “what” I am and make a sweeping declaration of their final judgement.

EXHIBIT A: I am a cautious six-year- old, warily approaching the stand of yogurt samples in the middle of a Costco aisle. I have my mom standing dutifully by my side in case I am faced with rejection and need someone to argue on my behalf. Bearing a striking resemblance to “Boo” from Monster’s Inc., I look up at hairnet-clad woman. “Excuse me, may I have one?” I ask.

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The woman smiles down at me. She gently responds that she would need to see my mother first before she was able to give me one. I stare back, brows furrowed. Feeling my mom’s arm brush against my own, I know that she is definitely standing as close to me as she possibly can. While I continue to stare up at the woman, utterly dumbfounded, my mom clears her throat. The Costco employee glances at her. She looks between my dark-skinned Filipina mother and her fair-skinned daughter a few times before realizing that we were indeed mother and daughter. “Oh dear! I am so sorry!” she apologizes. She tries to rectify her mistake by graciously handing me three yogurts. I have absolutely no idea how I’ve gone from being denied to being given as many free samples as my small hands can carry. My mom brushes off the incident and by the time I have thrown away the empty sample cups I too have forgotten the odd exchange with Costco employee.

...

If it were left up to those I have met, I would be White. I would be Asian American. I would be neither.

My mixed-race identity is a continual learning process. Every day there is something I question about myself.

But when I am constantly in doubt of myself, that is when I am most vulnerable for those to impose themselves onto my weakness.

... 81


EXHIBIT B: I am an awkward twelve-year- old, rushing to my science class as the side bangs I had cut myself continue to fall across my cheek. I am walking alone, preoccupied with mundane thoughts of cello practice and which Panic! At the Disco song to feature on my Myspace. Along the way, I see a boy, who will be referred to on this record as C. I have known C since the third grade, we met at an elementary school program for precocious children that would rather analyze short stories and construct Rube Goldberg machines than have recess. This coming June we will spend the summer emailing each other Youtube videos that we think are funny. But today, C notices me and yells “Hey, JEW!� I stop in the middle of the hallway, look back at him at the top of the stairs, and watch him perform the Nazi salute and then march to his locker. At the time, I had continued walking, maybe even trying to brush it off with a laugh. Two years later, I stand in front of my high school English class and recall the incident with shaking hands clutched to pages of my journal. After I finish I begin to sob. When class is finished no one, not even my teacher, says anything to me and I proceed to third period P.E.

...

There will always be someone arguing for what I am or what I should be. There will always be a person in power imposing onto us what they perceive us to be.

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... EXHIBIT C: I am a tired seventeen-year-old, standing impatiently in line at Target, ready to pay for whatever necessities I have deemed important. Just as she did when I was six, my mom stands dutifully by my side, silently waiting as I swipe my card. As a small gesture of motherly love, she attempts to grab my items that are bagged and waiting by the register so she can carry them for me. The second my mom picks up the two, limp plastic bags the cashier stares daggers at her and demands to know what she is doing. This time it is my mom who is utterly dumbfounded, staring back with wide-eyes. The cashier continues in her accusatory tone: “Those are not your items, ma’am.” Her hand is on the intercom button, practically ready to convict. “She’s umm, No, no! She’s….she’s my!” My mom attempts explain but is fumbling in her response. Silence. But you can see the gears shift in the young cashier. “OH! You’re with her. I didn’t realize you were together!” Her ponytail bounces as she forces out a laugh. Having received no apology or actual acknowledgement of what she perceived out relationship to be, we quickly make the least awkward exit we can. On the drive home my mom is laughing endearingly about the whole ordeal while I in the passenger seat can’t seem to find it in me to see the humor of what had transpired.

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... I used to wonder if I would ever understand my identity. Now I wonder if I will ever have to confidence to defend the identity I have finally come to know

... Introducing to the record,

EXHIBIT D:

I am twenty-two and again I am cautious. I have just graduated college and am spending the summer in Ireland before I must face the daunting world of unemployment and graduate school applications. I’m at a Dublin flea market with a friend, browsing a t-shirt stand, when the owner, and elderly man, approaches us. The conservations begins how it normally has all summer, with him noticing our American accents and asking where we are from. “California.” I tell him while picking up a tank top with a picture of David Bowie smoking a cigarette. “Aaah, so are you Mexican?” At this point my friend begins to slowly inch away from him and his stand. “No.” I respond. “So, what are you then?” He asks. “I’m Filipino.” I tell him, wondering if this tank top is worth continuing this conversation.

