racing round in circles
yay flying hand that teaches us robots all that we need to know
yay flying hand that teaches us robots all that we need to know... ahahaha. i want to see this film

a book about culling the grit on filipino identity is scheduled for release by t'boli publishing house later this year.

sonoma state university professor leny mendoza strobel's book is still untitled, but poet eileen tabios has made memorable recommendations on it in her blog. it looks like strobel's new book is volume two of her 2001 'coming full circle.' reviews on that book on amazon.com are glowing, even as one reader said the writing is inaccessible - when material is inaccessible, you can complain all you want, even publish your complaints, but it won't change the way the work is packaged. besides, if the work is compelling enough, there aren't a shortage of writers and readers who can communicate, or translate, for you.

after reading tabios' recommendations and the earnest posts in reaction to 'coming full circle' on amazon, i wondered what my own friends would think of books like these. the concerned ones will ask 'who are we' and 'where are we now?' and 'who are the people in your neighborhood' and 'where do we come from?', but whenever we revisit these issues, we seem, well, stuck.

for example, a friend of mine wanted to sing for the last pintig open mic session, but backed out because she felt she wasn't ready. she opted for the next month's gig. that's so wonderful, and i hope she pulls through. the open mics are there to give visibility to fellow filipino chicagoans, who are more than just anonymous workers buried in the multitude of america. we are worker bees, but we're human first, just like everyone else.

by my friend's deciding to perform, i'm reminded of how hard it is to get filipinas to say something out in the open. i've always been considered strange for thinking that way, but i really don't see what the fuss is about when a girl speaks her mind.

the reviews on amazon on 'coming full circle' says strobel traces where such ideas come from - one reviewer mentions filipinos being ashamed to call themselves such. my issue are why girls are asked to be quiet all the time. it ain't ladylike to be so damned talkative in front of so many people, i remember a cousin with her own phd say. (i laugh when i think of her because she turns around and gossips with me behind everyone's back anyways.) ok, i'll shut up now, but you have to read my next few paragraphs, at least.

one other instance of the lack of insight into the reality of how filipinos behave are study abroad programs. friends in the philippines who went overseas to learn their roots come back with concepts that seem useless to their life and studies here in the u.s. that's not either party's fault, because neither party knows what the other needs. there's rarely dialogue, and that's no one's fault - usually kids like me just dare not talk back, or better, we have no clue what to ask about first. and we dred public humiliation. that would squash us lifeless.

those, and because filipinos are all about families, and families tend to lug around all sorts of baggage everywhere they go. rarely do those boxes get fully unpacked and examined, so we know which to bring and which to toss - or yes, sige na nga, reuse.

later this month my friends and i are going to sala cafe for pintig's monthly open mic. it's becoming a habit, a youth group without the religion. most of the songs and poems and speeches in the open mic purge demons or confront them. yes, they are all depressing. except for this one poem that was read in FILIPINO.

oh, my goodness.

she talked about melting snow and diving into it to look for her iced-up heart.

immediately i remember my first black and white photographs of my sister and i pretending to swim in the snow. it was just ten years ago, but it was our first real snow ever. i loaded black and white film into my camera. i wanted to record everything, because later i want to think about what it means to me. the photos are still buried in my room somewhere.

there are other circles i didn't mention in this post, one is that there is a difference between the rich and the poor in the homeland, and that how much money you have in the homeland sometimes determins where you emigrate to. but that's not the search for identity anymore, ahaha. that's activism.
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