.human race.

what does it mean to be american? its not in fact a race, but an idea. an idea of democracy and fairness for a people who want to better themselves and worship without the fear of being afraid of wanting to do so. america, is not filipino, it is not white, it is not race. its the idea of a free country.

growing up here, we can talk about the many racial/social/psychological/linguistic ways that i am filipino. when we rise above the argument that we have about what is filipino american and filipino, we can see this is a discussion of identity. NOT race and culture. we are comparing what it means to be me, regardless of the unmeasurable amount of how filipino we are or are not. we are talking about what makes us FEEL filipino. this needs to be realized in order to form any kind of discussion of identity i have heard many times that if i dont speak the language, i am not. but how can that be said? it may help you pick out a filipino from anyone else, but it doesnt mean that’s the case. ive met many older white people who speak more fluently than many immigrant flips in america… ones that are even born there.

is that person in fact filipino? he is in fact FROM the philippines. in a time when we can all say we are spanish/chinese-filipino the argument can be made that igorots are more deserving of the name filipino, so how can we call ourselves flip w/o realizing that its merely an objective opinion. our Indonesian and Malay forefathers who instilled kinship or bayanihan would be surprised to know that we have faltered when it came to supporting eachothers identity.

shame on each and every person who has felt at one point or another that another persons claimed identity isnt enough or doesnt stack up to their own.

the effect of being an immigrant here can be tough. some blame filipino americans for not being filipino enough, yet its NOT the fault of filipino/americans alone that people feel that they are being stripped of their race.  race is collectively undermined by our political/educational/democratic society and thus SOME filipino americans AND immigrants buy into its assimilative requirements. the stigma’s of race and accent are fueled by the expectancy of one crowd of people, towards another crowd of people.

being american has long motivated people to move to this country from many places in hopes for a better future. a fruitful future that is said to be nurtured by how much you work and how much pride you have IN your work, but what has happened when the philippines has embraced the west the way it has for its CURRENTLY corporate influenced ethic and aesthetic, instead of how it once did?

what has happened in the philippines much like America itself? what has happened to the filipino people as a community? they are now even MORE subject to poverty, a broken self image, unequal distribution of wealth, and unstable democratic politics. the main interest is for the rich to get richer and to eliminate the middle class by making them think that there is one. this is the result of embracing an american culture that has less than ONE percent of the population OWNING more than 90 percent of the countries wealth. a filipino does not need to speak perfect tagalog to know these things better than someone who is a fluent speaker.

this is how culture lines are blurring and graying. this is how and why we attack eachother. we are being encouraged to do so because that is how governments and institutions keep us in play. by letting ourselves constantly question who we are at the very root, we loose what it means to be us… as a race. AND as a human race.

when we allow them to say ‘your accent means you dont understand english to us, we loose as a race.

when they show us on our own televisions that being light skinned is the definition of filipino, we loose as a race.

these ‘harmless’ stabs of ridicule and racism have been taking their toll and we are slowly loosing our firm sense of bayanihan. the pride should come from our camaraderie. its up to us to fight those institutions and people that propagate that weak meaning of what it means to be us. every fiber of being filipino depends on one thing… yourself

not your chinelas
not your language
not even your skin color

redefine the Filipinos
redefine the American
redefine race

and in turn you might find that its all a measure of your heart

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2

.sandstorm.

im the standard.  your standard kid who looks around and see’s things for what they are.  and imagines them for what they CAN be.  this is where i get

lost…

let me break it down.

[breaking molds and shattering expectations]

there is something ive thought alot about.

there are thoughts in my head that are strung between so many lines of influence. bars, pie charts, statistics, fractions, percentages, even fucking graphs where we ALL belong, they say.

that bothers me

i havent walked through life, predictably

neither have you

so why then… why am i part of something that i didnt place myself into, or realize myself.

theres a mega huge list of things that ive been through that are in no way defined by my looking at a chart, or my score on something as culturally important

as a career determining exam.

im no mathematical equation, or chemical combination.

i am me.

me can be quite boring, but it can never be vanilla.  me can be as small as a grain of sand in a rip roaring ocean, but i sure as hell move.

so why then? why am i talked to, seen as, smelt as, felt as a common everyday person who CANT do anything but buy some coffee and rock some sick Nikes in an

effort to saturate, sponge, and color myself in new and curiously odd ways with someone elses shit. someone elses factory line shit? or someone elses limited

edition, pay more cause its  ‘unique’ type shit?

why arent the important things i feel im apart of not included in surveys in board meetings where people are determining how to sell to me the necessities in life?  from toothpaste to car insurance these are all things i can’t get away from, but there are so few and many to choose from.  they are ALL competing for

my attention…

so why am i not paying more attention?  as soon as its got me looking, its taken no time for me to brace myself before it trys to shatter my nerves and hit me with laughter or with an onslaught of  shock and awe images that ill have to carry with me throughout the day

shit!

this is the scary part.

“i need that shit” i tell myself

and im in line to buy a lotto ticket in a place that sells condoms and gas for a one in 10 million chance (or how ever many other single 1 dollar ticket

holders there are out there in this sprawling state, thinking the SAME exact thing in A thundering, unnerving unison at this very SECOND). give alittle, get a lot back… maybe?

fuck man, im being herded.  and i hear there are no ‘winners’ outside this statistic of folks because obviously, i just cant win it unless im part of the 10 million.  thats a dollar that’ll just get thrown away. thats a dollar thats so useless, but in fact, millions of them thrown together in a rally can change the course of my life… if i let it. so i sure as hell better cough it up to better my chances. give it up, to the powers that determine my future financial hardship, and have them tell ME, that im a winner. that ive won everey other chumps dollar that they let go along with their every hope to be in my spot. im more interested in what ive earned than what ive won.

10 million people with a common mentality and goal can change alot

so heres the truth. in its rawest form

no matter what i say, no matter how conscious, no matter how i think of myself, no matter what i DO, im apart of a group wedged somewhere between a pie chart during a board meeting, figuring out what colors people my age are responsive to, or a group of millions waiting for that special payday, shelling out a buck for the lazy life.

its not at all like i can get up in the morning, choose not to shampoo, not put on a nice pair of stretchy socks  and choose for them not to be made in Burma, and enjoy some well fairly priced gas in my gas tank before i see my lady.

im in a world where theres shit i need.

but ask yourself.  ‘when did we start paying for colored cloth and our gravity’

that exam i was talking about that figures out if im above or below a passing standard does determine, to some extent, my future.  my future home… my future socks… my future toothpaste.

but i wont let it determine how i shake the waters i sink or swim in.  ill let them look at me as a statistic.  who am i to say what demographic i belong in.

thats THEIR job.  my job is to make sure i move. or else i might turn into quicksand.

in this life, theres only one way to really make sure we’re not being divided, manipulated and distracted.  thats the role of ignorant masses. its to become part of a sandstorm

theres only one way to not become part of their game.  its to play it.. intuitively. cautiosly.  with mindful consideration for where things are made, how things are marketed, what they’re affiliated with, and how my one dollar can fund in the process: death and slavery… yes, in the modern day.

they dont wrap it up in a nice neat package. you have to hunt for it. look past ‘it’ and see what it means. it means getting off your seat and doing the unimaginable… asking why.

to live this way is to simply live a life of ACTIVISM.

cause if your not…

your in no way actively pursuing anything