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“But that’s not all you are, right?” Even in the charming Irish accent this question still stings. “No, my father is Jewish.” Now I know that this tank top is not worth continuing this conversation. “Aha!” He declares, mouth spreading into a toothy grin. “I knew it! You were trying to trick me!” Yep, he got me. My sole goal was to pull one over on this stranger running this booth and now I was caught in the act. I’m the guilty one. I do not say that to him. Instead I give a polite smile as he continues to tell my friend and I a “joke” about Filipinos, which was really an observation he made about a group of tourists who once sat in front of his booth. As we finally left, I wondered if the people in his “joke” were even Filipino.

... These are not the only pieces of evidence and they will not be the last. These situations may never change but what will change is me. A common thread throughout these encounters is my silence. I used to keep silent in order to avoid conflict. But I am learning that conflict may be a necessary prerequisite for justice. In order to stand strong and in solidarity, I must not be afraid to defend myself and those I fight with.

My identity is a trial. And I am learning how to control the verdict.

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Excerpt from The Hour of Daydreams, by Renee Macalino Rutledge Manolo watched his new bride and felt like he had stolen the luck of the gods. He sat at the breakfast table with one leg crossed over the other and a newspaper spread across his lap. He pretended to read, but in truth, Manolo hadn’t absorbed one word. He was too busy noticing that even in a simple housedress and slippers, with her long hair tied back, Tala was beautiful. Mother sat to his right, nodding and smiling eagerly when Tala offered to butter her roll or serve her another slice of fruit. Ever since Tala had moved in, Mother came to breakfast with her silver hair combed and her jewelry on. She’d coached Tala on how to thaw the breakfast meat, brew the coffee to perfection, and season the garlic rice just the way the men liked it. She was delighted to see how well her instructions were followed as her daughter-in-law took to handling everything. Father, whose habit had been to sleep through breakfast, sat with them every morning with a newfound appetite. Manolo never anticipated this change in his parents, who seemed to have reawakened into the carriage of their bodies, into their awareness of each other and the pleasures of being catered to. It wasn’t just his marrying that sparked this transformation—it was Tala. He was sure because the burning inside began the first time he saw her, and he saw the fire’s glow reflected in his parents’ cheeks, a bright sheen disguised as sweat. But Manolo could not flip himself inside out as the old ones had done, let the fire out of his skin so she could know how deeply it consumed him. He sat behind the shield of his paper, grunting or nodding when Tala refilled his coffee cup or offered him another serving of food. He didn’t look up into her eyes, but lingered on the delicate slimness of her wrist.

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Behind the guise of reading, he didn’t miss a single sigh or syllable. He knew whose feet tapped beneath the table or scuffled across the floor, which plate was licked clean and which was still halffull. Without looking at their faces, he could even tell when one of them was smiling. He listened to their words, some running on at full speed, others peppered by interjections or emphasized with a familiar squeal, a knowing grunt, or an unexpected snort that turned into combined laughter even he could not resist partaking in. His parents relished every attention from their new daughter-in-


law. Tala teased Mother and Father, calling them the newlyweds because of the way they sat, with their chairs touching. Like sweethearts, Tala said. Father proudly placed his arm around Mother’s shoulder, and Mother giggled like a girl. Father began telling Tala a story about the early days courting his Iolana, one Manolo had never heard before.

“I waited for hours outside the market where Iolana chopped meat,” Andres said.

“I thought of him as I severed chicken legs,” Iolana added.

“She did not even know that I had tracked down where she worked, bribing her little brother with sweets.” “Little Roland. We still call him that, you know. Little Roland. Even though he’s forty-eight years old and weighs two hundred pounds.” “When she finally came out, I thought she would be happy to see me. It was supposed to be a surprise.”

“Surprise indeed.” Iolana giggled into her hand.

