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Here is a poem, “Shared Roots,” by Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana Jr about reaffirming our identity as Filipino-Americans. It was inspired by an incident where someone assumed that we are not really Filipino because we were born in the United States.

We have performed this on more than one occasion, but it does not mean its message is done and over with. Having a hyphenated identity, torn between Filipino and American, is a prevalently reoccurring issue in the community that does not disappear after a performance, regardless how many times. As writers, we speak up when we can so people know that they are not alone, so we know that we are not alone.

I just had an interesting conversation with some Philippine people. It (I didn’t check for gender) kept saying that the Marquez/Pacquiao fight had to do with oppression towards minorities coming from white people. When I told them that their argument was stupid, they said that I was “a privileged white-passing sexist”. Makes me question their whole oppressed thing, seeing as how the stupid ones never really better themselves anyway.

    I’d just like to commend your work on this blog and your obvious commitment to honestly (even painfully) baring your insecurities.

    The colonial mentality is still very much alive. In the Philippines, mestiza celebrities are held up by local media as ideal examples of beauty. In many cases, these celebrities are of mixed ancestry but assume a stage name to obscure the fact. In and of itself, this should not be held against them but one cannot deny the fact that it is misleading – specifically for younger viewers. Add to this the rising trend in celebrity aestheticians with medical licenses, and I fear a generation of young Filipinas conditioned to demand an ideal image for themselves and willing it into being at any cost. Truly disquieting is the fact that the fields of cosmetic surgery and medical aesthetics is advancing to such a degree that these ideal images will actually be attainable.

    Consciousness of the colonial mentality among American-born Filipinos is greater but also treated with disturbing lightness. Jokes about height, color, flat noses, etc. are thrown around in good fun and the defeatist subtext ignored. It rends my heart to hear talk of “improving the race” by means of consciously dating outside of it. Of course similar factors are at work here, i.e., preconditioned preference towards a Western standard of beauty, but it all circles back to a hatred of self that – I am beginning to fear – is innate. At present, my cynicism regarding this subject is such that I am unable to take seriously most Pinay’s self-affirmations of confidence in and acceptance of their natural appearance. I cannot help but detect a strain of self-delusion in the furrowed brow and rising tone that oft accompanies these affirmations, delivered as though they were meant to convince me as much as themselves…

    But I am beginning to consider that perhaps self-delusion provides the necessary impetus as one faces down a mountain – looking on from the base – fortified by hundreds of years of social conditioning. The foundation of this mountain is unquestionably solid – but this has no bearing on it’s propensity to be scaled.

 

I got 2,023 followers! I’m not great with expressing my gratitude, as you can see with my limited vocabulary when it comes to it, so this will be short.

I have no idea how you all put up with me, but thank you so much for the support! It really means a lot to see people mentioning me in their recommendations, trusting me enough to ask for my opinion, and being so, so, so patient with my lack of motivation and slow work pace. Thank you for sticking around. It’s been…

Thank you, thank you~ I promise to publish some original contents soon. I got a few gif hunts in my drafts, some collections of links in the works, and I’ll eventually update and perhaps revamp my FC directory. And now for my eternal gratitude to…  

Those who inspired me to start my own resources blog:

butcherofblavikenrps // northhelps // sonamhelps // thetrolliestcritic

Wonderful, helpful, informative rph blogs:

acciorpc // bamhelps // benedicthelps // chachihelper // constellationrph // diversitywarriors // facehelper // fchelpers // flowerqueenofrp // fredgifhunter // fyrpdiversity // gordonramsayrph // irant-rpc // irph // katnissresources // keir-reviews // klariza-helps // milkovichhelps // morkierps // neeofrp // pretendersrpa // psychictwinsrph // psychrph // racistroleplay // rphelper // seafarerwrites // sherlockedrps // shutupofrp // thatfrenchhelper // thatssometal-rph 

Great writing-specific blogs:

bookgeekconfessions // characterandwritinghelp // cleverhelp // clevergirlhelps // fixyourwritinghabits // fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment // houseoffantasists // howtofightwrite // journaling-junkie // keyboardsmashwriters // penguinreferences // poetsandwriters // referenceforwriters // slitheringink // thewritersarchive // thewritershelpers // thewritingcafe // writing-questions-answered // yeahwriters 

Resourceful, educational, inspirational blogs:

A - C

actressesofcolor // ancientpeoples // architectureblog // art-of-swords // aseaofquotes // authorsofcolor // asianhistory // bamfwomenofcolor // biomedicalephemera (may be nsfw) // caterinasforzas // cecaelias // child-actor-gifs // chineseinavatar // crime-scenephotos (may be nsfw)

