Monday, April 13, 2009

dear reader,
a new book idea: am thinking of a book written by immigrant parents who have decolonized consciously and are reflecting back on how their parenting could have been different had they decolonized sooner. this idea is a two year old idea actually. a friend who read coming full circle said there should be a book from the parents' perspective. i guess she was feeling defensive after reading the college student Fil Am narratives about how they wish their parents had raised them to be bilingual, to be critical thinkers, to be aware of the colonial history, etc. my friend told me: the kids don't realize that we came here for their sake, to give them the opportunity to have better lives than we did, that we sacrificed many things (including leaving the homeland) to give them a better life.

well, could this narrative be rewritten?

some scholars say that the Filipino experience is far too complex to ascribe such an overdeterministic role to our colonial history. i have never tried to simplify and narrow down our experience to colonization alone. i have written that our colonial history is only a sliver of the totality of our being. but because this sliver has been inarticulate, inarticulable, or unconscious, this tiny sliver takes on a very large psychic underground presence that needs to be made visible. and there remains a need to put a spotlight on the process of decolonization.

part of this process includes what has become more visible lately: the articulation of our practices of resistance, practices of emergence and visibility.

i would like to find post-1965 immigrants who raised their (now adult) children in the US and who could look back on their parenting years through a different lens. what if i had known then what i know now? what would i have told my children? how would i've raised them differently?

at the back of my mind is an essay by Thomas Berry about christian spirituality and the American experience. he writes that modernity, thru science, has taken away cosmology and in the absence of a Great Story what we have is a science that has disenchanted and desacralized everything. every thing. what we have is hyperconsumerism that often masquerades as a great story.

i recently met a wealthy Filipina who regrets her material success because it has robbed her of something. this something that didn't have a name for a long time and didn't know how to talk about it with her friends. there were bits and pieces of it that she could articulate. like how she regrets not paying attention to the fact that her mother was a medicine woman/herbalist who learned about healing from the Aetas. she cries over the memory of her father who gave her a conch shell from the sea of Bohol and now she surrounds her home with shells because there is just something about this. she cries over the memory of how she loved Europe more than she loved the islands. she cries over the memory of how her body broke down in order to wake her up. what is this story, she asks me?

what is this story?


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