“She looked at me and ran off in the other direction! I never imagined her skinny legs could fly that quickly, in so much haste to avoid me. I would have chased her, but the flower vendor saw the whole thing, saw me waiting for hours, saw the sting in my eyes when she ran! How he laughed at me!” “It was my dress. It was my dress. I didn’t want him to see me in my bloodstained dress, smelling of cow guts!” Manolo smiled, enjoying his wife’s unbridled laughter even more than he did Father’s story. She was a wonder indeed to stimulate the old ones as she did. Surely he deserved such a wife. After all, he was a doctor and a dutiful son who would see his parents through old age. He had hired Old Luchie to do the cleaning so Tala could keep her pretty hands soft. But still, Manolo was afraid. He was not yet thirty, but already silver strands dotted the hair at his temples. He was no longer young nor burning with ambition, and worried that Tala, ten years his junior, might look at him one day and realize that after all, he was nothing but a simple, provincial man. His world began and would end right there in Manlapaz. He was certain word of Tala’s beauty had already spread to neighboring provinces. A beauty that was not of this world, they would have described her. She was happy now as his new bride. But how long would she stay content with such a life? Manolo surprised himself with how outrageously he was behaving, letting the business of men and women, love and marriage, spiral into the dimensions of a soap opera, even if in his thoughts alone. He kept his composure behind the protective folds of the newspaper, convincing himself that he was neither obsessed nor overbearing. Any man in his position would be foolish to ignore the circumstances. Too many a husband shut down his emotions, depriving his wife of attention with the belief that she would spend a lifetime trying to please him. Manolo didn’t buy into this machismo

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attitude. He neither showered his wife with romantic overtures nor denied her from knowing her hold on him. But who was he to preach the formula for longevity in a marriage? Watching Tala, he forgot himself. She could not be more graceful in the kitchen, serving his portion before her own, catering to his parents like a daughter should. She had a woman’s body with a child’s joy. Even the house stood more erect on its beams, waking to the tickle of her footsteps. Outside the birds erupted into choruses then twittered slowly back to silence. The sun was already high, brightening the spaces between the acacia leaves. For the first time in his life, Manolo enjoyed the simple pleasure of fresh flowers around the house. Mother had never troubled herself with such frivolities. Tala gathered wildflowers each day and placed them in a pitcher at the center of the table. Today it was jasmine and bougainvillea. Such pretty colors, pink and white. He wanted to sniff the fragrance from the white blossoms, bring his face close enough to feel the petals against his cheeks. At the impulse, Manolo checked himself and grunted, pretending he had read something particularly thought provoking in the Manlapaz Bulletin. Before leaving for work, he would give Tala his ripped trousers to sew. He would give her money to shop and extra to buy whatever else she might need—fabric for a new dress, a new book, or something small and handmade, like a basket or a bell, that she tended to pick up simply for its beauty. Upon coming home, he would ask what she had managed to accomplish during the day. And then at night, at night . . . Manolo thought of the previous night, when his body was pressed tight against Tala’s. When he had kissed her tenderly, inch by inch and inch by inch again, his heart beating so fiercely he feared its thunder would betray that he was anything but composed. That without Tala, his heart might stop beating altogether.

Evenings were a time of sharing for Tala and Manolo. Mother and Father took to having earlier dinners, which they ate in their bedroom. So the new husband and wife can have their privacy, they had said with secret smiles. Manolo suspected that his parents’ motives for eating separately also included an aversion to Tala’s cooking. They enjoyed her breakfasts well enough, but Manolo himself was alarmed at the way she altered traditional dishes. He wanted his adobo the way he had eaten it all his life, with the perfect balance of savory and tang. Tala’s different versions of the dish included sweet potatoes, lemon juice, tomato sauce, bell peppers, or peas. Along the way she invented new dishes, and Manolo eventually acquired a taste for them.

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As they ate, Tala recounted the walks that Manolo knew she was in the habit of taking. She described the flowers that grew along which fences, showed him the skipping stones she had found along the shallows of the riverbank, where she’d stopped to read, recounted the smells and sounds of the marketplace, the latest gossip from one of the neighborhood wives. Manolo couldn’t help but wonder whose eyes stuck fast to Tala during her wanderings. He imagined where Tala’s gazes lingered when he was not with her. He began to concoct ideas that his wife wasn’t thorough in her storytelling, purposefully omitting what she was up to in between the walks to and from home. She could have been doing anything while he puttered about among the fevered and infirm. As his imagination wandered, he became distracted on his rounds. He accidentally gave Nanang Aida acne medication