D - G

// dailyclassicdisney // diversitycrosscheck // diversityinfilmtv // diversityinya // dominicwrites // droo216 // eschergirls // fandomsandfeminism // fanmixes // fantasyofcolor // fashionsfromhistory // fucknofetishization // fuckyeahbookarts // fuckyeahfeminists // fuckyeahforensics (may be nsfw) // fuckyeahmedicalstuff // fyeahracebending // gamingfeminism 

M - S

madvocate // maid-en-china // manticoreimaginary // medievalpoc // modelsofcolor // oh-totoro // okayophelia // onlinecounsellingcollege // owning-my-truth // plegarmour // plus-size-models // poc-characters // racebending // rejectedprincesses // shackleboltrps // starksmercy 

T - Z

the-library-and-step-on-it // themasterpost // theparanormalguide // thescienceblog // theworldwelivein // thisisnotafrica // thisisnotchina // thisisnotindia // thisisnotlatino // thisisnotjapan // thisisnotkorea // thisisnotpinoy // thisisnotromani // thisiswhiteprivilege // ushistoryminuswhiteguys // victoriousvocabulary // whatwhitemaleauthorshavetaughtme // worldofmythology // youarenotdesi 

Blogroll (I know I missed a lot, and I'm sorry):

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Getting Back to Blogging and Self-Love

Magandang Hapon/Gabi/Umaga/Tanghali, kapuwang Pin@y.

I have been neglecting my schedule for my blogs and have therefore been thinking about the reasons I started them.

I look back to a moment in secondary school. It was when the recession’s end hadn’t reached my city. Sometimes my family didn’t have enough money for both the bills and groceries. Being chubby with a slow metabolism though, I thought perhaps it was okay to skip meals. I was hungry sometimes. I was hungry that day. Not to the point that my head was throbbing. But just enough to get to me.

I went into the lunchroom, sat in a table. Sharing my table was a group of white guys, some the stereotypical jocks. But my school wasn’t one where cliques were set in stone, so I felt somewhat safe.

Our school had standards on what was considered healthy. So often schoolmates got salads they didn’t eat and just left them on the table, expecting the custodians to clean after them. One such salad was thrown to the end of the table where I was sitting. I don’t know what I was thinking when I opened that salad that I hadn’t waited in line for, but next thing I knew I was eating it.

Halfway through, the guy who had thrown the salad aside noticed I was eating it.

He asked for it back.

I thought maybe he was a hungry kid like me. Maybe he needed it and I had wrongfully assumed it was free for the taking. I gave it back.

He got up to pick it up from my hands. He walked around the table. He threw it into the garbage.

He would have rather it gone to the garbage than let me finish eating it. The troupe of white kids laughed.

Looking back I can only guess why he thought letting me eat the salad that he was expecting someone else to throw into the basura was unthinkable. Why it was a joke to be laughed at. Was it because I’m thick, and he thought like most of society that such a body was getting too much nutrition? Was it because I was Asian, and all Asians are part of the model minority that gets high-paying jobs and never gets hungry? Was it because I was ugly, with my flat nose, flared nostrils, and dark skin? If it had been a skinny white girl, would it have gone different?

Had it been a year or two before I would have the punched him in the face and twisted his arm. Either I was too tired or too embarrassed.

Sometimes as I fall asleep I can still hear his voice, “What kind of person just takes food?”

And then I stay awake thinking what kind of person was I.

I was someone who could have lost her house. Someone who was skipping meals not knowing what it would do to my metabolism years later. Someone who classmates in my honors and advanced classes mistook for someone who had the same resources as them to do class projects. I was someone hating my body to the point of pinching my nose to make it higher, stinging my skin with burning skin whiteners, dieting despite I was still growing.

It took me awhile to realized what he meant when he asked “What kind of person” that he meant “Is she even my equal?” I had given back the food because I thought that he could have been in my shoes. He had taken it back because he judged upon my appearance and couldn’t grasp that someone didn’t have as much as he did.

When I started TINPIN I think I was looking for a way to help the younger versions of me to realize it was okay to be in the bodies, cultures, and socio-economic classes that they were in. I didn’t think there would be so much backlash involved. People using slurs and whatnot to the point that my heart beat fast when I logged onto social networking sites like Tumblr and Twitter. But I’ve gotten back to the point where I remember that there are people who hurt like I did. People who aren’t facing hateful strangers but indifferent classmates. And the latter is, at least for me, the harder of the two to deal with.

So I’m coming back.

I’m trying to find the balance between my businesses (one of which involving the YT channel for TINPIN and WOCNS), my education, and my spirituality; all of which need time and energy. But after a summer of new friends, Baybayin art, Holy Scriptures, and malong sewing, I think I have the right perspective and inner peace to devote myself to my interests and duties.

So here’s to “Season 2” of TINPIN.

Mahal po kayo, mga ating kapatid (unless you a hater; then screw you).