if a foreigner asks...

2:42 AM Saturday, February 09, 2008

WikiPilipinas.org ... what a Filipina is, i'd tell him to read their blogs.

Because these blogs are the most reliable of all sources, a regular documentary of what makes or breaks us.

We not only write about the latest gossip or footwear that's causing a buzz, we write about how the Filipino life is unfolding for us, how it is affecting us, how we are affecting it.

We reminisce about childhoods where elders were strict and life was hard and every little child played on the streets. We talk of the family dynamics that helped mold who we are, the religion that was used to inhibit our spirits but bound our communities together, and the perpetual presence of relatives and their involvement in everything we do. And how we had to rage in order to be free to become who we want to be.

And then, maybe later, how we learned to embrace our roots and take away the good from it with grace.

We talk about getting educated... and learning about life, two totally different things that we always confuse. We talk about hopes and dreams and coming into our own... own value framework, sensuality, and life.

We talk about the bad choices we've made, from cutting classes to sneaking out of our homes... or totally running away from it. We relate about falling outs with family and friends, of getting confused and feeling invisible. We cry out to cyberspace for people who can understand, who can offer consoling words or helping hands.

We talk about getting pregnant out of wedlock, or marrying too soon. Or we talk about all the frogs we had to kiss, sleep with, or suffer abuse from (physical or emotional) as we seek our prince.

If we're lucky, we fall in love and get to barrage friends with all the wedding preparations and the suppliers' review. And if we're unlucky, the marriage collapses and its our blogs that absorb our grief.

Our blogs see us through in times of pain, from loss of family members and friends, mentors and possibilities. And through the community we build, we get to share in other people's sorrow... and then rejoice with them when they take the first steps again towards a well-lived life.

We dress-up for our blogs, and undress in it. We celebrate and mourn each step forward, each threshold crossed. If we're creative, we set a memory or experience in stone through a poem, a painting, a photograph or a song.

And then that foreigner would know that a Filipina is dynamic, passionate and becoming. That we will always be a a product of our history but are no longer defined by it. We shall continue to stumble as we pursue the life that will make us happy according to terms and standards we have chosen. But the important thing is, we are no longer afraid to claim our life as ours, nor are we scared to make mistakes anymore.

Through our blogs, we have found our voice. Through our blogs, we speak. Through our blogs, the world should listen. Through our blogs, one would find that we may just have learned our lessons.


I will not say that this is my best effort yet, but may it help the Philippine Encyclopedia in getting things as realistic and reflective as possible.


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