for her ulcers. She sent for him the next day, wondering if she should swallow the cream or rub it on her belly. He told Tatang Rubio, a vegetarian whose ailments he had treated for years, to eat plenty of red meat in order to increase his iron levels. Manolo had always been a perfectionist. But even his recent carelessness didn’t bother him as much as his wife’s propensity to wander. Manolo decided to follow Tala, convincing himself it would just be this once. Pretending to leave for work one morning, he walked to the nearest sari sari store instead. He bought a pack of cigarettes and matches and returned home. Manolo was not a smoker but opened the box without thinking, as though he had done this countless times in the past, running his fingers against the circular tops before tapping out a stick. The smoke scratched harshly against his throat at first, then gradually subsided into an aching sweetness. From the windows, he could barely make out Tala’s features on the other side of the glass as she brushed Mother’s hair then tried on the jewelry Mother handed her, piece by piece. Later she stepped out of the house, still wearing a pair of Mother’s white shell earrings. She wore a sleeveless orange dress made from a light fabric—linen or cotton. It flowed weightlessly around her ankles, dark against her honey-toned skin, light against her long raven hair. He stayed behind at a distance, savoring each second of watching her undeterred. She was so lovely, her steps so dainty on the gravel path. Focusing on the sway of every curve, the way her hands fell at her sides, with only one arm swinging when she walked, he couldn’t help but recall the night he’d found her. He had come to the river by accident that night. His childhood friend had died, not from the diabetes that plagued him most of his life, but by drowning in Sabanal Bay, off the coast of Ogtong. News of this death had made Manolo quiet and lonely, not for his lost compadre, who was like a brother to Manolo, but for himself. Manolo was familiar with the face of death. It was his job to outsmart it, outrun it, for as long as he could, if not forever. At such a moment he realized he was just a pawn, an unworthy opponent in a game he could not win. Death, at any given moment, could sidestep him with unanticipated moves. It was after two a.m. when he had gotten the news of Palong’s drowning. The barrio, dark and sleeping, stretched long beneath the blanket of night. Familiar shapes, at that hour, assumed new identities. The contours of his roof and fence against the blackened sky seemed to defy time; he could imagine those objects of wood and concrete posing just so, centuries from that moment. Manolo did something he had never done before—he took a walk in the middle of the night, alone. He realized now that what he had been looking for was death. In the darkness, it could take him by surprise. It could jump at him from unseen corners. He had wanted to confront death. He would fight it like a man. Just two miles away from his house, away from the barrio, a river flowed for miles, snaking down from the ripe green mountains, irrigating field upon field, and between a grove of trees not too far from where he lived, the river was said to keep its most private secrets, like the wetness of a woman no mortal man should ever know. Superstitions of vampires, demons, bruhas, and the bewitched swarmed over the shadows across that grove, and the people of the province avoided it for their lives. That night Manolo walked through rows of rice plants, in the direction of the mountains. To

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ward the greedy arms of the river. And not just anywhere along its voluptuous body, but to that forbidden place of magic. He thought he heard music. As he got closer, he realized that what he heard were the voices of women. And splashing. The lowest branches surrounding the river were covered with thick white coats. They emitted a glow that surrounded the river with an otherworldly light. Two trees stood close enough together for Manolo to hide behind. He peeked through the teardrop-shaped arch between their trunks, at a distance from which he could hear and see the women on the river without being discovered. He couldn’t know for certain, but he assumed that they were sisters, as if the knowledge was evident just by looking at them. Seven of them—talking all at once, it seemed, and laughing. Except for one. She dunked her head into the river and disappeared beneath it, then reemerged and floated on her back. He climbed the trunks to get a closer look. She stroked the water from every angle, kissing it with her lips, talking only to the waves her body generated. One by one her sisters emerged from the river. Colorful nightgowns clung to their bodies, which varied from slender to round, short to tall, old to young. The youngest, about eight years old, was eager to go home. She jumped up and down, pointing to her white coat on top of a tree. Her teenage sister, who only seemed to spring into motion when someone needed her help, retrieved the coveted object and passed it to the younger girl. Soon, only the one remained in the water. It isn’t fair to make us wait, her sisters complained. Not again. You always think of yourself. Hurry up, Tala! We’ll be back tomorrow night. Tomorrow night. They would be back tomorrow night. That was when the one got out of the water and he saw that she was the most beautiful of them all. Tala. Then the seven sisters put on their coats, and Manolo realized they weren’t coats at all, but wings. A magnificent splendor of wingspans. Then a sudden surge of air—he watched them bend, each with her own measure of elegance, pushing up from the ground, then disappearing into the stars. Manolo returned night after night, climbing higher into the trees to watch Tala swim beneath him. Each night, Tala made her sisters wait a little longer, then a little longer still. Eventually, they stopped waiting for her at all. The first time Tala swam alone under the moonlight, Manolo’s heart burned. He summoned the courage to approach her in the river, but didn’t want to risk frightening her. Instead, he stole her wings and hid them away. Then Tala emerged from the river, trembling with cold with nowhere to go, and Manolo watched for hours still. When he finally revealed himself, only the river spoke its incessant babble to interrupt their silence. Tala did not feel threatened by his presence; she walked along the river’s edge without questioning him, like they were two forest animals who had navigated to the water by instinct. He left the river for a day longer, gathering the nerve to speak. On the second night, Manolo and Tala went home together, invincible against the shadows, never to part again. She was his wife now, he told himself. Once again, Manolo found himself hiding and watching, separated from Tala by a fragrant screen of earth-scented leaves. And he nearly sprang into the path, calling out to her with open arms. But he retreated, deeper into the barrier of foliage. Looking back on those nights by the river, Manolo realized he’d found what he had been searching for. And every day since, he’d grappled with a certain kind of death. (End of excerpt.)

