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a comic about growing up a queer filipino artist in america


(notes: please click to view in full res; reblogs are totally okay but reposts without credit are not; you may delete the caption, idgaf- thank you all for your kind words!)

A guide to pretending you speak Tagalog/Filipino

1. Add “’di ba?” (right?/innit?) to the end of your sentences.

2. Replace “really”/”very” with “talagang” or the question “Really?” with “talaga.”

3. Sprinkle a dash of “kasi” (because, or the “that’s why” that you add to the end of a sentence instead of saying “because.”)

You didn’t ask for directions, that’s why kasi.


4. Use Google Translate to find the most obscure word for what you’re trying to say. Deep Tagalog points.

You’re hair is so marilag and maluwalhati today.

my favorite thing about being Filipino is that EVERYBODY has an aswang (monster) story and it’s never weird

Like in American movies there’s always the whole “ghosts aren’t real” “monsters aren’t real don’t mess with me” but with Filipinos you say “so one time I saw a manananggal outside my window” and the response you get from even the soberest most serious grounded people is “oh what happened, how old were you when it happened?”

Like you have a younger kid talking about how they saw a white lady ghost in the bathroom one time and an old and sensible great uncle will chime in with how their house was FULL of ghosts and how they wouldn’t leave their rooms at night because that’s when the tiny black figures of crawling children would wander the house, though they could leave the door open and see them padding by in the corner of their periphery or hear them on the wooden floor when they were getting into bed

I can tell people about how I used to be harassed by a duwende (dwarf) with malicious intentions and how it took an albularyo (medicine man) blessing our houses with talismans to make it go away and they’d be like “oh that’s cool, did the duwende leave or is it just hanging around not bothering you”

When it comes to pinoy monster movies you completely skip over the bit about “what the hell that creature is” and all you get is “what is that” “aswang” “OK what do we do about it”

And it’s not even just a provincial thing, any city born person will just accept that oh, an aswang might kill you if you wander out tonight, so don’t do that

There’s a ghost and monster story for every corner of this country and skepticism about their existence is virtually non-existent, you kinda just accept that they probably do exist but not where you’ve ever seen them

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been by the way, I’ve been workin on my AP ART Concentration these past few months

It’s about a boy going back home from school, and it reflects my own longing to go back to My home in the Philippines

Here they are together– although I’m thinking whether or not to post them as a photo-set or individually here…

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Today, on the 21st of September, Filipinos from all walks of life march for human rights, and against tyranny.

(I do love this country, warts and all.)

(And shout out to all the schools using their social media platforms to give voice to the cause, and to their faculty, staff, and students who are using the cancellation of classes to join the march.)