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INTERVIEW with RENEE MACALINO RUTLEDGE author, The Hour of Daydreams Renee Macalino Rutledge is a ‘98 UC Berkeley alumna with a BA in English. Her forthcoming novel, The Hour of Daydreams (March 2017, Forest Avenue Press), is a contemporary reimagining of a Filipino folktale. The Hour of Daydreams delves into issues of marriage and identity while interpreting the way legends are born and stories passed on from one generation to the next.

You mentioned you are a ‘98 UC Berkeley alumna. How was your experience as a student? To what extent did you know about or were involved in the Pil community on campus? I often wish I could go back to my undergraduate days so that I could make the most of the resources at Cal, join more clubs, talk to my professors during office hours. I attended Pilipino Cultural Nights but that was it. My priority at the time was working—I always had a part-time job while studying. I worked at a retail store, the bank, a law firm, the sociology department, a nonprofit. I was very interested in joining the newspaper but the time commitment coupled with the lack of pay deterred me. I’m already encouraging my oldest daughter to go the opposite route—to prioritize experiences that she is passionate about and will grow from most when she’s in college.

What inspired you to become a writer? Who are your main influences when it comes to your writing? I wrote my first poem when I was around six. I felt that writing could capture what I was feeling (at the time, joy), just as it was. I’ve returned to writing countless times since, for different reasons. Poetry is like photographing an emotion in words. Essays help me process what I know. Articles are inspired by the world around me, what others do and how they live, and why. Stories are kind of a combination of all of that.

This issue of {m}aganda magazine explores the theme of justice and is entitled, “Trial”. It deals with the rights to have a voice, to be critical, and to challenge any oppressive systems in place. How do you interpret this? How does this fit into your own writing?

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In writing, you claim your voice and the right to be heard. I wrote about this recently in my essay, “Every Word Is an Act of Resistance: Finding My Voice as a Filipino Writer,” published in Literary Hub. (cont.)


INTERVIEW with RENEE MACALINO RUTLEDGE author, The Hour of Daydreams Writing is powerful because it can change minds and hearts. Some of my most reflective moments have come after reading a good book, watching a good movie, or seeing an exhibit at the museum. Writing, and art, expands your world and challenges you to think outside your own circumstances, to understand the viewpoints of others. We must tell our stories to ensure they are not forgotten or ignored. My novel, The Hour of Daydreams, puts Filipino folklore into the conversation. The Star Maiden story actually occurs in various iterations—I’ve read an African version, Incan version, and have heard of Finnish and other versions. It felt important to explore this very old Filipino story, put it into context, and say, yes, our stories matter too.

You describe your forthcoming novel, “The Hour of Daydreams”, as a contemporary reimagining of a Filipino folktale. Which Filipino folktale inspired your novel the most? A Filipino folktale The Star Maidens inspired my book because I thought it would be an interesting way to frame the story of a marriage. In the folktale, a man spies six maidens flying from a river each night, steals a pair of wings, and marries a maiden who cannot fly away. I had many questions at the end of this tale: Did she love him? Did he love her, given what he did? What really happened at the river? As with every marriage, the real story is happening behind the scenes, and that’s the story I wanted to write.

Your novel also delves into the issues of marriage and identity. What prompted you to explore these issues? People alone are interesting and complex; when you have two people together, navigating around one another, combining their histories, and intersecting on so many levels, it can get even more interesting and complex. Do you ever hear couples say they know everything about each other? I wonder if that is supposed to be a good thing, or even possible. I don’t think it is. I’m married too, and reflect sometimes on the secrets we keep from one another, the things we cannot know, and how every person has a private self, even from their spouse.

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INTERVIEW with RENEE MACALINO RUTLEDGE author, The Hour of Daydreams It also interprets the way legends are born and how stories are passed on from one generation to the next. Why do you think it is important to consider the way these occur rather than just simply examining the legends and stories themselves? Because every story is different, depending on who tells it. That’s one reason I had a character in the story investigate her parents’ past, putting the pieces of a puzzle together based on information the reader already knows, but the character does not. The reader can see firsthand how perspective influences the telling and the manner of knowing. Also, I believe some folktales and legends must be based on real people and events, even if they are general experiences. I thought, what if The Star Maidens story came from real events in a small town that eventually got passed down? I could write that.

What advice can you pass on to those who aspire to start a career in writing? Focus on completion. That seems obvious, but many people are distracted by marketing or looking for an agent even before they are finished with their book. Those things take time away from writing. Speaking of time, it is necessary, but persistence and passion more so. Many people don’t have the time—we are busy, we have lives, and that’s good—writing comes from living. But if you have persistence and passion for your subject, you will find the time, invent it if you have to. You will be willing to invest a matter of years with no guarantee of a result.

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INTERVIEW with RENEE MACALINO RUTLEDGE author, The Hour of Daydreams Lastly, where can we find your novel and more information about your work? It’s now on sale in bookstores and online where books are sold. Thank you so much!

Learn more about Renee and her novel The Hour of Daydreams Author website: https://www.reneerutledge.com/ Publisher’s catalog page: http://www.forestavenuepress.com/catalog/thehour-of-daydreams/ Lastest review: http://fictionwritersreview.com/review/the-hour-of-daydreams-by-renee-macalino-rutledge/

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AUTHOR & ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

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BETTINA FRANCISCO - FRANCISCO.BETTINA1@GMAIL.COM AARON HIPOLITO - AHIPO001@UCR.EDU “I’m Bettina Francisco, a pinay poet from da Bay. Born in Sin“I am a second year college student currently attending UC Riverside. I enjoy art and writing, and really I’m just wander- gapore, raised in SJ, CA. I keep my altar next to my bed, my bamboo trees in good condition, and handmade rosewater ing really.” in my fridge. You could also catch me throwin back jasmine ADRIAN ELLIS ALARILLA - AD.ALARILLA@GMAIL.COM Adrian is a Seattle-based filmmaker, community organizer, green tea on friday nights. #outtie” BRANDON BASA - BRANDONCBASA@GMAIL.COM and film scholar. He is currently undergoing his graduate “I currently identify as a low-income, first generation, cisstudies at UW’s Jackson School of International Studies, focusing on Southeast Asian Cinema. He also helps orga- gendered Filipino-American male college student. Poetry nize the Seattle Asian American Film Festival and the Diwa has been a way for me to articulate how I feel, because Filipino Film Festival of Seattle. His films have been shown at often times, I don’t know how to put into words what is on my mind. Writing in my moleskin has been my way of various film festivals in Manila, Seattle, Chicago, San Franhealing.” cisco, Eugene, Oregon, and New York. CAELI BENSON - CAE-038@BERKELEY.EDU ANGEL LI - ANCLAIR.LATA@GMAIL.COM Caeli is a Pilipina studying Math and Education at UC BerkeAngeLi is an artist. Dancer. Painter. Writer. She was born in ley. She plans to get her teaching credential and make math the Philippines and grew up in Vallejo, California. She is a more accessible and enjoyable for her future middle school teacher where others will listen and a student who sees students. When she’s not fangirling about math, she’s playvalue in all things where there is a lesson to be learned. ing tennis, the piano, or writing stories and poetry. Human nature and the connection of living things to one CAMILLEHOFFMANSTUDIO@GMAIL.COM CAMILLE HOFFMAN another interest her. Her life growing up Filipina-American Camille Hoffman was born in 1987 in Chicago, Illinois and surrounded by Vallejo's multicultural environment in the has a BFA in Community Arts and Painting from California midst of experiencing life into adulthood are what inspire her to create. Overall she is a being whose life is celebrated College of the Arts and a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale School of Art in 2015. She was a recipient of the by her passion for the people and things she loves and Carol Schlosberg Memorial Prize for excellence in Paintthe courage to go after what she believes is good and ing from Yale University, a National Endowment for the possible. Arts scholarship, and a Benjamin A. Gilman International ANGELI CABAL - ANGCABAL@GMAIL.COM Scholarship. Hoffman has shown throughout the U.S. and Angeli Cabal graduated from California State University in Europe in exhibitions at the Yale University Art Gallery, Monterey Bay with a degree in Human Communication with a concentration in Social Action and Creative Writing. Valencia, Spain, and Paris, France. Her pieces have been published in Vagina the Zine, Thistle CHINA DE VERA - CHINA.MABAL68@GMAIL.COM Magazine, and Literati Magazine. She enjoys writing that puts China Pearl Patria M. De Vera is a former grade school teacher and storyteller. Her works have been published her heart in a blender.y in TAYO Literary Magazine 2016, High Chair, Bukambibig ANTH BONGCO - ANTH.BONGCO@GMAIL.COM Poetry Folio, Eastlit online journal and ANI: Cultural Center Anthony Bongco is a former intern and hxstorian for {M} of the Philippines Journal. She is an MA Araling Pilipino magazine, having worked on Anonymous in 2011. He is a student at the University of the Philippines. photographer around SoMA, volunteering for non profits such as Kearny Street Workshop. This is Anthony ‘ s first time CLAUDINE REYES - CLAUDINEREYES54@GMAIL.COM Claudine Reyes is a media artist and curator from Virginia submitting in literary arts and in five years. Beach, Virginia. Her background in mathematics helps her AVERY YEATMAN - AVERYSABINE@GMAIL.COM work utilize logic and diction to analyze personal feelings Avery Yeatman is a pre-nursing student at the University of about home. Reyes showcases her findings through lines Washington, and it wasn’t until freshman year at UW that and blurs. she became interested in writing poetry. Avery is ecstatic DANA LYNN LANSIGAN - DLANSIGAN@BERKELEY.EDU to be included among these other amazing artists and Dana Lansigan was born in Los Baños, Philippines and is to have her name represented within such a vital form of the eldest of three siblings. She attended Irvine High School expression. in Irvine, CA and is currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. In her free time,


Dana enjoys writing, playing the ukulele, and solving the Rubik’s cube. DENNIS ANDREW AGUINALDO - DSAGUINALDO@UP.EDU.PH Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo works at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He received writing fellowships from the University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas, Ateneo’s AILAP, and La Salle-Iyas. His poems has appeared in Bukambibig, hal., {m}aganda, Softblow, Sunday Times, The Cabinet, and Transit. E. SAN JUAN, JR. - PHILCSC@SBCGLOBAL.NET E. SAN JUAN, Jr. is professorial lecturer at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila, and emeritus professor of English, Comparative Literature, & Ethnic Studies at several US universities. His recent books are Learning from the Filipino Diaspora (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House), Filipinos Everywhere (De LaSalle University Press), and Carlos Bulosan's The Philippines Is in the Heart (Ateneo U Press). ERIN JERRI MALONZO PANGILINAN - ERINJERRI16@GMAIL.COM Silicon Valley native born + raised. designer I developer I entrepreneur. Proud Cal alum (c/o 2008/09). Former {m} aganda magazine + hardboiled staffs + many orgs. FASTER - Filipino Americans in Silicon Valley Tech Co-founder “Move fast and build our community.” <3s: anime, spoken word + poetry, hip hop, music. ERINA ALEJO - DISCOBANGUS@GMAIL.COM Erina Alejo is an artist working within social engagement, video, performance, installation and writing to enrich their ethnographic investigation of counternarratives. Alejo’s work is informed by the impermanence of their origins as a genderqueer and second generation Pinay and transpacific third-generation renter in San Francisco, California. erinacalejo.com FRANCIS C. MACANSANTOS - FMACANSANTOS@HOTMAIL.COM “Francis Macansantos grew up in Zamboanga City, but is now based in Baguio City. A Palanca award winner in English Poetry, Macansantos has four books of poetry: Snail Fever (University of the Philippines Press 2016), The Words and Other Poems (UP Press 1997), Womb of Water, Breasts of Earth (NCCA 2007), and Balsa: Poemas Chabacano (NCCA 2011).” GENEVIEVE AGUINALDO - GENEVIEVE.AGUINALDO@UPOU.EDU.PH Genevieve Aguinaldo is a full-swing mother of three. She graduated BA Communication Arts from the University of the Philippines Los Banos and is currently completing her MA in Language and Literacy Education at the University of the Philippines Open University. She enjoys tea parties and reading stories with her kids. HEATHER D. AGUILAR - HEATHER.DEGUIA@GMAIL.COM Heather De Guia Aguilar’s writing centers on perseverance and utilizing art as an instrument for personal growth and healing. Heather hopes her writing empowers others

to connect through community and art, recognize the strength within and to keep fighting for change in any form. JAZLYNN GABRIELLE EUGENIO PASTOR - JGPASTOR@DONS.USFCA.EDU

Jazlynn is a Communication Studies Major, Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program Minor, and Asian Pacific American Studies Minor at the University of San Francisco. Originally from LA, she found her culture in SF through performing arts. With her personal and artistic experiences, she writes and dances about her activism and Pinayism. JONATHAN LEWIS - JONATHANLEWIS10@GMAIL.COM Jonathan Lewis’ poetry has been published in five countries, in publications including: {M}aganda, Berkeley Poetry Review, Hawai’i Review, Icelandic Connection, Northern Virginia Review, Poetica Magazine, and Poetry Scotland’s The Open Mouse. While at U.C. Berkeley, Jonathan was a performer in Theatre Rice, and a founder of Poetry After The Storm. MALAKA GHARIB - MFGHARIB@GMAIL.COM Malaka Gharib is an Egyptian-Filipino-American and the illustrator behind The Little Filipino Food Coloring Book. She is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. MAUREEN G. ABUGAN - MAUREENGLADYS@GMAIL.COM MGL A ​ bugan ​​earned their MA in Leadership Studies from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego and their double BA in Visual Arts Media and Communication from UC San Diego.​​Abugan​​​​ is a creative director based i​n San Diego​.​​ MARY ZAMBALES - MEZAMBALES@YAHOO.COM Mary Zambales has worked for eight years in immigration law. Currently, she works as an elementary school library media assistant, while trying to earn her MLIS degree. MIRA DAYAL - MIRADAYAL@GMAIL.COM Mira Dayal is an artist, writer, editor, and curator based in New York. Her recent work explores decay and the aesthetics of disgust. MOLLY KROST - MKROST@BERKELEY.EDU “Molly is from Monterey, California and a recent graduate of UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies and a B.A. in Classical Civilizations. She is an aspiring playwright and hopes to obtain an MFA in Creative Writing. She can probably be found misquoting a song lyric. <3” MONICA MACANSANTOS - M.MACANSANTOS@UTEXAS.EDU “Monica Macansantos was born and raised in the Philippines and spent part of her childhood in Delaware. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Her work has appeared in The Masters Review, Day One, Five Quarterly, TAYO, and Asian Cha, among others, and she has been a recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.“

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NATALIA ANCISO - TEJAZTLANA14@GMAIL.COM Natalia Anciso is an American Chicana-Tejana Contemporary Artist and Educator. Her work focuses primarily on Identity, which is informed by her experiences growing up in the Texas Borderlands, as well as human rights and social justice, given her experiences as an urban educator. She lives and works in Oakland, California. NICA AQUINO - NICA.U.AQUINO@GMAIL.COM Nica Aquino is an artist & educator originally from California. She holds a BFA in Photography from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MA in Visual Culture from the School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work explores place, identity, community, socio-economics, multiculturalism & the cross-cultural experience. SHERWIN RIO - SHERWINRIOART@GMAIL.COM Sherwin Rio is an artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. He is interested in exploring the space between Filipino and American cultural identities. Sherwin received his BFA from the University of Florida and is currently pursuing a dual MFA/MA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. ABIGAIL BALINGIT ZOSIMO QUIBILAN, JR. - ZQUIBILAN@GMAIL.COM

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{M}30 STAFF & INTERNS JOEMINEL DOCUYANAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF RAYANNE VELAYO PIAÑA LITERARY EDITOR ANNA GRIMALDO PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR DONALD SAMBAJON FINANCE DIRECTOR JALISHA PAZ EVENTS COORDINATOR JAELYN ORDONIO WEBMASTER ALEC SILVER FAGARANG HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR, FALL ‘16 INTERN KATE MASANCAY LAYOUT CONSULTANT JHINYL TIDALGO FALL ‘16 INTERN MADDY MALICDEM SPRING ‘17 INTERN JAN KIRBY ZABALA SPRING ‘17 INTERN PATRICIA CRUZ SPRING ‘17 INTERN

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SPRING 2017

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{m}aganda magazine | issue #30 - TRIAL